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Angel 7 - Black and White

(This review was originally written about 2 years ago in late 2004 and is slightly revised now in September 2006 with the long-overdue release of this disc).

You know, you just gotta love bands that are a complete surprise. You're just sitting there minding your own business and here comes a band from the Ukraine that you've never heard of before and they just freakin' knock you for a loop. Ok, so it's not completely unheard of....I mean, just here recently I've had the same thing happen with 3 other Ukrainian bands, Holy Blood, Requital, and Evroklidon. But hey, if it happens again, I'll act all surprised just like the rest of you and just enjoy the moment.

The band we have here is Angel 7. The band used to go by the name Seventh Angel, but as we all know, that name is already taken. But regardless of the name, Angel 7 is a very talented and exciting band. Musically, the band plays a mixture of speed and death metal, with all kinds of goodies thrown in to make it just a mess of genres. The opening song "New Heaven Above the New Land" just flat out rules. The absolutely rip into the song from the first second with screeching, lightening fast guitars, just as fast keyboards, and roaring double bass. The frantic pace of this song is common throughout the album. To imagine what this band sounds like...take some of Sonata Arctica's faster material and twist them into death metal influenced songs. There are actually some parts on some songs that sound o-so-similar to Sonata Arctica. The guitar work on this disc is fabulous. This guys can shred like mad-men. Throw in some killer leads and some screaming solos and you have a disc that you will absolutely fall in love with.

The band will occasionally mix in some different sounds, like a flute, or an India-sounding intro, or even an ambient/techno song with some thumping bass, but believe me...it all fits together nicely and should not disappoint fans of brutal and fast metal.

Vocally, the band does a very nice job. The vocals are growled for the most part, but don't really get too deep. Imagine a movie where you got a slimy alien and the hero of the movie has his hands around the throat of the alien and he's strangling him. Those dying gasps of the alien is what Angel 7's vocals sound like. And in the song "TV Antichrist" it even sounds like that gasping alien may be vomiting as well. Just some plan sick vocals. The band uses some clean Russian singing on a few songs, but they are all well-done and complement the songs in a good way.

As far as production goes, it's pretty good. I would like to have a little less high end though as I always have to adjust the treble on my stereo when listening to this disc. But overall, the sound is pretty powerful.

The band's faith in Christ is very evident in their lyrics and as has been the trend with Bombworks Records releases, the packaging and artwork is very well done.  Angel 7 is a band that I hope continues making music, cause these ears are more than willing to listen to anything they put out.

Rating: 86/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Bombworks Records

Total Songs: 12

Total Time: 48:51

Tracklisting: 1. Black & White (Instrumental), 2. New Heavens Above the New Land, 3. The Price of War, 4. Force of Belief and Love, 5. Everything that is Necessary for Us is Only Love, 6. TV Antichrist, 7. Jerusalem, 8. The Eternity Calls, 9. Spirit of Freedom (Instrumental), 10. Until I Have Not Died, 11. From Darkness in Light (Instrumental), 12. Babylon Will Fall.

Best Songs: Tracks 2 & 6.

Band Lineup: Nikolay Kiriljuk - All Guitars, Slava Malinin - Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Drums, Programming.

Band Website: http://www.7angel.spb.ru/eng/index.shtml