This second effort by Glam-Prog band Angel is easily their strongest album. It features great keyboard riffage, metal guitar crunching, power drumming, busy bass-work and stratospherically high vocals. A nice soup indeed, and all that highlighted in just the first track “Feelin’ Right,” where Greg Giuffria’s synth goes into a back and forth battle with Punky Meadow’s guitar. A great rocker start to a rocking album.
Giuffria’s talents are displayed even more prominently on “The Fortune” as he takes half the beginning of the song with a keyboard instrumental. The song then takes a rock and roll turn with the introduction of a memorable guitar riff as Giuffria solos again. Frank Dimino sings all vocals for Angel on record and displays a voice not unlike a rock & roll Jon Anderson. His voice is a big draw for the band, as it is clear and bright. Another draw in the band is Meadow’s ear for the hook in guitar riffs. This album has some of the most hooky guitar parts you are likely to hear in prog. The beginning of “Anyway You Want It,” the funky feel at the start of “Dr. Ice,” “Pressure Point”… Meadows pulls out the best performance of his career, as do Dimino and Giuffria. This is the main reason this record is so strong, they are all at the top of there game.
Every song here has something redeemable about it. “Feelings” is definitely not the sappy ballad you might remember by Morris Albert from the previous year, but is in fact a very beautiful ballad all the same. Not content to keep the mood soft, the band turns it into a power ballad at the chorus that sets a standard for several hair metal bands of the 80s. “Pressure Point” has another Giuffria/Meadows battle, displaying a sense of humor in their playing. The album closes with a heavier version of the first record’s “Angel Theme,” played with extra energy and verve.
I’m a big fan of Angel’s Helluva Band. If you like early Yes, but wish there were heavier guitars… If you thought Black Sabbath’s Paranoid was just a bit too heavy… If you think Kiss could use a lot more keyboards… Hey, if you’re a fan of Deep Purple’s Machine Head/Burn era… This album is great. Your mileage may truly vary.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on June 30th, 2011