Blackened Angel – Chronicles Of Damnation, Pt. 1
Blackened Angel – Chronicles Of Damnation, Pt. 1 (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Blackened Angel is the new blackened power/thrash side project of Lord Tim and Tim Yatras of Australians Lord, along with extreme metal musicians Rick Boon and Ron Giles. I see this routinely described as “blackened thrash metal”, which is not true – there are considerable elements of power metal permeating this album, and in some places it sounds like a constantly harsh version of Lord. The debut release, Chronicles Of Damnation, Pt. I, has a running time of just under half an hour. Normally I might complain about this, but from a new band with no real expectations, I actually find it kind of refreshing – especially considering that the second installment is due out this fall or winter.
I mentioned that this sounds just like Lord in a few places, and nowhere is this more true to my ears than during the refrain of “Of Wings And White” – that’s a chorus lifted straight from Set In Stone or Digital Lies. This is not a complaint. In fact, it’s the heavy influence of Lord Tim’s vocal lines and the overall familiarity of some of the compositions that work favorably (in my case, since I’m such a fan of Dungeon and Lord) when sizing Blackened Angel up.
I’ll admit it, even though I’m extraordinarily picky about harsh vocals, I’ve always had a strong thirst for hearing more of Lord Tim’s. “Limb From Limb”, off of Lord’s Ascendance, has long been one of my very favorites from the band, and I’ve craved that specific scathing tone since I first heard it. Well, Chronicles Of The Damned… is chock full of exactly that, and as the vocals are even more the focal point of Blackened Angel’s work, it means that at long last, the harsh side of Tim’s voice is allowed the limelight for a nice long chunk of time.
The only real problem I have with this album is the rhythm guitar. It sounds great, has good tone, and is by all accounts very expertly performed. However, whether by design or because of more extreme metal influences, I find the riffing on almost every song to get redundant after the individual “riff novelty” wears off, as well as generally lacking in hookiness. This is really a genre preference on my part I suppose, as thrash and black metal fans used to less melody might appreciate it more. The lead guitar is excellent, and on par with what I’m used to hearing from Lord – no complaints there.
So, although not completely within my comfort zone, I’d say that Chronicles Of Damnation… earns very respectable marks. This is a solid and worthy release in its own right, though fairly quiet next to the new Lord album. Fans of any of the band members’ other projects should find this interesting, as will those interested to see more extreme metal fusion with power metal. For my part, I’ll be eagerly anticipating the upcoming second installment of this project, as I feel there’s not quite enough of it yet to slap down a final verdict.
3.75 // 5