Fifth Angel - Fifth Angel
Epic Records
Melodic Metal
9 songs (37:48)
Release year: 1988
Epic Records
Reviewed by Mike
Archive review

Fifth Angel released two albums in the late 1980's, both of which are high quality albums that stand the test of time. Although the metal genre is overflowing with talent these days and great new bands are exploding on to the scene, both Fifth Angel CD's still find their way into my stereo system regularly.

Led by the superb vocals of Ted Pilot and the guitar wizardry Ed Archer and James Byrd, both Fifth Angel albums are a complete package for melodic metal / hard rock fans. In a time when image rather than musical ability led to success, Fifth Angel cranked out a couple of my favorite CD's of the decade. This album features 9 songs that maintain the listener's attention from start to finish: there is not a filler track to be found. Ted Pilot has the characteristics you look for in a melodic metal / hard rock band: his delivery is very melodic and energetic. Unlike a lot of late 80's vocalists, Ted Pilot does not go for the crazy high notes, nor does he try to scream. The dual guitar work of James Byrd and Ed Archer make each of the songs memorable. Twin leads and dual guitar solos throughout will please those fans who appreciate quality guitar work. The songs themselves contain addictive melodies that will certainly have you melodic fans playing this CD quite often as I have done since I discovered these guys about 7 years ago. The backing vocals are solid and make the chorus lines all that much more memorable. While the production may not compare to today's standards, I would say that the sound is much more crisp and professional sounding than a lot of the raw and lower budget releases of the time. Even today, I feel safe saying that this CD does not sound dated. Perhaps this can be credited to the band's ability to not fall into the biggest clich├ęs of the time period. There is no "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" attitude with these guys nor does Fifth Angel try to hop on the glam movement. This is a very classy slab of melodic metal that features top notch musicianship that is worthy of your attention even today.

Both Fifth Angel CD's have been reissued over the past couple of years. This debut album frequently sold for outrageous prices on eBay, nearly as high as the two self titled Leatherwolf releases. I suppose someone saw the demand for these albums and decided a reissue was in order. If like well produced melodic music with excellent vocals and sharp dual guitar work, I highly recommend you give Fifth Angel a listen as they are a complete package.

Killing Songs :
Shout It Out, Call Out The Warning, Only The Strong Survive
Mike quoted 92 / 100
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