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Black Angel – Prince of Darkness Award winner

Black Angel
Prince of Darkness
by Leanne Evans at 17 September 2021, 9:32 AM

Hitting the Goth/Post-Punk scene in 2018, BLACK ANGEL debuted a true 80’s style Goth style. Formed by Matt Vowles, a passionate lover of the gothic and dark, Matt intended on celebrating bygone days of classic gothic rock and revived it with his own magnificent blend of heady goth nostalgia, combined with injections of contemporary freshness. Subsequently, Matt wrote and produced BLACK ANGEL’s debut album in the form of “The Widow” and followed up with the equally dark and delicious sophomore release, “Kiss of Death”. With their swathes of rich, textural soundscapes and the alluring entice of celebrating the dark, English Gothic rockers BLACK ANGEL are back with their third album release, “Prince of Darkness”. BLACK ANGEL’s newest LP is awash with the sumptuous sensibilities of literary romanticism and supernatural mysticism in the form of the delightfully vampiric, displaying equal measures of traditional gothic gloom, with all its dark strokes and mesmerizing mood-soaked moments, hidden amongst inebriating upbeat temporal teases.

Transporting us to a tenth century town in England, the “Introduction” commences with rabid marching drums and pulsating guitars. Screams and cackles can be heard, amongst a narration about the Prince of Darkness, setting the scene of the protagonist’s rampage. An upbeat burst ensues in “Alive”, with a blend of THE CULT meets THE SISTERS OF MERCY feel, hitting the goth rock nail on the head with a sharp, catchy chorus. The ethereal, yet deep and dramatic vocal timbres immerse you in a captivating world of darkness and beautiful sorrow, pouring a beguiling vulnerability throughout. The likes of “Serene”, all lust-drenched with its luscious beat and minor key infusion, has a hypnotic TYPE O allure about it, with Corey’s vocals mesmerizing as intoxicatingly as Peter Steele, penetrating your soul.

The emotive meandering of “Prince of Darkness” transfixes as an aural embodiment of the writhing and exploration of introspection through the eyes of a dark figure. “Live to Love” is dripping in vitality with its upbeat tempo, yet is dazzling, seductive and haunting. “Turn Around” is voluptuous in sound yet has an alluring empty void about it, especially with the smatter of dissonance; it’s these cleverly crafted complexities that display the talents of goth rock mavens BLACK ANGEL perfectly. Bridging the full-length, “Give It to Me” bruises with its more urgent and rambunctious output, with tantalizing puckish guitar chords, whilst “The Prince” sinks its passionate teeth into you, visceral and rampant with hurried tempo and well-thought track structure.

BLACK ANGEL excels at constructing impassioned cuts, with the sensually saturated “Call the Night Pt II”, a follow-up to “Call the Night” from “Kiss of Death”, pulling well-placed piano lines and moreish moodiness. The surreptitious slice “Secretly” is hushed in tone and drowns in enticement, perfectly paving the way for the masterstroke track “My Love”. Simultaneously pensive, heartsick and hopeful, this exquisite composition has you seduced and in a dream-like docile state with its ruminative, mysterious lamentations and love-hungry lustre that’s delicately decanted into your soul; it’s a sublime piece and one to be mused over many times.

“Prince of Darkness” is a twelve-track collection of artistic elegance, with a flavour of the traditional and a flair for the contemporary. BLACK ANGEL has produced an enigmatic collection of compelling darkness, which beautifies the black and celebrates the bittersweet. Engorged in the atmospheric, swelling with seduction and oozing in heartsore moments, the profoundly poetic talents of BLACK ANGEL are to be savoured and relished in “Prince of Darkness”.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Introduction
2. Alive
3. Serene
4. Live to Love
5. Turn Around
6. Interlude
7. Give It to Me
8. The Prince
9. Call the Night, Pt II
10. Secretly
11. My Love
12. Outro (Curtain Call)
Matt Vowles – Guitars, Mixing and Production
Corey Landis – Lead Vocals
Manisha Jones – Additional Vocals
Ann Courtney – Additional Vocals
Record Label: Solid Recordings


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