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Blackened Angel – Chronicles of Damnation Award winner

Blackened Angel
Chronicles of Damnation
by Andrew Sifari at 05 August 2014, 7:23 PM

In a way, concept albums are more hit-or-miss than a traditional record, in the sense that a weak concept or poorly executed story can drag down the work as a whole, regardless of the strength of the music, more than the average non-concept album. Metal bands in particular have a lot to live up to in this regard, as some of the most classic albums in the genre, such as KING DIAMOND’s “Abigail,” OPETH’sMy Arms, Your Hearse” and ICED EARTH’s “The Dark Saga,” among others, are great for their storytelling as well as their music, so the bar is set pretty high. BLACKENED ANGEL’sChronicles of Damnation” isn’t exactly a landmark release, but it has its share of good moments to keep the listener interested.

Chronicles of Damnation” is a two-part story, released on two separate albums. It is the dark tale of a man who is tempted to the side of evil, after waking up with no recollection of who he is, and leads the legions of the underworld on a bloody crusade of the world above. It’s very Metal as far as plots go, and the band backs it up with an interesting blend of Power Metal-tinged Thrash, with some atmospheric elements mixed in for good measure. Tracks like “Purgatory,” “A Figure In Black,” “Of Wings and White” are power-packed numbers that advance the story smartly while also delivering musically. “Of Wings and White” is a well-written, Power Metal-style track that, to me, the band should have emulated more throughout the album. Lord Tim’s raspy growls are often used to good effect, as in “Campaign Of Death” and the sinister “Revelation, Arise,” but could use a little more emphasis in some of the album’s heavier tracks, like the relentless “Heaven’s Fall” and “Dark Victory.” Both are good songs, but they feel lacking emotionally due to the somewhat bland vocals.

I also wasn’t that big on the brief, spoken-word interludes that are interspersed throughout the album, as they just come off as rather generic compared to the lyrics in the actual songs. Other than the cool horns and drums build-up to the excellent “Civil War,” I felt like they could have been eliminated without diminishing the telling of the album’s story. The album closes with two cover tunes, one of DIO’s “Night People” and the other of ANTHRAX’s “Madhouse,” both of which suit the aesthetic of the album well. Lord Tim adopts a vocal style akin to the one he uses in his other band LORD, and does the original versions justice with his powerful, melodic delivery.

Despite this, “Chronicles of Damnation” is still a good release overall. While there isn’t much in the way of immediate “wow”-factor, the band’s tight musicianship, blend of styles, and creative lyrics give the album plenty of staying power. For those looking for something fast and heavy, but with a more thoughtful approach than the average Thrash or Power Metal album, “Chronicles of Damnation” is well worth a listen.

4 Star Rating

 1. And So It Ends
2. Purgatory
3. Hell’s Gate
4. A Figure In Black
5. Of Wings and White
6. Revelation, Arise
7. The Blackened Angel
8. Prophecy Of War
9. The Crimson Dawn
10. Heaven’s Fall
11. And Then There Was Silence
12. Dark Victory
13. Campaign Of Death
14. Dissent
15. Realisation (The Army Of The Black)
16. Civil War
17. A Bloody End
18. Alone
19. Night People
20. Madhouse
Lord Tim – Vocals, Lead Guitar, Keyboards
Ricky Boon - Rhythm Guitar
Tim Yatras - Drums
Rob Giles - Bass
Record Label: Dominus Records


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