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Desolation Angels - While the Flame Still Burns (Reissue)

Desolation Angels
While the Flame Still Burns (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 30 April 2020, 11:40 AM

During the 80’s, a strange feature appeared from time to time: bands with excellent instrumental parts, but with disastrous vocals. And during NWOBHM glorious days (the years between 1980 and 1985) it was amazing that just few bands could count with natural-born talents as Sean Harris, John Deverill, Bruce Dickinson, Biff Byfford or Paul Di’Anno, to name a few. And DESOLATION ANGELS, and UK quintet was one of those bands with very good work that was damaged by the weak vocals’ performance. And on their second album, “While the Flame Still Burns” (that is being reissued now) the problem is still there.

It’s their second album, released originally in 1990. And as it was heard on “Desolation Angels” (their first album, released on 1986), a fine instrumental work can be heard, in the heavier way of NWOBHM, bearing an energetic and heavy work. But when the singing begins, it’s not easy to swallow: the tunes aren’t compatible with their music, and in some moments they annoy the ears. It’s not a matter of having talent, but of using in a bad way the voice that Dave had. Of course that the band sounds like many other bands from those days, but they’re in a level above the mean, with energy and a good technical work (although the vocals sometimes can cause the intention of turning of the music player).

The production is not as good as their music demands. It’s that raw and moldy sound quality that was used by the early giants of NWOBHM, but not in the same level. Of course that the listeners can hear it clearly, but if someone put this album side to side with “Iron Maiden” will understand the difference the words above mean. It’s not so bad, but it is extremely far of what they need.

There are many good ideas on the album, and the band deserved a better lucky back then, because the weight of “Only Time Will Tell” (the band’s guitars are really very good, playing melodic and nasty as the song keeps on), the charming melodies created on “Soul of the City” and “While the Flame Still Burns” (the contrasts between clean introspective parts and heavy moments is a very good feature used here), the brutal and melodic grasp of “Power Hungry” and of “Killer” is incredible. But the vocals are disgusting, like the guy is trying to emulate the singing of Vince Neal without having the talent he had to use his limited voice.

For the fans of NWOBHM, “While the Flame Still Burns” is a very good release (if you can deal with the vocals), but DESOLATION ANGELS deserved a better singer back then.

Musicianship: 6
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Only Time Will Tell
2. Soul of the City
3. While the Flame Still Burns
4. I’m on Fire
5. Power Hungry
6. Wings on My Heels
7. Killer
8. Feels Like Thunder
Dave Wall - Vocals
Robin Brancher - Guitars
Keith Sharp - Guitars
Dave Scutt - Bass
Adam Palfrey - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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Edited 28 February 2021

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