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Nightbreak - Wicked Angel

Wicked Angel
by Emily Schneider at 12 January 2021, 7:31 PM

NIGHTBREAK hails from Long Island, New York. The Hard/Glam Rock band itself has been around for 30 years, with rather large gaps between releases. This particular release “Wicked Angel” was initially released in 2015 as their sophomore album. They chose to rerelease the album partially due to landing on their current record label, but also in memory of the band's longtime manager Tricia Hardin who passed away in October 2020. The music itself is like a throwback to 1980s Hard/Glam Rock at first, then the style kind of morphs to more modern genres throughout.
“Dangerous” was okay, I just really wasn't into the vibe of the song at all. The title track “Wicked Angel” had some classic guitar riffs that reminded me of MOTLEY CRUE. “Missing You” falls more into the AOR vein, stylistically although I struggled to find a melodic hook to latch onto. “Long Way Down” is a heavier song on this album. The growled vocals totally knocked me for a loop, they feel kind of out of place in this otherwise solid Hard Rock song. “Lies” and “Face in the Dirt” both had more a modern track with grittier sounds to the guitars and more distortion. The solos were quite good, short intervals of shred go a long way in these tracks. Todd's voice suits this Post Grunge/Hard Rock style really well too. I found myself really enjoying these songs more than the first few because of that.

“Beat It” is a cover of the iconic Michael Jackson song. I rarely like covers of classic songs and this one joins the overflowing pile of song covers I shrugged my shoulders at.
Honestly, this album was all over the place. It started out as cookie cutter 80s Hard Rock and I just wasn't feeling it. The 'ballad' was pretty rough too, the melodies just weren't very catchy and the vocals were so hard to listen to. Then the 5th song changed genres completely and suddenly, it was pretty damn good. The Post Grunge/Radio Hard Rock genre comparable to SHINEDOWN suited these guys really well. The vocals were much better with that gritty edge and the play style of all the musicians improved a lot on those two songs. There was still some bits of homage to 80s Rock in the riffs, but it didn't sound generic like before. It's not quite enough to make up for the the inconsistencies and weird songwriting on this album overall though. I was still left rather unimpressed by the time the album ended.
Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Dangerous
2. Wicked Angel
3. Missing You
4. Long Way Down
5. Lies
6. Beat It
7 Face In The Dirt
Todd Verni– vocals, guitars
 Session studio musicians:
Scotty Stone Verni - Guitar
Michael Verni - Bass
Dylan Hutchins - Drums
Ryan Lipynsky - additional guitars

Record Label: Independent


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