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Renegade Angel - Damnation

Renegade Angel
Damnation
by Mark Machlay at 14 December 2021, 6:05 AM

Finnish melodic heavy metal band RENEGADE ANGEL has released a fresh new single and music video “Damnation” this past October and coupled some alternate versions of their first single, making it their first full EP or even collection of songs. While they are labeled as Finnish, the lineup seems to be quite international. Mastermind Jani Pöysä who seems to only have contributed piano for their previous single “Forevermore”, seems content to compose and sit in the background but seems instrumental in bringing the other members together. Main singer Alejandro Fernandez is from Mexico and is mostly known from fronting Argentinian symphonic power metal band KYRIE ELEISON from 2003-2016. Then there is the bassist from Slovenia, Amadei Šaršanski, who has played both drums and bass in a couple different bands since 2014, Grecian drummer Vangelis Moraitis, and Chilean guitarist Lukky Sparxx. Last, but certainly not least, Tim “Ripper” Owens – famous for fronting JUDAS PRIEST as well as currently fronting an offshoot named KK’S PRIEST among many other famous metal bands – joins as a guest.

There has been some shuffling of member in RENEGADE ANGEL but that seems more about availability and the international aspect of the band, possibly. With first single “Journey into Madness” the band established a powerful sound when it was released a little over a year ago on August 11th, 2020. “The Whistleblower” followed in late January of the next year, featuring a much more pummeling mix and a wild tapping solo that certainly turned many heads. As a bit of a tonal shift, “Forevermore” was released in late April and showed a more restrained, softer version of their sound but still had plenty of interesting guitar leads to entice the metal lover. Now with new single “Damnation” and the further expansive EP with more songs, Jani Pöysä himself comments “I think we managed to bring the best aspects of our previous songs and create a masterpiece for us. The song has even more variation and a larger production than the prior songs. The riffs and hooks are strong, but there are so many awesome layers of keys, piano, vocal harmonies as well as guitar- and bass fills that take it to another level! I am proud of how everybody did such an amazing job and perfected with the tiniest details and managed to make the song as amazing as it was meant to be.”

With the help of Tim “Ripper”Owens, RENEGADE ANGEL adds some significant pedigree to their sound – making for a classic metal sound with a punch – but it doesn’t really elevate the material to being more than just “good”. “Damnation” has all the makings for a great melodic metal song: soaring vocals, driving riffs, relentless and powerful drumming, even some subtle piano behind the whole thing. But starting with the lyrical content, I’ve heard so many songs about an incoming apocalypse or end-of-of world scenario, “times up, we’re waking up, it’s too late” just seems a bit trite, but by the time a soft section of the song comes in with some creative, emotional leads, I perk up a little. Unfortunately, then it turns into all out guitar wankery before another round of lyrics come in and ends rather sour for me. The two updated versions of “Journey Into Madness” are fun but nothing, at least for me to get too excited about. However, the international audience should appreciate the Spanish language version.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Damnation (feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens)
2. Journey Into Madness (Rollin Sound Studio Mix)
3. Journey Into Madness (Spanish version)
Lineup:
Alejandro Fernandez – Vocals
Tim “Ripper” Owens – Vocals
Lukky Sparxx – Guitars
Amadei Šaršanski – Bass
Vangelis Moraitis – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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