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Archangel - The Akallabeth CD (album) cover

THE AKALLABETH

Archangel

 

Neo-Prog

2.90 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TenYearsAfter
3 stars This was the first solo album by keyboard player Gabriele Manzini who joined The Watch between 2000 and 2005. Then he became a member of Ubi Maior that released their excellent second album Senza Tempo in 2009. Gabriele has invited well-known singers as Damian Wilson (Threshold, Landmarq, Ayreon, Rick Wakeman), Zachary Stevens (Savatage, between 1993 and 2000) and Ted Leonard (Enchant). Alongside a wide range of guest musicians, including his friends of Ubi Maior and several ex-members of The Watch.

In comparison with his band Ubi Maior, the sound of Archangel on The Akallabeth is more in the realm of Heavy Prog and melodic rock. The twelve songs on The Akallabeth are tastefully arranged with strong vocal contributions, splendid harder-edged guitar work and wonderful work on a wide range of vintage keyboards. These elements remind me of the sound of fellow Dutchman Arjen Lucassen with his project Ayreon (especially the double album Into The Electric Castle, but less bombastic and less focused on guitar). In my opinion, Gabriele is a more elaborate composer. Just listen to The Shade Of Numenor: an exciting blend of sparkling Grand piano, propulsive guitar riffs, a sensitive electric guitar solo, and finally fiery guitar runs with floods of Hammond organ. In Raise The Sword and Lidless Eye, it is Hammond, Moog and Mellotron time. The album also contains the wonderful ballads Power Within, from acoustic rhythm guitar with mellotron violins to a great Minimoog solo. And Red Clouds War with dreamy tender piano and soaring keyboards to a slow rhythm with an awesome mellotron sound and a MiniMoog solo (with heavy guitar riffs).

The Downfall: 39 Days Of Madness is compelling and varied with a strong contribution of Damian Wilson and majestic mellotron choir drops. The final composition is The Price with dreamy piano and warm vocals, a slow rhythm with a sensitive guitar solo and finally a bombastic part featuring mellotron choirs, emotional vocals and a moving guitar solo. Goose bumps!

If you like heavy prog and keyboard-oriented melodic rock, I'm sure that especially the fans of Ayreon and Uriah Heep will be pleased with the sound of Archangel. This is an album to discover, because this music deserves more attention!

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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