Review Summary: Quality Melodic/Black Metal From the Ukraine
Every once in a while an album comes along that just floors you. For reasons such as musical talent, the ideas it presents, or just the shock of whatever is presented by the band. One of the albums that did this to me was Angel 7's Black and White. A two man melodic/black metal project hailing from the cold lands of Ukraine, Angel 7 (not to be mistaken for 7 Angels 7 Plagues and other such bands) released a great example of what makes metal a diverse and impressive genre.
I discovered Angel 7 while on a hunt for obscure bands that played the european style of metal. When I first gave them a listen I was so impressed with the guitar-work and overall musicianship that I knew I needed to hear more. After ordering a variety of obscure cd's with a friend I gave Angel 7 my first real listen. Black and White begins with a atmospheric/symphonic type of intro, which doesn't reveal anything about the aggressiveness and speed about to come. As the next song, New Heavens Above the New Land opens, the listener is thrust headfirst into Angel 7's mix of frantic guitar, fast drumming and off the wall synth loops and samples, along with some gritty harsh vocals. The majority of the album runs the speed metal route with a hint of black and power metal thrown in. Songs like The Eternity Calls and TV Antichrist are pure aggressiveness whereas songs such as Everything, That is Necessary for Us, Is Only Love and From Darkness In Light are more melodic pieces that give a good sense of variety.
The highlight of this album would have to be the guitars. Fast leads, coupled with quality rhythms, make this album a guitarist's wet dream. The drumming is adequate, although most likely handled by a drum machine because he band only has two members, and provides a good backing to the rest of the music. The synth and samples are placed in ideal areas, not overbearing like in some bands, but not underwhelming that they provide nothing. The most unique and off-putting thing about this album would have to be the vocals. The harsh vocals have a different sound to them, but this may be a product of the gritty production versus the actual vocalist.
In the lyrics department this band is...well I actually do not know because the lyrics are all in Russian, therefore I cannot comment on the lyrical quality of this album. This may annoy some listeners, but I think the quality of the music overrides this problem.
Overall this is an interesting album if you are a fan of melodic metal, black metal or just looking for something new. The poor production and vocal language keep this from attaining a higher rating, but Black and White is still worth a listen.