Angel Blake – Review

angelblake200Angel Blake

(Metal Blade)
by Tim Den

When guitarist Marko Tervonen announced that he was “going solo” after the demise of his former outfit, The Crown, not many people knew what to expect. Was it going to be a continuation of the blastfest that his old band excelled at? Or possibly a turn toward something completely different, say, techno metal? Thankfully, Angel Blake is neither. As he explains in the bio, Angel Blake is the moody, melancholic, mid-tempo moments of The Crown set to melodic rock vocals and a groovy vibe. The result? A brooding trek into the arms of a somber night, heart filled with heavy emotions that won’t lift. By employing minor-based chord progressions and his trademark Middle Eastern melodies, Tervonen has created a work along the lines of Paradise Lost and Sentenced, forging doomy atmosphere with stomping riffage to form a forlorn beast. But it casts a long shadow without dragging its feet, unlike other bands of this ilk. The tempos are as swift as the genre would (tastefully) allow, rocking ya while haunting ya. Vocalist Tony Jelencovich (Transport League) might take some heat for being so melodic, but his approach works: He doesn’t over-emote, choosing instead to just sing the hooks and let ’em simmer. Much kudos to Tervonen as well for playing all the instruments. Listen to him beat them skins! Who knew he was a multi-instrumentalist?

Between Angel Blake and One Man Army and The Undead Quartet (featuring ex-The Crown vocalist Johan Lindstrand), The Crown’s death was not in vain after all. Here’s to rebirths!