"Failure of Faith"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Tampa's BLOOD OF ANGELS is about the zillionth band to do a concept album on the evils of religion. Alright, boys, let's see what you got...

Strangely enough, this is a band that seems to evolve over the course of a single album. The first half of the record shows a band which can best be called average, playing an aggressive mash-up of death, thrash and groove metal. The production is not all that great and the drums on first track "Monotheism" sound like somebody knocking on a door. But the track comes straight for your throat, there's no questioning that. The next three songs follow in likewise fashion, being furious enough to hold  momentary attention while listening but not really memorable enough to last past that. Something more is needed.

Starting with track 5 "The Messenger", BLOOD OF ANGELS start to find that extra something. This one opens with pounding riffs that are a bit different than what's gone before, hitting a nice mid-point between death and groove metal. The real eye opener is "The Crusader", which could almost be a different band than the one in the earlier songs. This is truly epic, with slower, majestic riffs that sink in deep and had me headbanging. There's more melody, too, which was in short supply earlier. They are starting to mix things up and grow. The oddly named "King of Hops" has a dirty groove to it while "Disaster of Supremacy gets a bit messy again but with some solid riffs. There's an OK cover of MOTORHEAD's "Don't Need No Religion" and the album ends with the surprising "America's Mythologies", which has almost a C.O.C. dirty southern feel and more melody. This album has ended in a different place than I thought it would.

This band has still got a long ways to go to reach their ultimate potential, but I can say they deserve a chance to try.