Back in 2011, a band hailing out of Italy took formation that goes by the name of Fallen Angels. Seven years later, at the start of the year, they’d put forth their debut effort titled Even Priest Knows. For the most part, it’s a pretty straight forward glam metal album that pays many salutes to the ’80s, and the likes of Keel, Dokken, L.A. Guns, among others from the time. Hell, they even did the infamous power ballad! Something does set them apart from that scene though, and that’s the fact that Even Priest Knows is far less accessible of an album than the albums of the aforementioned bands. Not only physically is it harder to acquire, but the music itself is a lot harder to get behind, which for some is a good thing, whereas for others it’s a turn off. For me, I’m somewhat caught in the middle, as I recognize the talent and creativity behind the songs, but find them a bit hard on the ears.
On the positive side of things, it’s a fairly heavy album and an accurate representation of the ’80s glam scene. Like I said, it even has a power ballad, titled “Jennifer Drugs”, and it’s actually one of my favorite songs on this. Acoustic guitars makeup for the backbone of the whole song, keeping it stripped down. As for the rest, it relies on heavy distortions taken on in a very melodic sense, implementing keyboards and synthesizers into some of the songs as well. “Feast With The Beast” is definitely one of the more glittered up tunes, bringing this aspect on stronger, where other tracks like “The Force In The Mind” don’t sugar coat anything. This one is just a raw slab of metal, and is likely one of the heaviest tracks on the record. All this in mind, the boys in Fallen Angels refrain from anything super harsh in the vocal department, and ring in rhythms in every track. They even throw in a little pop fun with “Psycholove”, using beats, more synth and an upbeat pop-like chorus.
Another standout feature is the guitar solos. These are almost great enough to make up for some of the glaring flaws. They transcend onto the forefront very smoothly, and cover much of the fret board while still maintaining a strong sense of musicality. The main issues with Even Priest Knows lie within the delivery regarding production, and vocals. It’s super hard on the ears at times because there’s a lot of excess noise and it’s littered with echoed feels. Imagine sitting in a large room with nothing to absorb the sound, and that’s what it’s like to listen to this. Because of this, it’s extremely tough to get behind. This effects the vocals too, but they have a problem of their own. The singers voice is extremely high, but lacks power and is almost whiny. That with the production makes it very hard to understand the lyrics (not that that’s really a huge issue), but with this kind of music, vocal delivery is everything, and it falls short.
In the grand scheme of things, I was very happy to discover this project. Much like with Snakebite, it’s nice to see newer bands throwing back to the glam metal stylistics, since it isn’t always received the best now. This is worth giving a spin if you’re a fan of the genre, but just be aware of the problems you’ll come across.