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Angeline: Confessions

Germany's Avenue of Allies are a relatively new melodic rock label on the scene, however they are already making quite a bit of an impact with their releases that cover everything from West Coast and AOR to straight on melodic rock. In the case of Angeline, they definitely fall into the latter category as they produce a sound that blends the good time glam influences that Def Leppard have used to great effect through their career with the funky rock of Glenn Hughes or (lately) Jeff Scott Soto. That may not sound like the most obvious marriage, however it practice it works very well.

Angeline's history goes right back to 1987 when the band formed in Ljusdal, Sweden. Over the next few years they worked hard at picking up every gig they could, while releasing a set of demos that picked up some notice in the UK. Their lead singer "Sigge" would unfortunately be dogged by health problems over the next few years, which tragically led to his death from a heart condition 1995 and whilst the band had used a different lead singer for quite some time, things didn't work out and eventually they split having recorded only a mini-LP and an unfinished full length effort that is believed to have been erased. An acclaimed film named "Sigge Stardust" was made in 2004 about Angeline's front man and the band then reformed for a benefit show in 2007. So now some twenty three years down the line "Confessions" is Angeline's full length debut release!

Guitarist Jokke Nilsson has added the role of lead singer to his duties and a mighty fine set of pipes he has too. Now I have to be honest and say that one of the stumbling blocks I first had to this release were the vocals, not because Jokke isn't a fine singer, but that his delivery and phrasing leaves him sounding uncannily like Def Leppard's Joe Elliott and when the band also add those elements to their songs, the likeness can actually be a little off-putting. In fact it took my quite a few spins of this album to get that aspect out of my head and to actually hear the music without thinking "Wow he sounds like Joe Elliott!" Musically Angeline add some modern elements into their sound that as mentioned reminds of latter day JSS, however also in evidence are some almost New Country vibes, especially in the slower songs such as "Miracles". For the funkier licks "Someday Somehow" stands out as a bouncing rocker that has a sharp riff and thumping beat, making for a lively and catchy experience. Across the disc the guitar work of Nilsson and Arkegren is sharp and incisive and the album's great production really brings them to the fore to great effect.

The Def Leppard comparisons really rear its head on the slower title track, which comes on like "When Love and Hate Collide", while "Love & Affection" has the slow glamtastic stomp the Lep's love to employ and the more modern edge of "Running On Empty" could be an out-take from "Slang" that JSS rerecorded. All three are really good songs and as a fan of the Sheffield five piece I had no problem with them other than when Nilsson's vocals were added, it really is hard to hear where the comparisons begin and the copying ends. Although I would guess this is not intentional. It has been a long and hard road for Angeline to finally get their music "out there", however on the evidence of "Confessions" we can be glad that they did. They don't reinvent the wheel with these songs, however more importantly they are all memorable enough to merit repeated listens and classy enough to make you smile as you do so.

Track Listing
1. Pray!

2. Another Night (Without You) 

3. Fuel To Your Fire 

4. Confessions 

5. Blackout 

6. Good Is Getting Better 

7. Love & Affection 

8. Rock Of Ages 

9. Part Of Evolution 

10. Miracles 

11. Someday Somehow 

12. Running On Empty

Added: October 17th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Avenue Of Allies Records
Hits: 1192
Language: english

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