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Dragon: Fallen Angel (remaster)

This is Metal Mind's remaster of the second full length album from Poland's Dragon, who, along with Vader, helped jumpstart the whole thrash/death metal boom in that country back in the late 80's. Fallen Angel was originally released in 1990 on MMP, when the band was comprised of Jaroslaw "Gronos" Gromowski (guitar), Adrian "Fred" Frelich (vocals), Grzegorz "Demon" Mroczek (bass), and Krystian "Bomber" Bylom (drum). One look at the excellent cover art, and you would automatically assume that Fallen Angel was some sort of fantasy filled European power metal album, however that is nothing like what you get here, as this is somewhat of a concept album dealing with the presence of evil and Satan in the world, the music firmly rooted in the thrash and early death metal styles. Plenty of intricate guitar riffs and crazed solos abound, as well as pummeling drum work and evil, growling vocals. Production sounds pretty dated, but if you've been following the extreme metal scene since the mid-80's that should come as no surprise to you, the remastering treatment cleaning things up a tad but that muddy quality still exists.

Probably the best element of the songs here is without a doubt the guitar work. Tunes such as "Sewer of Graves", "I Spit in Your Face", and "Deceived" have very inventive, crushing thrash riffs, and when the band slows down a bit, as on the doomy death dirge that is "Tears of Satan", the full power of Gromoski's power chords can really be felt. Lyrically, you either love this kind of thing or not, the Satanic lyrics won't be for everyone, but Frelich does a good job portraying these mini-storylines with his limited vocal range. He's got a decent growl, nothing that will make you stand up and take notice, but more than competent for these types of songs. His mix of growls, screams, and barks are most effective on the epic sounding "Simon Peter" a complex death/thrash burner that gallops and rages, the vocalist lending his evil array of voices to what is an overall excellent extreme metal song.

As always, Metal Mind has done an excellent job with the packaging of this reissue, housed in a lovely digipack including the complete artwork, photos, lyrics, bonus Polish versions of some of the songs, and lots of information on the history of the band.

Track Listing
1. Fallen Angel
2. I Spit in Your Face
3. Tears of Satan
4. Deceived
5. Simon Peter
6. Sewer of Graves
7. Into the Dark
8. Crying Woman
Bonus Tracks
9. Upadly Aniol
10. Pluje Ci W Twarz
11. Lzy Szatana
12. Posród Czerni
13. Placzaca Kobieta

Added: January 17th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1933
Language: english

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