Desolation Angels - King

Desolation Angels King cover
Desolation Angels
Independent Release
Desolation Angels have remained a highly obscure and quite unique band in the NWOBHM subgenre that despite having released little in ways of albums (a couple one on LP the other cassette only) did manage to make their name quite respected.
After having a box set released commemorating the times past their debut, which was privately re-released by the band only this year on CD officially, they did reform in 2012 and released an EP, but lost their singer Curly Davies, hauling in respected vocalist Paul Taylor (ex-Elixir, Midnight Messiah) to replace him. The duo of original members that remains from the 80s is the guitarists Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp, while former Fist man, Clive Pearson fills in on bass and Chris Takka of a couple of smaller bands is behind the drums.
“King” remains true to the band’s style to a large extend with straightforward but enjoyable compositions, with Taylor’s vocals boding quite well, with the material making such an important change as the vocalist’s being a lot easier to accept. Chris Tsangarides has helmed the production, giving the album a raw and dry sound that certainly fits the band’s style.
Opener “Doomsday” is quite energetic and its mean sounding riffs, make it sounds definitely quite menacing with “Another Turn of the Screw” being even better and even almost threatening and foreboding with its ominous sounding riffing.
“Devil Sent” takes a back seat, but it maintains the eeriness and the dark atmosphere which the band seems to have perfected over the years.
“Rotten to the Core” again is led by a mean sounding riff and sounds a little like a “darker” Saxon.
“Your Blackened Heart” has a simpler and rockier riff, one that wouldn’t have felt out of place in a mid-80s Priest number. Another wining track.
“Find Your Life” is the first proper “ballad” despite “Devil Sent” having some softer elements. This softer elegy of a song, feels quite appropriate to change the pace of the album and give it some breathing space before its finishing line; it does however get a bit edgier a couple of times in its duration via some extended bridges.
Hellfire” is a much heavier number with a straight forward riff and a quite the drowning atmosphere...
“Sky of Pain” is sort of taking the middle of the road, a melodic mid-tempo that however doesn’t sacrifice it’s edge or heaviness, thus ending up being one of the better tracks, among near equals as no songs, feels like filler.
Finally, “My Demon Inside”, while firmly remaining stuck in mid-tempo territory does so, utilizing some excellent riffs and has Taylor performing to the fullest of his capacity, sounding both dark and brooding but also quite epic at the same time…
Well, if you like Saxon, only much darker, Desolation Angels in general, or Elixir, this album will not disappoint. A proper welcome back… I think is in order and with albums of this caliber, it doesn’t feel like a half arced attempt, but a proper “return” into action. Well done.