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Angel: Once Upon A Time
Angel - Once Upon A Time Album Art

Angel: Once Upon A Time

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.5/5.0

The history of Angel is something of legend. Formed in 1975 by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones in Washington DC. The duo would add vocalist Frank DiMino, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria (House Of Lords), and drummer Barry Brandt. The band was subsquently discovered in a nightclub by Gene Simmons who quickly had them signed to KISS's label Casablanca Records. Drawing from pop, prog, glam rock, and fashioning an androgynous image in white robes, Angel would release five studio recordings and one live album before Meadows and DiMino would leave the band in 1981. While their success was not commercially viable, the band has continued to have a loyal fan base in the underground.

Angel Click For Larger Image

Angel: Meadows & DiMino, front and center

Attempts at reincarnation would occur over the insuing decades. DiMino and Meadows dropped solo albums in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In 2018, the two artists would tour under their full names adding "of Angel." A year later, with the same touring members, Meadows and DiMino would reform Angel, releasing Risen in 2019. Now Angel returns with their latest and eigth album, Once Upon A Time

I had every Angel album back in the day, but my current recollection of them is quite fuzzy. While they dabbled in genres at the beginning, today's Angel is essentially a straight-up AOR melodic hard rock band. (And they still dress in white stage outfits.) Their music is fashioned around DiMino's clear melodic vocals and Meadows' sharp guitar work. These are supported by rock rhythm and groove, strong song melody and vocal harmony, and pop-like catchy refrains.

Once Upon A Time, on vinyl, offers fans 11 songs; the compact disc, however, adds three additional bonus tracks. You'll find some catchy impressive rockers with Psyclone, Liar Liar, The Torch, and the heavier, Rock Star. It's Alright is the first single and blurs the line between arena rocker and radio air play accessibility. A ballad arrives with Let It Rain. If you're wondering about the keyboard presence (made famous by Giuffria), the song Without You offers a strong interplay between keyboards and guitar.

All in all, if you're a fan of the band, or simply enjoy classic rock, Angel's Once Upon A Time is a finely crafted and entertaining album of AOR melodic hard rock which will please both listeners. Recommended.



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The Take Away

All in all, if you're a fan of the band, or simply enjoy classic rock, Angel's Once Upon A Time is a finely crafted and entertaining album of AOR melodic hard rock which will please both listeners. Recommended.

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