Blackened Angel - Chronicles of Damnation (Dominus)

When two worlds collide...
Release Date: 
29 May 2014 - 11:30pm

Formed on the foundation of a long-held friendship and mutual admiration, Blackened Angel’s Chronicles of Damnation is the result of an experiment to see what happens when two apparently disparate strands of metal are entwined. The result of this tinkering is, it has to be said, not half bad…

Built around Lord’s eponymous frontman Tim Grose and guitarist Ricky Boon the brief here is to meld the well-known melodic proclivities of Grose with the harsher, more straightforward mores of former Serenity Defiled/Fury man Boon. Add a few black metal flourishes and the result is Blackened Angel. When it works, as it does on standout cuts Prophecy of War and the brutally effective Heaven’s Fall, it works splendidly; Lord Tim and Boon work very well together, the one complementing the other’s talents to such an extent that at no point does this sound like a ‘project’ as opposed to a ‘band’. Classy blackened death offerings like Realisation (The Army of the Black) are really as good as it gets in their field, bringing to mind hints of compatriots Ruins in the widescreen breadth of their ambition and execution, whilst tracks such as the excellent  Alone and Civil War add a frantic, breakneck power metal combustibility to the desperation and gloom, making for an enticing prospect for listeners whichever side of the metal fence they usually dwell on.

Chronicles of Damnation is a concept record, and there are many spoken word interjections and scene-setting segues between tracks. This normally annoys me no end – I’m not a fan of sci-fi/fantasy and blokes with comically deep voices wittering on about ‘cleansing the Eastern lands’ normally gives me nothing but the raging ache. However they are done so well here – a hallmark of anything Grose is involved with is the quality of every single aspect of his productions – that they utterly fail to detract from the important stuff – the music – and do actually support the narrative of what’s occurring in the story.

Marvellous stuff overall, then – now let’s hope Blackened Angel can get out on the road and put some live flesh on these impressive studio bones.