If you’ve not heard of Black Angel yet, & I believe there may still be a few of your lurking in the darkness of “the old ways”, then you’ve really been missing out on one of modern Goth Rock’s darkly delicious sonic treats. The release of 4th studio album “The Black Rose” see’s the Hollywood duo doing again what they do best, Which is giving us some of the best guitar lead Sex, Drugs & Gothic Rock n Roll this side of 1980 something. Main man, songwriter & wearer of all the musical hats – Matt Vowles is the creative force behind the band & writes, performs & produces all the band’s music with singer Corey Landis, who just also happens to be a Hollywood actor coming in to play his role as Black Angels frontman. Whilst this isn’t your traditional band set up, it really works. Matt’s obvious lifelong love affair with Gothic Rock, especially The Cult shines through & is evident in every track and sonic nuance of Black Angel as does his song writing & musicality. He’s also one of us to the core. And whilst it may be seen indeed as a “role” that Corey plays as the band’s front-man & voice, he plays it with true vocal balls & talent. Although Matt is without doubt, the creative musical lead, the usually double tracked velvety smooth vocal of Landis reminds me of a younger still post-Punk, pre-fame, pre-pop, pre-twat Bono in its tone & range fitting both the music & lyrics written for him, perfectly.
I & other fans were treated to the album being premiered by the band on a live Bandcamp stream on Sunday just gone. The album was played between chat from Matt & Corey & interspersed with a few Goth classics; the tracks that inspired Black Angel to be Black Angel. There was obviously, as the band name implies, a fair bit of “The Cult”. One of the standout aspects I took from the live stream was the fact that the new BA tunes being played, stood easily & proudly musical shoulder to shoulder with the classics peppered in-between each new song. Matt & Black Angel have taken all the good bits of the what went before, all that Gothic goodness we love & distilled it into modern, shit-kicking Gothic Rock n Roll.
As with previous Black Angel albums Matt uses it as a platform to paint musical pictures and give voice to a narrative. There’s an almost concept feel in the layout & placing of each track as they blend effortlessly, with a similar line here or chord progression there. Each track is a separate standout single but, is never alone. The Black Rose is a record that screams “listen to me in my entirety and then put me on repeat!”
I’ve got my favorites but really the record plays so well as a whole that I’ll let you the listener be the judge & won’t spoil that first listen with specific track spoilers but do feel free to comment let the page & band know what you think & what your favourite songs are.
You can get your copy of the first limited run here: https://blackangelmusic.bandcamp.com/music
If you do want to have a quick listen though the New Video to latest single “Look me in the Eye” is also out today.