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FIFTH ANGEL The Third Secret

By Ruben Mosqueda, Contibutor
Sunday, October 7, 2018 @ 8:41 AM


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FIFTH ANGEL
The Third Secret

Nuclear Blast Records 2018




If you grew up in the Pacific Northwest bands like METAL CHURCH and QUEENSRYCHE ruled the roost before grunge rolled in. There were bands that had success at lesser levels that had ‘cult status’ like SANCTUARY and FIFTH ANGEL and both acts ironically were signed by EPIC RECORDS.

When FIFTH ANGEL burst out of Seattle in 1983, the band's classic lineup consisted of Ted Pilot [vocals], James Byrd [lead guitar], Ed Archer [rhythm guitar], Ken Mary [drums] and Kenny Kay [bass]. The band gigged around the area building a strong following and eventually going into the studio to cut a demo tape with producer Terry Date [METAL CHURCH, PANTERA, SOUNDGARDEN]. The demo featured the tracks "Fade to Flames", "Fifth Angel", "In the Fallout", and "Wings of Destiny". The demo tape reached the offices of Mike Varney at SHRAPNEL RECORDS who snatched the band up and sent the band into the studio to record more material to put together a full-length album. The end result was the Fifth Angel album released as a limited pressing by SHRAPNEL RECORDS and subsequently reissued by EPIC RECORDS in 1988 when they signed the band.

In 1989 FIFTH ANGEL released a ‘fresh’ album produced by Terry Brown [RUSH, MAX WEBSTER, FATES WARNING] titled Time Will Tell and a music video for “Time Will Tell”. The album was a bit too polished, the songs not as ‘metallic’ as on the debut album. Their inclusion of the cover of UFO’s “Lights Out” even fell flat. The band lost label support and as a result the album tanked and the band eventually disbanded. Over the years the band has been rumored to reunite and even record some new material. There have been a couple of reunions for ‘one-off’ shows and festival appearances. Most of the band members have been relatively quiet on the musical front with the exception of drummer Ken Mary, who has been busy ever since FIFTH ANGEL split. He’s worked the likes of ALICE COOPER, HOUSE OF LORDS, IMPELLITTERI, countless session gigs and currently he’s been drumming for FLOTSAM AND JETSAM.

In 2017 FIFTH ANGEL was re-launched by Ken Mary. FIFTH ANGEL is currently comprised of Mary on drums, John Macko on bass and Kendall Bechtel providing lead vocals and guitars. The band has worked on some new material and have signed a deal with NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS. The new album The Third Secret is much more akin to the classic debut album. It’s glorious, melodic, crushing power metal at its best. Armed with songs like “Stars Are Falling”, “We Will Rise”, and “Queen of Thieves”, FIFTH ANGEL takes you back to a time when metal was in its infancy; it was underground, dangerous and you couldn’t wait to tell your friends about this cool band you discovered. FIFTH ANGEL is right up the alley of fans of New Wave of British Heavy Metal staples like IRON MAIDEN, SAXON and DIAMOND HEAD --- it is that good of a record. It’s a crying shame that this album wasn’t released in 1989 in place of Time Will Tell. The Third Secret at this point in time is my ‘sleeper’ album of 2018. Get this one.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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