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I've already reviewed the two songs by Bitchcraft (which is basically the same band with a different lineup), so I thought that since Anghell's stuff had come with those songs I should give my views on the earlier works as well.
The vocals are cleaner than those on their next release, and it's fairly obvious that the voice belongs to a different woman. To be fair though, I do like them better for the most part. The drummer is the same and so is the guitarist, so they're not dissimilar from last time. The bass shouldn't be too audible in a thrash metal band, so overall you'd think that the sound would be better. And it is. So you'd think that the overall feeling behind it would be better, but yet it isn't.
Recording quality is very, very poor like the last record, but the general sound isn't quite as enjoyable. The musicianship isn't what's letting them down because that wasn't too great last time, and it isn't the energy that's lacking either. The songs just don't have the same element of catchiness about them that the others do. It's not that they're bad as such, but they're not great either. It's a little unspectacular (aside from Spoonfed. That song's all over the place with the guitars).
The best song is probably Spoonfed, mostly due to the fact that it has that kind of catchy beat to it that I was looking for. For whatever reason it's missing from the other songs for the most part, but at least one of their songs has it. As previously mentioned the guitars are pretty mental on that track too, but it doesn't feel like they've gone overboard like you might expect. The drumming is also really good, and you wonder why the band didn't survive when they have those kind of good elements in them.
Then you listen to the other tracks again and it all makes sense. They aren't present everywhere, which is a bit of a fatal flaw. If every song was as enjoyable as that last one, maybe this'd be given a rating in the nineties. They're not all like that though, and there are a fair portion that are largely monotonous other than a brief solo that brings it back to life a little.
I was quite disappointed with Bitchcraft, because that was the song that they took their name from when they moved on and yet it was a bit lackluster. The vocals are actually quite poor on that track and as a whole it's a fairly boring track. The only interesting bit is the solo (which is, admittedly, quite epic) and the drumming. And then Hate Me Not seemingly has a different vocalist who is completely out of place in the band, coupled with even worse recording quality. There are definitely some tracks with room for improvement on here.
I listened to Spoonfed again afterwards, just to see if it was really any better. Yes, it was. It has everything that the other tracks lack, and I just fail to comprehend how they can do that and then make several other tracks that just... I don't want to say explicitly that they suck, but they're far from that kind of quality. It's almost reminiscent of Arch Enemy's War Eternal, a record that - I feel - had an absolutely great track that was surrounded by utter garbage.
To conclude, the guitars are by far the best thing about this record. They keep the whole product fresher than it otherwise would be, and the record would be far worse without them there. Like I said earlier, it isn't that it's bad. It's just not the greatest piece of work that's ever been released. I would agree with EvinJelin in that they're a lot like a punk band with a bit of metal poured in, which is rather obvious when you consider that the music as a whole is quite simplistic. It's a lot about the mood created, but these six tracks don't add up to what Bitchcraft's release did in that sense.
After the oh so hard to describe and review Loretta, here's a review about a much more simplistic other female band from the early 90s. By simplistic, I don't mean boring, I mean a band that you can have a clear opinion about. The opinion I have on Anghell is that, well…if you consider that horror metal exists (and I don't even need to say "if you're into that genre", because I guess that if you acknowledge its existence, you're obviously deeply into it), you'll love that. No doubt about it, 'cause Anghell is 100% true to the horror tradition.
Just look how they dress. Just listen to their name, a portmanteau of angel and hell which is great on paper, but in practice is nearly unpronounceable. They're that band you've seen playing at an Halloween party in some horror movie, you didn't know they really existed, you didn't even imagine they played at many other occasions and that they had an official recording.
But music, or should I say musical universe, is more important that just image, so I'll talk about that too. I've found many ways to analyze this and… I'll try to make it short. Anghell is a punk band in a metal coating. They're not trying to be technical or smart, they're just all about having fun. And they have fun with their little twisted fantasies about fallen angels and sort of "weird girl rants about the mainstream society in her own weird vocabulary" lyrics.
Have I mentioned Jack Off Jill was one of my favorite bands ? Those were also an all-female punk-goth band from the 90s, with a somewhat amateurish but still memorable music and very weird girl ranting about society in her own weird vocabulary lyrics. I bring them up because Anghell is on so many ways their metal version. Really, as I said earlier, punk in a metal coating. Their music is jumpy, fun, snarky and in your face at the same time, and has typical punk beats and riffs, but played heavier.
It's much more about the mood than the musicality, but that's their strength. Despite not the best, or the most original in the way most people understand that term, the music is actually pretty good! Anghell are charmingly in their own world. When they think you listen too much to the sell-out radio, they say you're spoon fed, in what's probably their most enjoyably energetic track. But it's not just an adrenaline-sending song, it also includes very quotable lyrics, like "I keep hearing the same song, twenty times in a row, what the hell is wrong?". Anghell is also 100% going with the weird female rock band esthetic, and that's their unique appeal in general. You like weird girl bands, you like weird mowed of metal with other genres, you hate the radio, you'll love this! A band that really deserves attention.