Fifth Angel - Fifth Angel (Epic) 1986
What we have here is an 80's heavy metal band from Seattle with slight pop leanings a la Dokken. It almost sounds like Fifth Angel were straddling a fence between the heavier Crimson Glory type heavy metal and the more melodic, pop metal stylings of Dokken. (Not unlike Leatherwolf's "Street Ready" or Barren Cross' "State of Control".) The first time I heard this band was back in 1986. I was sent a promo record that featured three songs from Fifth Angel as well as three songs from Sanctuary's "Refuge Denied". I was so blown away at the time by Sanctuary that I didn't give these guys the time of day. However, hearing them again for the first time over a decade later, I can appreciate and enjoy what these guys are doing. The songwriting isn't as dynamic as a band like Sanctuary, which accounts for the reason I dismissed them when I first heard them. A lot of this is due to the vocals. Ted Pilot doesn't have a very wide range, and doesn't sing in that high falsetto style that many power metal singers were using in the 80's however he does a good job and puts forth a ton of emotion and power. This band features Ken Mary on drums, who also performed with House of Lords and Magdallan, among others. Guitarist James Byrd was no longer with the band by their debut and released a few solo records.
Fifth Angel - Time Will Tell (Epic) 1988
First of all, any band that would chose to cover UFO is worth a listen in my book. Fifth Angel pull off a respectable version of UFO's only American hit "Lights Out." Besides the UFO cover, "Seven Hours" is another standout cut. Otherwise, "Time Will Tell" is not a album that stands out of the pack. "Time Will Tell" is a pleasant, melodic AOR disc that reminds me of bands like Firehouse and House of Lords. However, I think the band's debut is superior to this album. The odd thing is that the musicianship is spotless, as is the production. Despite this, there is something to be said of charisma that I think lacks in the CD, as opposed to their debut or many other bands of this genre. Still, not a bad CD, just not a great one.