I have to say that most Hardcore acts don’t snap my synapses but that leaves those that do and ANGEL CREW have fallen into that select group. Intelligently presented with a good balance of the beefy and bouncy it should make for a good listen for anyone who wants to shout along.
Songs like “Break Through” have a soulful side to them which works well. The dual vocals that mix the gruff with impassioned rough will have you singing and bawling along with them as the guitars shoulder aside any potential hecklers. When they up the ante you’ll know about it and if that don’t floor you then “Spit It Out” will ensure ass meets asphalt.
I have no lyric sheet but ANGEL CREW sound like they have a hefty axe to grind as they alternate between threat and persuasion, whatever the subject the instrumentation is heavy in support, generally pounding away but often adding in the octane as well. Whilst the six strings mostly work in unison the lead regularly throws in some melody and a sprinkle of solos as well. The riffs run rich with a rough edge and there’s a breakdown around every corner, which in the case of “Carry On The War” ends with a hint of Sludge.
This album has a sense of honour to it so that once these guys have kicked you down, they offer you a hand to get you back on your feet. There is honesty ingrained into the compositions, when they are barking in your ear you get the impression they mean it. Despite the Hardcore tag there is plenty of Metal lurking on the street corner with the HC and that should please many of you. The components of the group have quite an accumulated experience and so know how to convince when it comes to building the menace, no one could accuse “One Life, One Sentence” of being pretty.
So what makes ANGEL CREW stand out? Well, they throw in hints of other genres, nothing obvious just a shading that broadens the appeal and thickens the broth. The vocalisation allows this album to work at two levels, oft used clean singing enhances the conviction without emasculating the hardness evinced by the band, it also demonstrates a maturity and confidence in their music.
ANGEL CREW can belt them out with the best, but they also know how to reflect without losing momentum. They should appeal to HC fans and also those of you that appreciate this form of music but who weary of over posturing. Anyone with a love of hard and heavy guitar music can happily avail themselves of this bruiser. (Online February 1, 2006)