Arcangel – Arcangel [1983]

PhotobucketThis is another of those albums which makes an immediate impression with melodic rockers everywhere. It’s still recognized as one of the more bombastic AOR release of the genre and appealing due to the vocal overdubs, generous keyboards and crisp drums.

Arc Angel (Arch Angel) released one sprawling record of bombastic and brilliant album rock in 1983 and then flew back into the heavens. Jeff Cannata sang lead vocals and played guitar, bass and drums, while Michael Soldan played keyboards and sang backing vocals. Included on the roster of session musicians were former Jasper Wrath bandmates James Christian and Jeff Batter. Cannata writes the music and handles the lion’s share of the duties on the assured, eponymous debut. New York, keyboard whiz Jeff Bova of Distance contributes some Baroque flourishes, and April Wine later covered an undiscovered Arc Angel gem. The album mixes enigmatic and melodic passages, coupled with the progressive influenced feeling. Lyrics that speak of love, excitement, thoughts, etc… Jeff uses elements that can stir your imagination in music.

The gleaming and shining opener “Stars” ponders life and dreams with a hot Bolero chaser while the illicit “Tragedy’ is a great she’s-too-young song. This one-two punch sets a tough standard, but the album’s energy stays strong. Luckily, cosmic tones and crisp production triumph over classic 80s killer electronic drums and chirping keys. April Wine later covered “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, a dust-kicker that treads familiar ground (in addition to Bon Jovi and Journey thumpers, how many DOA songs prowled the 80s). The majestic instrumental “Before The Storm” having a touch of grace continuing in “Sidelines”, which shows the inherent yearning in Cannata’s vocals. The keys on this song are so hot, to die for. Arc Angel sounds similar to Orphan’s debut, Lonely at Night, but where that record takes the curves, Arc Angel flies straight. Cannata pulls the reigns on progressive tendencies, keeping the tunes tight. The refreshing “Just Another Romance” dumps the keys, quotes Badfinger, and comes out completely memorable. Realistically, only a faceless power ballad would have broken these guys, so it’s just as well Arc Angel disappeared, leaving behind this charming artifact of craftsmanship and poise.

Imagine a mixture of Aldo Nova and Dakota with some traces of Kansas and you’ll get the picture. Why it wasn’t a huge commercial success is beyond me, But then again, who ever said the music industry was fair?

Band Members
Jeff Cannata – Lead and backing vocals, drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitar
Michael Soldan – Keyboards and backing vocals
Scott Spray – Bass
Kevin Nugent – Guitar solo
Jim Gregory – Bass
Jay Jesse Johnson – Lead and rhythm guitar
James Christian – Backing vocals
Frank Simms – Backing vocals
David Coe – Guitar
Tony Airdo – Backing vocals
Jeff Batter – Piano
Jeff Bova – Oberheim
Doug Katsaros – Piano
Hugh McDonald – Bass
Chuck Burgi III – Bass
Lance Quinn – Electric guitar
Brent Diamond – Synthesizer
Lennie Petze – Harmonica
Jayeanne Sartoretto – Vocals
David Wolff – Synthesizer
Bud Vumback – Bass

Tracks
01. Stars
02. Tragedy
03. Wanted – Dead or Alive
04. Used to Think I’d Never Fall In Love
05. Rock Me Tonight
06. Before the Storm
07. Sidelines
08. Confession
09. Just Another Romance
10. King of the Mountain

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Arcangel - Arcangel [1983], 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings