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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Fifth Angel - 1988 Fifth Angel
Fifth Angel - 1988 Fifth Angel

ARTIST: Fifth Angel
ALBUM: Fifth Angel
SERIAL: BFE 44201 (LP), EK 44201 (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Ted Pilot - vocals * James Byrd - guitars * Ed Archer - guitars * John Macko - bass * Ken Mary - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Fallout * 02 Shout It Out * 03 Call Out The Warning * 04 Fifth Angel * 05 Wings Of Destiny * 06 The Night * 07 Only The Strong Survive * 08 Cry Out The Fools * 09 Fade To Flames


There can be no doubt, this album by Seattle's Fifth Angel is considered a classic among the HM fraternity. The album's history, as well as that of the band is fraught with intrigue, but essentially, the spawning of the Fifth Angel seed lay at the fingertips of guitarist James Byrd. It was he who bought the band together as early as 1983, bringing Ted Pilot, Ken Mary, and eventually Ed Archer and bassist Kenny Kay into the fold. A series of demos were shopped, eventually Shrapnel picked up the band and soon after 9 tracks were recorded. Intially released in 1986, the strength of the material saw the band secure a deal with Concrete Management and Epic Records - after a frustrating two year hiatus, 'Fifth Angel' the album, was re-released in early 1988.

The Songs
Engineered by Terry Date (who would later find fame with Dream Theater), the album is a solid collection of metal anthems which still sound good today. Tracks like 'The Night', 'Only The Strong Survive', 'In The Fallout', and 'Call Out The Warning' all brim with superlative guitar runs, Pilot's powerful and near classical vocals, and a frantic but well oiled rhythm section, topped only by Ken Mary's pounding kick drums. Even on subdued moments like 'Cry Out The Fools', 'Wings Of Destiny' and the title track 'Fifth Angel', this is quite a slab of melodic metal!

In Summary
In between the 1985 and 1988 timeframe, Kay left the band to be replaced by John Macko (from fellow Seattle band The Machine), and within weeks of a new deal being signed, band leader James Byrd was essentially sacked from his own band by the Management in concert with Pilot and Archer. How bad is that? The band went on to release 'Time Will Tell' in 1989, but by then, the horse had bolted, and the remaining band members understandably forgot who had made them popular in the first place - the very guy they fired. Strange but true. The album has in fact seen a CD release during 1999, so it is a much sought after item. Byrd has continued on with a very successful music career, as has Ken Mary, while Pilot and Archer? The less said about those two the better..

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#1 | rkbluez on August 14 2012 02:04:24
Classic American metal at it's doesn't get much better than this...great guitar, vocals and songs...shame what they did to f****d the whole band up...what we're they thinking?
#2 | gdazegod on August 14 2012 02:59:03
New Knight Fury album in a similar vein to this. KF features Ken Mary. Review soon..
#3 | dude24 on May 05 2015 23:57:57
Never get tired of listening to this album. Still get chills down my back when "In the Fallout" kicks in. How it did not sell millions of copies is beyond me.
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