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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Arcangel - 1983 Arcangel
Arcangel - 1983 Arcangel

ARTIST: Arcangel
ALBUM: Arcangel
LABEL: Portrait
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1983, Portrait (Austria), 466669 2


LINEUP: Jeff Cannata - vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums * Jay Johnson, David Coe - guitars * Jeff Bova, Michael Soldan - keyboards * Jim Gregory, Scott Spray - bass

TRACK LISTING: 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>


I read the review of this album back in 1983 when it first came out. If I recall, the reviewer said.. 'Jeff Cannata sounds like he's been locked in a room with a crateful of Kansas albums!' or something to that effect. In fact he even said it sounded like the 3rd Boston album. Well as time would have it, some twenty plus years after the event, some of the comparisons haven't quite rung true. However, what we do agree on, is that it's still recognised as one of the more bombastic AOR releases of the genre and appealing due to the vocal overdubs, generous keyboards and crisp drums. For me, Arcangel has more of a Aldo Nova type sound, with Jeff's vocals heading down Jon Anderson (Yes) alley. That's fine by me. Cannata a native Connecticut resident cut his teeth with the unknown semi-prog 70's outfit called Jasper Wrath, featuring that other AOR celebrity James Christian. However, with this project the prog approach has definitely been dropped in favour of amazing AOR. The session lineup has got quality on it: Jeff Bova the NY keyboard god (also of Distance) puts in some great ivory tinkling.

The Songs
Keyboard bombast of the sort that Gregg Giuffria would be proud of is the prelude to the opening track 'Stars'. There are some wonderful moments on 'Tragedy', strutting guitar and stabbing keyboards through the choruses. 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' is particularly good, where the keyboards sound similar to the stuff off Dakota's 'Runaway' opus. As an aside, April Wine did a cover of this song on their 'Walking Through Fire' album. The ballad 'Used To Think I'd Never Fall In Love' is poignant enough but doesn't do a great deal for me, whereas 'Rock Me Tonight' bares some hard rock teeth. The interlude 'Before The Storm' is a great bass laden instrumental which leads us into two of the highlights of the album for me: 'Sidelines' which has some spectacular sound effects in it, and the wonderful poppy and melodic 'Confession'. The bombast continues with 'Just Another Romance' and the epic sounding 'King Of The Mountain'.

In Summary
This is another of those albums which makes an immediate impression with melodic rockers everywhere. For those coming to this site who are familiar with the material, I'm sure you'll agree, this one's a pearler!

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#1 | Wally on February 28 2008 03:16:16
Jeff Cannata was in Jasper Wrath, a Connecticut-based prog/art rock band that produced one self-titled LP in 1971 and continued to tour the region until its final demise in the late 70's. Cannata maintained good connections with CBS Records and was able to muster some talent to record this fine album, which was release to a great deal of local and national airplay in 1983. Some of his guest musicians--Jimi Christian (nee DeCici), Michael Soldan, and Jeff Batter--had previously played with Cannata as members of Jasper Wrath. The album is shamefully out of print in the States, although I believe it is available as a European import due to the good sales it enjoyed overseas.

The songs--while more 'power pop' than Wrath's output--were really not too far removed from that band's material. Although Wrath was influenced by such art rock bands as Yes, Genesis, and ELP, their recorded output consisted of short, melodic songs that usually ran in the 4-5 minute range. Wrath's final single--'You'/'General Gunther'--fits neatly into the power prog-pop category and would not have been too out of place on this album.

Although Cannata is seen to play guitar in the video (and he does play the instrument) he was actually Wrath's drummer. He picked up the guitar during one of Wrath's short layoffs in order to hone his songwriting skills.

Cannata continues to record sporadically, and has released several albums of excellent material in recent years, all of which build on the template of this album. In fact, he continues to use the Arc Angel name in conjunction with his own. All his more recent releases are worthy of a listen by fans of this self-titled effort.
#2 | Eric on February 28 2008 14:18:43
Wally, very informative, but what do you know about the Zoldar & Clark LP which featured tracks that made it to the Jasper Wrath double CD reissue a few years back?
#3 | Wally on February 28 2008 14:53:26
Hmmm... Not sure about that one.

I have that Wrath double CD, as well as their only LP release. The 2 CD anthology was released in 1996 to much local fanfare. It includes 4 tracks from the self-titled 1971 release (more psychedelic/art rock than classic '70's prog--think maybe the 2nd Traffic LP with less country tinge, or maybe a less flowery and less romantic Moody Blues minus the Mellotron), as well as a number of unreleased songs that Jeff Cannata and Michael Soldan demo'ed for Wrath during the early '70's. The second disc contains some live Wrath and a new song each from Cannata (track also on his album Tamorok), Jimi Christian (a track from Rude Awakening), and Bob Gianotti--Wrath's first guitarist.

Do you know which tracks? Are you referring to the first Wrath album, or something else? I'd be interested in knowing more about this particular LP if you have any information.
#4 | Wally on February 28 2008 15:21:21
Eric, I should have done more research before responding to you.

I was unaware of the Zoldar & Clark LP, but it appears that most of the tracks that appeared on that album are included on the 2 CD Wrath collection. I took a listen to the tracks posted on a Zoldar & Clark MySpace page; they sound identical to those on the Wrath disc. I wonder if the Cannata/Soldan recordings leaked out and were pirated.

There is another related release under the name 'Arden House', which seems to include more Wrath stuff contained on the 2 CD set.

FYI... Arden House happens to be the name of a nursing home located in Hamden CT, which is Wrath's old stomping grounds. Wonder if some crank used this name to pirate another release of their material.

Thanks so much for the lead on this trail--very informative. I'd like to find out more about these albums myself!
#5 | Eric on February 28 2008 17:02:35
I have a mini-lp sleeve CD version of Z & C album from the Japanese 'Poor House' label. It's amazing how many times it shows up on Ameriprog want lists. The 'Arden House' 2 CD set sounds interesting and I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the scoop!

Hey- ever go to any shows at the old Pinecrest Country club in Shelton?
#6 | Wally on February 28 2008 17:33:22
THE PINECREST! Unfortunately, these were a little before my time. My older brothers used to go there frequently. One of my brothers used to be friends with rath/Eyes old sound guy, so the whole Wrath family was a frequent topic of conversation around my house. Pinecrest is closed now--paved over for condos, I'm afraid.

I am looking into ordering the Z&C album from a guy in Utah--hope I can get it! has some info on the Arden House album. Not sure what the track list is, but probably more stuff from the JW discs. I saw another site with the LP for sale, but I'd have to sell my soul to afford it.
#7 | Eric on February 28 2008 20:35:14
For those who don't know what the Pinecrest Country Club was, it was just that - a country club between New Haven and Waterbury, CT that hosted some pretty big names in the late 70's. The stage was in the middle of a forest and gear had to be hauled on a path through the woods. Just a couple gigs that I know of: Journey with guests Thin Lizzy in 1979 and Stanley Clarke with guests Starcastle in 1978.
#8 | dangerzone on February 29 2008 02:10:51
Classic video! Cannata looks especially snappy at 1.18.
#9 | gdazegod on February 29 2008 02:24:51
I think the chick in the vid looks kinda hot! Like an 80's version of Denise Richards!
#10 | gdazegod on April 11 2008 11:14:48
Interesting newsbi from about Zoldar And Clark, from Jeff Cannata.

[Quote] 'During the early seventies there was a bootleg of some of my original 4 trk.demos as well as masters, that would later become the Jasper Wrath and Cannata records as well as the Anthology 2 CD set, with James Christian on some of the lead vocals. Several of the tracks, to date, never on CD or LP.

I have decided to re-issue that material. It is a limited release, digi-pak The original LP has been seen on the internet for $578.

There are song samples I put up yesterday here -

my new video projects here
Website: [unquote]

Interesting newsbit.. esp added to all the dialog above!
#11 | Jez on June 13 2008 08:37:27
This is a fabulous release. I have heard this likened to the mighty Aldo Nova on more than a few ocassions and that is a good starting place, although I think a few of the tracks sound similar to the late great Balance, especially 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' and 'the superb 'Tragedy'. Another one of those must have releases from the 80's, so go get it if you can find it. It is getting pretty rare these days, as i think it was only released as a Jap import.
#12 | rostoned on June 28 2008 22:54:30
I never understood why they chose 'Tragedy' and 'Stars' as singles over the vastly superior, hugely melodic, catchy and infectious 'Confession' which easily wins over even the mighty Balance at their own favourite game: chart action! Yes this track is so good, I swear to God. Bad decision this one, dear Lennie (Petze, their a&r)....thumbs down
#13 | gdazegod on November 04 2010 16:09:44
YouTube Video:
#14 | trillion1999 on October 17 2011 16:04:25
POMP Masterpiece and what a fantastic cover as well.Makes me want to hear ewerything by the guys
#15 | rkbluez on July 03 2012 21:41:34
Great album...Cannata can do no wrong...this along with Balance, Airborne, Aldo Nova was some of the best melodic rock back then.

Can't wait for this classic to come out on Rock Candy.
#16 | george_the_jack on May 19 2017 00:48:31
Opening ''Stars'' is one of the greatest AOR songs from the early 80's imo. It bares similarities to Chameleon's techno-color era.
#17 | jefflynnefan on July 01 2017 20:15:48
Regarding the video for 'Tragedy' -- those are some tight fitting jeans, I think they were spray-painted on!
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