AOR Heaven [Released 27.10.14]
Angels Or Kings can trace their history back to the 1980′s UK AOR scene when they were known as A.O.K. and played supports to bands passing through their hometown of Manchester. Guitarist Tony Bell has even documented these days in his book ‘Life In The Bus Lane’. In fact it was Bell who instigated the reunion and original members Steve Kenny and Rob Naylor are also involved. They have a new vocal discovery in Barrie Jackson who has a vocal made for the AOR/melodic rock delights on this album. Drummer Andy Chemmy appears in the album although given the band promo shots only show four members I am not sure he will be playing live with the band.
The music successfully takes the listener back to those halcyon 80′s albums from the likes of FM, Shy, Virginia Wolf, Airrace and lesser lights like Tobruk and Walk In Fire. The keys of Steve Jackson are all over the immense ‘Another Lost Boy’ with a top notch vocal performance from Barrie Jackson. He’s back with Van Halen approved synths on ‘If Her Tears Could Talk’ – even the song title reeks of classic AOR folks.
They can rock it up though as can be heard on ‘Someone To Save Me’, a song with plenty of guitar bite. The same guitar crunch can be found on ‘A Harder Place’. I particularly like the guitar solos in the background of the main riff.
It may have taken twenty odd years to get to this album but it has been worth the wait. Certain to please lovers of 80′s flavoured melodic rock and like FM they add in modern touches. There is a lot of competition out there but their big selling point aside from the classy tunes, are the vocals of Barrie Jackson what a find he has been for the band. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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