Deko Entertainment [Release date 23.10.20]
Since Mark Mangold brought back American Tears in 2018 they are now onto this, their third album – the sixth in the band’s history. This latest, ‘Free Angel Express’ features Alex Landenburg (Stratovarius, Kamelot, Rhapsody) on drums, with guest appearances by Barry Sparks (UFO, Dokken), Doug Howard (Touch, Utopia, Edgar Winter Band) and Charlie Calv (Angel, Shotgun Symphony).
The lead tracks of the album ‘Sledgehammered’ and ‘Woke’ are both unsurprisingly the most instant songs. ‘Sledgehammered’ in particular roars out of the speakers with plenty of keyboards.
‘Can’t Get Satisfied’ is an enjoyable melodic rocker and like the whole album, has a 70s feel due to the authentic instruments from that time used to record the music.
For a Vangelis meets ELP wig out look no further than the epic ‘Free Angel Express/Resist/Outta Here’. Mark Mangold throws everything into this one it seems keys/synths/organ wise, yet it still keeps on a strong melodic path.
‘Blue Rondo’ may be familiar to many music fans – a jazz standard composed by Dave Brubeck. Here Mark Mangold spars his organ playing off the drums of Alex Landenburg. Listen out for the smooth jazz break midway through, classy.
American Tears is a different musical beast to the other bands he is associated with, namely Touch (who have a new album in the works), the Sign and Drive, She Said. All the better for it as he really gets to show off his undoubted keyboard skills. Pomp up the volume! ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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