Back in 2014, bassist Wilco van der Meij left the band Methusalem and felt drawn to start another band, this time with former Methusalem guitarist Harold de Vries and drummer Rudie Kingma. Along the way, the band added Maurice Gijsman (ex-L.S.D.) as a second guitarist and the lineup was set. In June of 2016 the band recorded their first single and has been playing shows and recording off and on since then.
Opening up with a guitar harmony riff and then trading some short solos over a galloping bass and drum line is a great way to open up and ep and Angelic Forces pull out all the stops on “Thunder and Lightning”. This is late 80’s metal with an updated feel. Harold de Vries vocals remind me a lot of Phil Mogg’s on “Lights Out” by UFO except Harold occasionally hits the really high register. This song has it all including the guitar solos one would expect with the harmonies and also a chance to shout “METAL” along with the band. Just a great song overall.
“Never Fade” opens up much the same, this time however, the vocals spend a bit too much time in the higher register for my liking, but that’s a personal taste that for me does go back to the 80’s metal. The gang vocals and vocals in general are bit too pronounced in this mix for my liking but again there are some awesome guitar solos in the song that saves it.
The title track “Angelic Forces” opens up with a majestic riff and rhythm before accelerating rapidly, highlighting Rudie Kingma’s drum work. Great riffs abound in the song and the vocals return more to the style first heard in “Thunder and Lightning’. This again is just some great melodic metal. The performances on the ep are excellent and the production/mixing are at the right level for the music, clean enough for everything to be clear but still with a bit a grit and edge to the overall sound. Musically, the band hits all the right notes literally and figuratively, with these songs and they have that large feel to them. Fans of the harder melodic 80’s metal will not want to miss out on this. One can only hope they have enough material for a full length as that would undoubtedly make top album lists everywhere if they can produce an albums’ worth of material at this level.
Written by John Jackson
1. Thunder and Lightning
2. Never Fade
3. Angelic Forces
Harold de Vries – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Maurice Gijsman – Guitar/Vocals
Wilco van der Meij – Bass/Vocals
Rudie Kingma – Drums
Record Label: Independent, March 2018
Interview with Maurice Gijsman (March 2018)