Holland’s Angelic Forces have finally released a full length album, Arise, sure to please Stryper fans and those looking for an updated version of late 80’s metal.
With roots dating back to 2015, and an ep released in 2018, it has been a long road for Angelic Forces to release a full length album. Originally the band formed from ex-Methusalem members Wilco van der Meij (bass) and Harold de Vries (guitars) bringing in drummer Rudie Kingma and Maurice Glijsman (ex-L.S.D) as a second guitarist. This lineup created the independently released three song ep. In the time since the ep the band shared stages with the likes of Leviticus, War of Ages, Tygers of Pan Tang as well as being in festivals featuring Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Pestilence, and King Diamond, some of which are diametrically opposed in messaging to the Christian one of Angelic Forces. During the pandemic, the band started work on Arise which was recorded at Audioshape studio and features new bassist Tjaard Walstra.
In general, for those who grew up in the late 80s as metalheads, Angelic Forces will sound very familiar. Given the Christian message, sound, and especially the vocals and twin guitars, comparisons to Stryper are inevitable, but there are elements from other bands of the time like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and I can’t help but hear some Mike Tramp (White Lion) in Harold de Vries vocals. Production is good and clean with vocals coming through clear alongside the instruments but to my ear there does seem to be a bit of an echo that keeps the sound from being as bright as I would have liked.