The mighty Fifth Angel is proud to announce their epic fourth album, “When Angels Kill”, which will be released on June 16th, 2023, through Nuclear Blast Records. For Fifth Angel fans, and fans of melodic power metal, this album is simply a must have.
Weaving the lyrics and subject matter of the last trilogy of Fifth Angel albums into a double concept record similar to the likes of Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys”, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, or Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime”, “When Angels Kill” is all killer, and absolutely no filler.
Ken Mary (Fifth Angel drummer and producer) commented:
“‘When Angels Kill’ is actually more of a soundtrack to a movie that hasn’t been made yet. This new album combines much of the subject matter from the last three albums and weaves a compelling story. It’s very easy to visualize the ‘movie’ as you listen to this album. Overall, it’s a deep and dark story, but the subjects that the band has always written about deal with the state of mankind. Themes of media deception, war, terrorism, oppression, betrayal, natural disasters and the battle for survival are all woven in. We even reference many of the previous albums song titles in the new lyrics, which to my knowledge has not been done before in a concept album. We hope the fans will feel that this album is something very special”!
The story of “When Angels Kill” begins in the future, when Phoenix, a young man caught in a world undergoing enormous changes, determines that the cunning, deceptive, and ruthless global leader that is enslaving billions will not subjugate him. Although it seems pointless and even fatal to resist, Phoenix joins a remnant of people that fight on for a better world. Traitorous love, catastrophic events, isolation, and impending doom darken his days, but Phoenix somehow retains his will to survive. The story concludes with a surprise ending.
“When Angels Kill” will be available in the following formats:
• Gatefold 2LP (Transparent Red)
• Gatefold 2LP (Sky Blue)
• Digital Album
Pre-order & pre-save “When Angels Kill” here.
01. Descent Into Darkness
02. When Angels Kill
03. Resist the Tyrant
04. On Wings of Steel
05. We Are Immortal
06. Empire of Hate
07. Run to the Black
08. Seven Angels
09. Blinded and Bleeding
10. Kill the Pain
11. Five Days to Madness
12. Ashes to Ashes
13. The End of Everything
14. Light the Skies
The Seattle music scene in the mid 1980’s was a breeding ground of exceptional talent. Heavy metal was a new wave of music that was sweeping the globe, and Fifth Angel is one of the forefathers of the legendary Seattle metal scene that produced iconic metal bands such as Queensryche and Metal Church.
In 1984, school friends Ted Pilot (vocalist), Ed Archer (guitarist) and drummer Ken Mary (Alice Cooper, Flotsam and Jetsam, House of Lords) joined forces with lead guitarist James Byrd and bassist John Macko. Inspired by the success of Queensryche, who shunned playing clubs for the sake of writing, recording and releasing their own music independently, Fifth Angel chose a similar path. They focused on honing their writing and recording skills, crafting the incredible debut album “Fifth Angel”, which today stands as a metal classic that has influenced countless bands.
Co-produced with famed music producer Terry Date, (Pantera, Soundgarden, White Zombie), “Fifth Angel” was Date’s first ever production. The album, recorded at Steve Lawson studios in Seattle and first released in the United States on Shrapnel Records, was distributed in Europe through a fledgling label named RoadRunner Records based in the Netherlands. The album quickly became a cult classic in the European metal community, charting higher than many major label releases.
Epic Records caught wind of the band, and were so impressed with “Fifth Angel” they signed the band to a seven album, $21 million dollar deal. Re-mastering the recording and re-releasing the album with new artwork, Epic unveiled Fifth Angel to a worldwide audience in 1988.
The band received rave reviews, and was touted in the press as the “next big thing” in all the major metal magazines of the day, including Hit Parader, Kerrang!, RIP, Metal Edge, Metal Forces and many others. Kerrang! went as far as attaching a flexidisc of the band’s music onto their cover, and giving the center fold out of the magazine to the band as well.
In late 1988, the band entered the studio once again, this time with producer Terry Brown (Rush). Epic Records released “Time Will Tell” by Fifth Angel in August of 1989. “Time Will Tell” saw the departure of lead guitarist James Byrd, and the introduction of guitar prodigy Kendall Bechtel. The video for “Time Will Tell” was released from the album, and went into rotation on MTV. An additional single from the album, “Midnight Love”, became the theme song for shock jock Howard Stern’s #1 ranked US radio show for over four years.
However, the winds of change were beginning to stir over the music industry, and when grunge music hit the US music market hard in the early 90’s, (music that ironically was based out of Seattle as well), Fifth Angel disbanded. But that’s not the end of the story…
Fifth Angel was invited to headline the Keep It True festival in Germany in 2010. The reception was incredible, with the sold out crowd singing the lyrics to every song. This positive momentum planted the seeds for a new album.
Finally, several of the members began writing and recording together, and the collective enthusiasm was very strong over the music that was created. Nuclear Blast signed the band to a new recording contract based on a three-song demo that was submitted in 2017, and in the fall of 2018 Fifth Angel released their first new album in nearly 30 years, “The Third Secret”.
The album featured the incredible talents of Kendall Bechtel, Ken Mary and John Macko. Original guitarist Ed Archer soon returned, and along with two new members, Steve Carlson on lead vocals and Ethan Brosh on lead guitar, the lineup was completed after an unexpected departure at the end of 2018 by Bechtel.
“The Third Secret” topped the charts on Deaf Forever (DE), Rock Hard (DE) and numerous other international magazines, and brought the group back on the charts. In 2019, the band returned to the festival stages, headlining the Metal Assault festival in Würzburg, Germany, and then appearing at the Rock Hard and Alcatraz festivals in the Summer of that year.
Fifth Angel will appear this spring at the Keep It True festival once again with the current lineup, and will also perform at Alcatraz (BE) later in August 2023.
Steve Carlson – Vocals
Ken Mary – Drums
John Macko – Bass
Ed Archer – Guitars
Steve Conley – Guitars
Jim Dofka – Lead Guitars