Posted by Metal Divas
The gates of Hell are open and As Angels Bleed are storming out taking no prisoners with their superb Vampiric/Gothic metal! To tell you I am impressed would honestly be an understatement. I am in awe. Sydney (AUS) based duo Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray is the haunted force behind As Angels Bleed. Make sure you remember that name as they will definitely be on the frontline of all things Vampire/Gothic metal in the future.
Two years in production and As Angels Bleed released their self-titled debut album in early 2013. People who are already familiar with the works of Vampire-inspired, Gothic artist Avelina De Moray can imagine the sounds of As Angels Bleed. For all newcomers, get ready to be very pleasantly surprised. To make a long story short, just think of temptation and seduction dressed in a pompous, theatrical atmosphere with thousands of hellions luring you into sonorous vice.
That’s exactly what stays in mind with As Angels Bleed as a whole, the predominant sinfully atmosphere under the veils of darkness and nocturnal ecstasy. It’s not just the heavy-duty guitar riffs, the prodigious vocals and charming keyboards but the way all of the above blend together and create clairvoyant and marvelous compositions. The subsistence of church bells, choir psalms and whispers throughout the record abet the band in establishing a cryptic, occult-like sensation which is strongly amplified by the Vampiric martyr Avelina De Moray herself.
The opener “Sinfully Yours” will captivate your soul, thanks to the sacrilegious voices of The Choir of the Dammed and Von Lehmann’s tight guitar riffs in combination with Avelina’s irresistible voice which is a perfect intro to “Desire“, one of the highlights of the album. “Let me show you what death tastes like” says Avelina in a bare, lascivious way disarming your senses in the blink of an eye leaving you helpless but to adore her dazzling vocal hymns. The melodies in As Angels Bleed are immense, endless and stay in memory for what it seems eternal. Exceptional Gothic harmonies and Vampiric themes are the trademarks of this band and something that I am sure many will try to clone in the future.
“I Drown” follows next with church bells opening this Gothic metal anthem which is the first power ballad of the record and one the best songs on the album. This song has a definite radio-friendly vibe without compromising or being mainstream for the masses. It feels as if it has been carefully chosen to lure the listener into the Vampiric world of As Angels Bleed. “Driven To Flames” speeds up the tempo, featuring some very nice growl male vocals in barter with Avelina’s lead voice. “Lumiere” slow things down again and make for a very emotional track of one pursuing love. The Choir of the Dammed still present to devise the nebulous atmosphere we have been listening all along.
“A Love Worth Dying For” is next, a song that questions what would we sacrifice for love. Avelina’s stunning vocals once again steal the show in combination with more of the growl male voices in the background. My personal favorite follows next, “Carfax Abbey” – just an amazing tune. Avelina’s vocal melodies in this one are exceptionally melancholic, nostalgic and eerie while at the same time The Hells Gate Symphonic Orchestra forges a delicate and graceful atmosphere. “Bloody Kisses” kicks in and it sounds as if the band specifically wrote this song to be performed in big arenas by thousands of screaming fans. Still in Gothic paths but with an almost Doom-like grief and affection.
The last song on the record is called “Beautifully Decayed” and it’s a little over 10 minutes long, perhaps a bit too much for my taste but nevertheless a solid composition. Avelina De Moray shines once again and the entire track has a Tristania/Draconian remorse. In general As Angels Bleed awaken memories of bands such as Lacuna Coil, The 69 Eyes and Within Temptation, even HolyHell in times, but without being a mime. In fact, for a self-released debut album As Angels Bleed manage to develop their own sound and that’s quite admirable.
Overall As Angels Bleed is an original and well produced album, which makes for an exquisite first introduction of the band. Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray possess genuine talent which are capable of transforming into magnificent compositions. Most definitely one of the best Gothic metal albums of the year and by far superior of what many new bands release nowadays. Avelina delivers a vocal performance that many well known singers would wish to execute and that alone is a reason to buy As Angels Bleed. I hope they get signed by a major record label soon and get the support and recognition they deserve.
RATING: 8.5 / 10
“As Angels Bleed” – Track list:
01. Sinfully Yours
03. I Drown
04. Driven To Flames
06. A Love Worth Dying For
07. Carfax Abbey
08. Bloody Kisses
09. Beautifully Decayed
As Angels Bleed is:
Avelina De Moray – Vocals
Von Lehmann – Guitars
Frank Macri – Drums
Jack Savage – Bass