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Archangel The Akallabeth album cover
2.92 | 20 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gift of Love (07:07)
2. The Forbidding (05:08)
3. Shades of Númenor (05:03)
4. See Myself in You (04:13)
5. Rings of Power (04:02)
6. Raise the Sword (03:24)
7. Power Within (05:00)
8. The Faithful and the Faithless Ones (05:19)
9. Red Clouds War (06:24)
10.The Downfallen (09:43)
11.Lidless Eye (04:12)
12.The Price (06:54)

Line-up / Musicians

Gabriele Dario Manzini / Piano, Hammond, Mellotron, Synth, Stun Guitar

Guest Musicians:
Damian Wilson / Vocals
Zachary Stevens / Vocals
Ted Leonard / Vocals
Gianluigi Girardi / Vocals
Francesca "Elayne" Naccarelli / Vocals
Mario Moi / Vocals
Stefano Mancarella / Guitar
Ettore Salati / Guitar
Alessandro Dovi / Guitar
Gualtiero "Wego" Gorreri / Bass
Emiliano Laglia / Bass
Marco Schembri / Bass
Davide Martinelli / Drums
Alessandro Di Caprio / Drums

Releases information

Released by AMS as AMS159CD

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ARCHANGEL The Akallabeth ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ARCHANGEL The Akallabeth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Akallabeth is the first venture by Italian project band Archangel, and all diehard Tolkien fans should be aware that it is a concept album - based on the fall of Numenor from Silmarillion, unless I'm much mistaken. For me this is probably the most interesting aspect of this production as well though, as the musical contents with a few notable exceptions left me rather cold.

Most of the tracks here are constructed in a very similar pattern: Mellow symphonic or symphonic-tinged passages are contrasted by harder hitting sequences from various parts of the hard rock musical family, usually with 2 or 3 segments of each stylistic expression within each composition. The gentler parts range from new age tinged atmospheric ventures to Genesis light in expression, while the harder hitting ones range from generic hard rock and AOR in style to excursions inspired by more sophisticated artists like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Eloy.

Sadly, at least in my ears, it's not that well made. The compositions generally come across as cliched, and while the various forms of keyboards and synths utilized can at times be highly intriguing and generally of good quality, the drums are mechanical and onedimensional, the guitar primitive in sound and at times also in performance in my view. The lead vocals are a mixed bunch as well - at best good but also with overly dramatic and slightly out of tune performances. Power Within representing the latter to perfection in my opinion.

A few decent efforts pop up now and then though, and on the almost epic length creation The Downfallen, all the pieces assembles almost perfectly. A nicely evolving and changing venture, the most sophisticated effort on this album by far and also the track with the best lead vocals. Too bad about the lyrics though.

While the writings of Tolkien are the inspiration behind this production, the lyrics are pretty far removed from the quality of his books. Cliche is a word quite fitting to most of the lyrical content here, with Manowar as a clear and distinct reference, most notaly in the energetic folk-goes symphonic-goes hard rock effort Raise the Sword, but also very much present in most of the other compositions here.

When that is said - those fond of the melodramatic and akin to like the less sophisticated parts of the progressive realsm might find this stuff to be rather interesting. And will probably be the major potential buying audience for this effort - alongside truly dedicated fans of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Archangel is the moniker used by Italian keyboardist Gabriele Manzini.His career started in late-90's as a founding member of Ubi Maior, while he also spent time as a member of The Watch, playing on ''The Ghost'' album and touring with the group all over Europe as well as in Central America.Around the time of Ubi Maior's second album, in 2009, he also released his first album ''The Akallabeth'' on AMS, inspired by the eponymous chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien's ''The Silmarillion''.His guest list is quite impressive: Ettore Salati (guitar) and Marco Schembri (bass) from The Watch, Stefano Mancarella (guitar), Gualtiero Gorreri (bass), Alessandro Di Caprio (drums) and Mario Moi (vocals) from his own band Ubi Maior, Francesca Naccarelli on female voices from Dunwich, as well as Emiliano Laglia on bass, Davide Martinelli on drums and Alessandro Dovi on guitars.But the star members appear in the vocal section: Threshold's and ex-Landmarq's Damian Wilson, Enchant's and Spock's Beard's Ted Leonard, Zachary Stevens of Savatage fame and the Prog Metal vocalist Gianluigi Girardi.

Musically ''The Akallabeth'' lies at the Neo Prog side of Progressive Rock, quite different from the deeply symphonic sound of Manzini's Ubi Maior, and sounding a lot like SHADOWLAND, LANDMARQ and CASINO, that means there are also some light AOR vibes throughout, although the prog tendencies are the major driving forces of the album.Often regarded as a Rock Opera, the album lacks the depth and extreme maturity of the best albums of the style, while no Folk elements or external acoustic textures appear in the album, despite the fact that the chosen concept serves fairly these kind of additions.On the other hand ''The Akallabeth'' offers some great tracks with amazing keyboard parts, refined melodies and orchestral and quite cinematic themes.The experienced line-up of singers guarantees impressive performances behind the microphone, I really can't find a weak performance related to the vocal parts of the album.Guitars are also nice with interesting leads, heavy groovy parts and melodious solos.The musicianship is pretty solid, the arrangements rich and tight and the combination of lyrical passages with passionate instrumental lines is definitely efficient.Although the keyboards' king are the synthesizers in here, there are also doses of organ and Mellotron added for good measure.No complex ideas or sudden breaks, this album offers well-crafted keyboard-driven Progressive Rock with decent tracks from the start to the very end.

Questions rise about fitting this kind of concept with an overall Neo Prog attitude.However the great music is the leading factor of purchasing an album and Archangel's ''The Akallabeth'' contains plenty of it.Warmly recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This was the first solo album by keyboard player Gabriele Manzini who joined The Watch between 2000 and 2005. Then he became a member of Ubi Maior that released their excellent second album Senza Tempo in 2009. Gabriele has invited well-known singers as Damian Wilson (Threshold, Landmarq, Ayreon ... (read more)

Report this review (#1931978) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars At last! Finally I've managed to put my hands on this CD. You won't be disappointed. "The Akallabeth" is a tasty selection of songs spanning more that 60 minutes. 12 tracks which tell the story of the Fall of Numenor, one of the chapters of "The Silmarillion" by professor J.R.R. Tolkien. The sty ... (read more)

Report this review (#255574) | Posted by jack bauer | Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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