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June 14, 2012

Erin 2 Cent reviews: Engel – Blood of Saints

Brutal Tunes

engel-blood-of-saints

engel-blood-of-saints

Engel are a melodic death metal band from Gottenburg, Sweeden. The band has toured Europe with the likes of Amon Amarth and Dimmu Borgir.

I discovered Engel not long ago. They got my attention for showing up in the melodic death metal category when I was searching for new music on Spotify. Since I love MDM, I paid closer attention, got a little excited when I learnt that the lead guitarist Niclas Engelin is also the Guitarist for In Flames – I may or may not have a thing for them.

Engel’s latest album, Blood of Saints is a mixture of Dub/Industrial/Alternative/Melodic Death Metal – It’s pretty much all of them, all smushed together.

Blood of Saints isn’t about to win any award for the Most Epic Album of the Year, but it’s definitely listenable. The first song on the album, “Question your place” might leave you feeling a little bit (a lot) like you are listening to Korn’s recent experimental record The Path of Totality. For those of you metal fans out there harbouring a secret dub fetish this one will be right up your alley. No need to tell your friends, you can hide this one deep in the recesses of your iPod.

Although some songs are heavy with alternative electronics sounds, the majority stay true to their roots, and for the most part are pretty good. The album has a very In Flames feel to it – I know – who would have guessed?

“In Darkness” tends to stay more on the Metal side rather than the electronic, and for that I thank it. Lyrically, Blood of Saints is … interesting. I might have misheard, but I swear the lyrics are, “Spread your wings and ride the rainbow.” The rainbow? Really?  I’m not sure about you guys, but the very last thing I want to think about when listening to metal is riding on rainbows with unicorn friends and pixie dust. If the lyrics hadn’t let me down so bad, I’d rate this song as my favourite.

No single track on this album stands out for me and shouts “I’m fucking awesome”, mostly I’m getting a lot of “Yea, I’m OK, and catchy as all hell”. A good track which should get a look in is the title track “Blood of Saints”. No mucking around with shiny buttons and synthesizers on this song, and I’m pretty sure there is no mention of rainbows, just good old meaty riffs and double kick all the way. The lyrics are clear enough that you’ll be able to sing along with ease if you wish, and the tunes are as I said, catchy. I’ll admit I caught myself tapping my feet along to “Numb” this morning at the train station.

If you have recently started dating a girl who says she likes metal but deep down you know she would rather club it, this is the album to try converting her to the dark side. It won’t be the kind of album you’ll play on repeat for weeks on end, but it should be sufficient if you’re in need of a change. Engel doesn’t conjure too much for me emotionally or imaginarily, so unfortunately I’d be giving this one a 4/10 rating, Sorry Nicals! (If you’re reading this, I totally still love you).

If you think these guys might be for you, you can check them out on their website http://engelpropaganda.com/. Or on Myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/engelmusic They’ve also been confirmed to play for the mighty New Getaway Rock Festival alongside Manowar and others on July 6 in Gävle, Sweden. If you’re heading there go check these guys out live. They might be surprising.

Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen,

2Cent.