Appearing in late 2011 with a live set stuffed full of balls out tunes and a ferocious live presence, Second Rate Angels didn’t waste any time in getting stuck into the UK metal scene.
The Lost Days is the début EP following a busy year packed with high profile shows and festival appearances, but does it capture the intensity of the live show?
I first caught Second Rate Angels at the Reading M2TM Final 2013 where they put on an absolutely blinding show and smashed their way to victory over some seriously talented bands. Its really not hard to see why either. This is a band that loves what they are doing.
They are a serious force to be reckoned with on stage, utterly compelling to watch and tighter then a fleas ring piece. Their tracks lend themselves beautifully to the live environment, elegantly flowing back and forth between catchy melody and adrenaline pumping fury, everything happening when and where you want it to.
Trying to capture that sound on record is the bane of most performers existence. You can have a fantastically polished live act but getting your music recorded adequately isn’t exactly a straight forward process, especially when you’re not being backed by a label.
Second Rate Angels did what I would consider to be the smart thing, they wrote a set of fantastic tunes and then took them out on the road, gigged the shit out of them and refined their sound while gaining invaluable experience and getting their name out there. The Lost Days is a great example of how well this works.
Kicking off with a great big meaty riff and running straight into a Metallica inspired thrash/rock (throck?) gallop. Give It A Name is a great opener in as much as it shows you what you can expect from these guys for the next few songs. Memorable and instantly catchy passages that will bury themselves into your consciousness and have you humming them for the following week.
One of the first few things that hit me was how amazing Dave Gobran’s vocals are. It’s a rare thing to be so competent with both clean vocals as well as the heavier stuff but this guy smashes it no problem. On top of this is how well they mix with what’s happening musically, nothing about these songs feels forced or contrived. Black Ice captures a modern punk inspired sound while still having those classic metal refrains slyly spattered throughout, while the title track Lost Days has possibly the most memorable chorus ever written.
Throughout the entire EP, every member of the band delivers. There’s nothing on The Lost Days that smacks of cheap or rushed, its a beautifully well crafted release made by musicians who clearly love what they are doing.
There’s nothing particularly ground breaking about The Lost Days in terms of genre or pushing the boundaries. There are some subtle nods to old school heavy legends such as Iron Maiden when it comes to the song writing and guitar work on offer, the lead work is especially stand out if you are a fan of classic metal and the way its blended into the other stuff happening here is brilliant.
If you like melodic metal and rock then you will definitely need to give this EP a listen. The beauty of having such a polished and genre spanning sound is the ability to experiment with those genres in the future as well as being able to mix it up live with a whole host of other bands from different backgrounds. Safe to say I’m looking forward to seeing what Second Rate Angels do next!
There is little in the way of cut throat brutality here. This isn’t technical death metal so anyone expecting to hear something horrifyingly heavy will most likely want to give this a miss.
If however, your taste runs to bands like Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium then you are going to be listening to The Lost Days indefinitely. And when not listening to it, you can be damn well sure you’ll be singing along to it in your head!
Confident, well crafted and utterly engaging. The Lost Days is a very promising sign of things to come!