Shannon – Angel In Disguise (2008, Artist Service)
- Do You Know?
- Hungry For Love
- No More Lies
- Keep On Rolling
- No Better Times
- On And On
- Love In Your Eyes
- Long Gone
- Winter Night
- Coming Back To You
- Hang On
- Change Your Heart
- Road Of Desire
Olivier Del Valle – vocals
Patrice Louis – guitars
Nicolas Fixy – bass
Benjamin Bergerolle – drums
Thierry Dagnicourt – keyboards
Renuad Hantson – duet (6) and background vocals (3)
Gianni Pontillo – background vocals (5)
Ben Venet – background vocals (1,2 & 5)
Bruno Levesque – background vocals (1,2 & 5)
Jens Walkenhorst – background vocals (1,2 & 5)
Ben Sotto – background vocals (9)
Joel “JoeHell” Jusmet – background vocals (7 & 8)
Produced by: Shannon
Total Time = 57:49
French melodic rockers Shannon released ANGEL IN DISGUISE, their second proper album and third release, earlier in the year and here I am getting around to it now. Bad move on my part because I wasted a few good months of listening pleasure with this solid Hard Rock album. Shannon plays Melodic Hard Rock that is influenced by the late ’80s/early ’90s U.S. scene but there is also a Euro-Metal influence running through the record that makes it heavier.
I was hooked right away by the opening track ‘Do You Know?’ and I instantly knew that I would enjoy the whole record. The guitar is central to the sound with the keyboards enhancing the sound rather than overwhelming it and there is some cool double bass drumming. Olivier Del Valle’s vocals are soaring and I immeadiately compare him to Axe’s Bob Harris, Klaus Meine, Ted poley (Danger Danger), and Krokus’ Marc Storace. An interesting mix of vocal styles, the Meine and Storace comparison coming from an accent standpoint (Del Valle’s French accent is prominent but not distracting) especially when they used their higher register. One of the thing that a melodic band must do is have a solid opening number, ‘Do You Know?’ is just that, but what is even harder is to take it up a notch on the second song to solidify the listener. ‘Hungry For Love’ is another catchy, melodic Metal song with more heavy guitarwork and a thumping bassline that gets the foot tapping. Listen to those big multi-tracked background vocals, that’s what’s missing from some of the more popular bands’ releases lately, they give the song that larger than life feel.
‘No More Lies’ and ‘Keep On Rolling’ are more of the same driving Hard Rock, very similar to the first two songs, but ‘No Better Times’ has an opening guitar that has a tone that sounds like Krokus, who sound like AC/DC. It’s more of a boogie woogie feel with keyboards but not as straight forward as early Krokus but more along THE BLITZ/CHANGE OF ADDRESS era. ‘On And On’ is a keyboard laden power ballad that channels pure AOR pomp along the likes of Journey and includes a vocal contribution from Renaud Hantson of Furious Zoo. ‘Love In Your Eyes’ continues the ’80s Hard Rock feast as does ‘Long Gone’, a song that sounds like it came straight from Axe’s FIVE album from 1997. ‘Long Gone’ has an excellent guitar solo and soaring vocals to go along with the melodic hooks that are all over the album. ‘Winter Night’ is a Euro Power Metal song with a solid riff and a big chorus and ‘Coming Back To You’ slows down to a little to a heavy ’80s groove. ‘Hang On’ has the big guitar and drum sound and Del Valle hits all the highs while ‘Change Your Heart’ and ‘Road Of Desire’ continue the melodic anthemic rock. ‘Road Of Desire’ sticking out for it’s exotic tone and it’s AOR sound that reminds of Asia with the keyboards to an extent.
It’s very rare to find a melodic Metal album that is full of great songs, usually there is one or two songs that are plain filler. Shannon has succeeded in creating an album with 13 heavy melodic tracks that are musically filled with talented performers. The band is obviously tight and performs extremely well, the result of the band’s 10 year tenure on the scene. Production is excellent, everything is crystal clear and balanced well in the mix. I really can’t find anything wrong with the record but I am surprised that only one proper ballad (‘On And On’) is included. I would have bet that there would be 2, even maybe 3, ballads on the album because the kind of music Shannon plays makes great power ballads. I think the band might have decided to stay heavy to compete with all the heavier bands in the European market but that’s just a small complaint. I’m not normally a ballad kind of guy but I wouldn’t mind hearing Shannon do another. This is such a good release that any fan of Melodic Hard Rock/metal should check this album out, highly recommended.
Favorite songs: ‘Do You Know?’, ‘Hungry For Love’, ‘No More Lies’, ‘Long Gone’, ‘Winter Night’