SURVEILLANCE – Angelstation

SURVEILLANCE - Angelstation
  • 5/10
    SURVEILLANCE - Angelstation - 5/10


Escape Music
Release date: June 23, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It is nice to know that Melodic Hard Rock and AOR are not dead. Some labels like Frontiers, MME, and Escape Music hold their banners high, while it looked like the sound had died during the 90s. Surveillance is a new band that falls into that musical category, and they have a reputation already: Lee Small, the singer, has worked with several VIPs of Melodic Rock like Glenn Hughes and Tony Martin. Additionally, Paul Hodson, known for his work with Bob Catley and Hard Rain, helps out on keyboards, and Hard Rain’s background singer Sue McCloskey contributes in the same way to this album. Guitarist Connor Emms and Drummer Daz Wootton may be known to some for their band Headspeed.

Unfortunately, the album cannot live up to such raised expectations. Okay, Lee sounds a lot like Glenn Hughes, which is very positive. His voice is the highlight of the album. Paul Hodson’s keyboards are great, too, very noticeable on “The Ghost In You.” And, there is not a single song on the album which is really bad.

On the downside there’s not a single song on the album that is really good. Every individual track is nice Melodic Hard Rock, but fails to captivate the listener. This is a difficult album to review: Every song is too good to be bashed, but in good conscience it’s tough to recommend a purchase. The songs are very predictable, and often too long, so they become boring and make you use the shift-button to get to the next track. Some good riffs like in “Truth” have to be measured against simply standard guitar work in “The Holy” and “The Ghost In You,” and it is really astonishing that the band has two guitar players and then asks Paul Hodson to add keyboards, because the expected wall of sound fails to appear. You find yourself wondering if the guitarists were alternating on the tracks, or if one of them perpetually had to make coffee during recordings. Little things like a good solo in “Mary,” a cool Black Sabbath-like bass intro in “The Primitive Soul,” or a nice drive like in “Middleman” are just not enough to make the album a must have.

The overall performance is unspectacular. You keep hoping that they would just once loosen the brake and get off the ground. Lee Small is a good session musician, and you can be sure he can sing songs directly from the music sheets without much rehearsal. Unfortunately, that is also how Angelstation sounds, as if instead of his heart, he is only into the music with his head.

If there were only this and 10 other albums in this Metal genre, a good bet would be that this would be the 6th best –- half would always be better, and half would be worse. So, you decide: It will not be a great loss if you don’t buy this release, but on the other hand, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you did too.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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