ANGEL MARTYR – Black Book: Chapter One

ANGEL MARTYR - Black Book: Chapter One
  • 7.5/10
    ANGEL MARTYR - Black Book: Chapter One - 7.5/10


Iron Shield Records
Release date: March 17, 2017

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Italian power trio Angel Martyr delivers a faithful, satisfying slab of NWOBHM-ish sound with their first full-length album Black Book: Chapter One, complete with soaring, high-register vocals, dexterous riffery, and rapid, double-bass fueled rhythm. Angel Martyr has great reverence for the heroes of Heavy Metal and that reverence comes through on every song. There are touches of Angel Witch, Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Helloween, and a host of others on Black Book; bassist Dario Rosten even channels Lemmy on “Victims”.

Despite a clear attempt to keep the faith, the album isn’t without missteps. Album opener “Obsequies” has a spoken word exchange that sounds like a deleted outtake from King Diamond’s Them. “Obsequies” leads into “They…Are Among Us”, a good song not improved by another spoken word overdub. The press-gang vocal chorus on “Eric The Conqueror” initially sounds goofy and out of place. Tiziano Sbaragl’s voice is occasionally strident, but he also unleashes a couple impressive screams so the few lapses are easy to forgive.

Whatever the flaws, much respect is due the band for taking some creative risks with their otherwise well-trodden material. Sometimes the risks pay off in a big way, like opening and closing the driving war anthem and drummer Francesco Tadde’s showpiece “On The Divine Battlefield” with bagpipes. The songs are long but never dull. Strong, sharp beginnings and instrumental breaks with alternating (but mostly fast) tempos that manage to sound inventive yet familiar make Black Book an enjoyable experience that only improves with repeated listening.



  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.