ANGEL – Once Upon A Time

ANGEL - Once Upon A Time album cover art
  • 6.4/10
    ANGEL - Once Upon A Time - 6.4/10


Label: Cleopatra Records
Release date: April 21, 2023

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Music historians will remember back in the 1970s when Casablanca Records gave us the antithesis of Kiss, complete opposites in almost every respect right down to the pure white costumes, androgynous look, and un-offending lyrical content. The band was called Angel, and they were literally discovered by Gene Simmons, and brought in to capture the market that Kiss couldn’t. Angel broke up in 1981, and recently came back together with founding members Frank DiMino and Punky Meadows at the helm to release 2019’s Risen to good reviews. Four years later, and the band is back with their new album Once Upon A Time on Cleopatra Records.

About the Album

The band is hitting on all mediums as you can get the album on CD, vinyl, cassettes, as well as digital downloads. Remember when CDs came out and we rejoiced at longer albums? That holds true for Angel fans here with eleven new songs on vinyl or cassette, but the CD gives you three more songs to complete your Angel experience.

When asked about the new album, Punky Meadows states: “We are super excited by the release of the new album. We had a blast recording it, and the band is cookin’! It has everything ANGEL fans expect – epic songs, Power Pop, Heavy Rock n’ Roll, and it’s also deep with lots of surprises! Can’t wait for our fans to lay their ears on it!” Guitarist Danny Farrow adds: “The new album kicks ass and I hope the fans love it. It is very diverse and has all the elements of the ANGEL sound and more. The band really worked hard to make it great and an album we can all be proud of!”

Final Notes

45 years after their debut on Casablanca, and not a lot has changed for Angel. The band still sports their white costumes, still plays a kind of milk-toast Hard Rock that feels like it’s trying not to offend anyone, and still lacks the punch and drama their songs sorely need. Though the musicians are all technically very solid, the combined efforts falls short of what could be a really good band. Frank DiMino has a really good voice, Punky meadows is an excellent guitarist, and the rest of the team are all top notch musicians. Why then does the record fail to create any excitement? Songs like like “Liar, Liar” for one play a part, as it has a more annoying than catchy chorus “Liar, Liar, hearts on fire.” All of that said, it still is well made album that should appeal to some Hard Rock fans. If you like well produced but a bit cliché Hard Rock bands like Poison, or you’re an Angel fan, you may really enjoy this record.

Angel band collage photo spread


  • Frank DiMino – lead vocals
  • Punky Meadows – guitars
  • Danny Farrow – rhythm guitars
  • Steve Ojane – bass
  • Charlie Calv – keyboards
  • Billy Orrico – drums

Once Upon A Time – Tracklist

  1. The Torch
  2. Black Moon Rising
  3. It’s Alright
  4. Once Upon A Time An Angel And A Devil Fell In Love (And It Did Not End Well)
  5. Let It Rain
  6. Psyclone
  7. Blood Of My Blood, Bone Of My Bone
  8. Turn The Record Over
  9. Rock Star
  10. Without You
  11. Liar Liar

Bonus tracks (CD only):

  1. Daddy’s Girl
  2. C’mon
  3. Let The Kid Out


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

    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.