album reviews‎ > ‎

Rage Of Angels – ‘The Devils New Tricks’

posted 17 Mar 2016, 05:50 by Paul Woodward

(Escape Music)

Review by Woody

Ex-Ten and current Tyketto keyboardist Ged Rylands returns with his own band Rage Of Angels with this second album The Devil’s New Tricks. On the debut album Ged worked with a couple of singers but this time around he works with one singer, Rob Moratti. I think this was a wise choice by Ged, not just because Moratti is an outstanding vocalist but also because it gives the album more of a band feel. I loved the debut album and I’m not knocking it but the mixture of vocalists did make it feel a little project like at times. I’ve seen ROA live and I could sense that Ged always wanted ROA to be a band and not a project for him to release his own songs to the world through so bringing Moratti in as their sole singer helps push that.

I think The Devil’s New Tricks is a stronger album than the debut on many levels and whilst I still love the debut Ged has really kicked it up another notch here. The production seems a lot slicker, smoother and it makes the songs shine that little bit more. The songs themselves are far more instant and commercial, I may be wrong here but I think this may be to do with these songs all been written in a closer timeframe which not only makes the album as a whole more cohesive but Ged’s song writing at the time obviously has a strong commercial flow. With the debut I felt it was far more diverse and it may have been because Ged had pulled together songs from a long period of time when he wasn’t active in the music scene but still writing. That’s not a knock to either album but it gives them each their own strengths, flavours and appeal.

Fans of melodic rock and AOR in general should love this album as it really does tick all the right boxes for fans of the genre, memorable choruses, copious amounts of vocal harmonies, atmospheric Keyboards and a slick guitar crunch to give the songs some power. I really enjoy Moratti’s vocal performance throughout and I think his style really suits Ged’s current writing style so I hope his tenure with the band is a long lasting one.

Ged’s not going to win any awards for his for his lyric’s but he does make them easily relatable which to me is far more important as connecting with songs is what makes them stick with you. I do like his UFO (the band!) inspired lyrics to ‘Strangers in The Night’. The album as a whole is extremely catchy but cherry picking a few personal favourites to highlight the band at it’s most instantly enjoyable include ‘I Feel It In My Heart’ which is and AOR classic waiting to be embraced! ‘In and Out Of Love’ with its infectious groove and chorus, the killer keyboards on ‘Love Will Never Die’ make It a song I find myself putting on repeat frequently. And if the epic opening track ‘R.O.A’ chorus doesn’t get stuck in your head nothing will!

Ged is a multi-instrumentalist and his song writing neglects no aspect or instrument but I do feel this album is defined by the Keyboards and they play a big part in the feeling and flow of the songs. The guitars are not light weight they give the songs their power and a rock edge, but the keyboards drive the mood and atmospherics of the songs.

A fantastic album and Ged’s song writing is on top form it’s a great collection of atmospheric melodic rock with huge smooth melodies. I think The Devil’s New Tricks massive smooth choruses make it really stand out amongst the current crop of melodic rock releases and should please a lot of genre fans immensely!

Track Listing: R.O.A / All Your Own Way / The Devil’s New Tricks / One Step Closer / Strangers In The Night / Love Will Never Die / In and Out Love / I Feel It In My Heart / Stop Changing The TV / Long Days Without You

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: I Feel It In My Heart