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David Mark Pearce - "Strange Ang3ls" (CD)

David Mark Pearce - "Strange Ang3ls" CD cover image

"Strange Ang3ls" track listing:

1. Ang3ls (Help Us)
2. Alone I Cry
3. Shelter Me From The Rain
4. Tell Me Why
5. Every Time It Rains (Instrumental)
6. Strange Ang3ls
7. Save Your Prayers
8. Eden Is Burning
9. To Live Again
10. So Far From Heaven

Reviewed by on June 19, 2012

"The foot tapping infectious melodies and stunning musicianship demand attention from hard rock/AOR and progressive metal fans who would appreciate quality rock ‘n’ roll from this highly enjoyable release."

Traveling the road from hard rock to extreme metal has many twists and turns. If you picture AOR rock to the left and extreme metal to the right (no political insinuation intended), the bulk of my musical attention sags somewhere to the right of center. Having interests that span that entire spectrum, it is a refreshing feeling to explore that extreme left and bask in pure tried and true rock ‘n’ roll every once in a while. With all of the rock reunions happening in recent years, it’s easy to miss a new diamond in the rough. If you are looking for some great AOR/hard rock acts, you would do well to expand from the typical and check out newer acts like Sunstorm (w/Joe Lynn Turner), Neonfly, Optimystical, Elevener and David Mark Pearce. His debut full length solo release “Strange Ang3ls” could easily raise the eyebrows of fans of the genre.

For those unfamiliar, David Mark Pearce is an extremely talented guitar player from the U.K. who plays with the Oliver Wakeman Band (Yes). On “Strange Ang3ls,” Pearce is able to showcase his true talent of pure rock with blistering, but beautiful solo work. The songs are pure positive energy and the infectious melodies remain in your head for days, especially “Shelter Me from the Rain,” “Tell Me Why,” “Eden is Burning,” and “Strange Ang3ls” (the latter of which has a distinct Foreigner feel). It is very rare when an instrumental song catches my fancy, but “Every Time it Rains” is majestic and Pearce’s solos sing better than a vocalist would.

No one can question the choice of musicians on this album. Pearce managed to pluck out some amazing musicians for a star studded cast. Vocals are handled both by the versatile and mighty Swede Göran Edman (Vindictiv/Brazon Abbot/Time Requiem) and the powerful John Payne (Asia/Roswell Six) (who also provided guest vocals for Swiss symphonic metal band Lunatica). The duo provides brilliant performances along with Vindictiv drummer Mikael Wikman, bassist C.S. Brown, and keyboardist Lisa LaRue.

“Strange Ang3ls” is a refreshing shower of positive energy that is needed to wash away some of the negative surrounding hard music. The foot tapping infectious melodies and stunning musicianship demand attention from hard rock/AOR and progressive metal fans who would appreciate quality rock ‘n’ roll from this highly enjoyable release.

Highs: Highly enjoyable and memorable hard rock.

Lows: This form of music is a little lighter than most fans of metal can handle.

Bottom line: Hard rockin' AOR from David Mark Pearce will have you seeing "Strange Ang3ls"

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)