1982 ARKANGEL unleashed their 2nd Heavy Metal monster on the world. Sorry,
did I write "world"? I meant of course Venezuela.
It seems this 1st class HM band was/is forever confined to domestic stardom
and obscure "Exotic Metal"-collector cultification. It's a shame because
they were a band with so much more class and songwriting skill than the
Euro-American average. On "Rock Nacional" their riff oriented Metal continues
the same rudimentary but very solid sound as on their self-titled debut
and their exceeding, excellent use of minor chords give them an even more
dark and exotic vibe.
The record is divided into a live and a studio side, starting with 4 songs
recorded in Caracas in February of 1982. The title track is a true flag-waving,
fist-held-high anthem and should be an essential part of your old-school
Metal education. Then, for some unfathomable reason they have re-recorded
2 of the weakest tracks from the debut; the much too r'n'r-ish "Libertad"
and "Loco Por El Rock'n'Roll", here shortened to "El Rockero". Maybe they
were old live favorites among the older rockers of the time, but this
album could have had an extra gold star pinned to it had they picked some
more genuine Metal hits from the debut, like "Vagon de la Muerte" or "Nada
Es Eterno". Ah well. "Zombie" puts them on the right track and so they're
back to their old heavier self again. The studio B-side contains what
must be considered the heaviest material of the bands career. Songs like
"Calles Violentas", "Castillo Sobre El Mar" and the
morosely sinister hymn to the dark lord, "Procesion De Satanas"
are right up there with the finest efforts of the spurring global New
Wave Of Heavy Metal scene of the era. Nothing less than perfect, heavy
hard rock tunes with the kind of riffing and harmony leads that once made
us fall in love with this the Greatest Music Of All back in our initial
days of musical rebirth.
For the price of half a semi-rare NWOBHM 7" you can score this full-length,
2-thumbs-up piece of Steel and experience great music from a place and
time most unexpected. No excuses folks, no excuses...