Archangel A.D. – Warband

Formed in 2015 by guitarist Matthew Karr and drummer Edward Vera, Texan thrashers Archangel A.D. started out as “Archangel”, covering tracks by Judas Priest and Metallica. After a change in personnel (one of several, in fact), they began to compose original songs and added the A.D. suffix to their name in order to avoid possible legal entanglements with any other existing acts of the same name.

Released digitally back in the summer of 2018 (the band have already undergone another major line-up change since then), debut EP Warband is being released on CD to launch 2019, and is a charmingly unrefined throwback to mid-eighties Speed Metal, with all the usual suspects acting as major influences.

The six-minute ‘Blightning’ is appropriately fast and furious, ‘Evil Dreams’ begins slowly but kicks off halfway through, and the superb ‘Metal Horde’ is fast as fuck and possesses a real ‘Metal Militia’ meets ‘Whiplash’ vibe. ‘Unto the Evil’ is another speedy little blighter filled with simple but chunky riffs, and the impressive title track feels like early uncooked Megadeth.

As you would expect from a young, newly formed band, the musicianship on display is occasionally a little wobbly with some tightening up required in all departments (including the production). But in its own way – and with the added charm of the endearingly amateurish hand drawn logo and artwork – it all adds up to a warm, familiar early-to-mid eighties warts-and-all feeling, before photoshop and studio dickery became the norm.

6 / 10

GARY ALCOCK