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Release Date: Aug 7, 2007
Genres: Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge
Number Of Tracks: 13
On their new album, Angels & Devils, Fuel are back with their signature brand of soaring, affecting choruses and high-octane, in-your-face rock.
Angels & Devils
UG Team, on august 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's been 4 years since Fuel has released a studio album of original material, and the band's latest release Angels & Devils is not the most satisfying follow-up. First off, you have to wrestle with the fact there are a few newcomers in Fuel. The distinctive voice of former member Brett Scallions has been replaced by Toryn Green, while drumming duties have been placed with newcomer Tommy Stewart. While both Green and Stewart do put their heart and soul into Angels & Devils, they are limited to how much they can do with the songwriting, which sticks with an all-too-familiar pop-rock formula.
The main problem with the new CD is that too many of the tracks seem interchangeable with other rock songs out there -- which actually could play to Fuel's advantage. Barring a few f-bombs, the whole album is radio friendly and could feasibly get regular airplay. Whether we're talking about Scars In The Making or Wasted Time, the album is filled with songs that are more power ballad than rock song. And while it's true that Green has a great voice, but there was an edginess in Scallions' vocals that could give you chills in songs like Hemorrhage (In My Hands).
While the new album's opening track Gone is fairly high energy and Green is at the top of his game, things tend to get slowed down way too rapidly. A series of ballads follow soon after Gone, and they tend to blend in together. Although the 2nd track I Should Have Told You features a cool breakdown courtesy of guitarist Carl Bell, but it's still a fairly laid-back, forgettable tune. Once you get to the 6th track or so, Angels & Devils does see an improvement, thanks to added guitar work from Bell. Hearing Bell's lead work in the midst of fairly repetitive songs is a godsend, and Bell provides memorable solos in songs like Angels Take A Soul.
The production value of the songs is fantastic, and the sound is at its peak on Angels Take A Soul. The album also features guest appearances from drummers Tommy Lee and Josh Freese, who both came in to lay down a few drum tracks. While the guests did not necessarily make a huge dent in the sound, the new lineup featuring Green and Stewart does sound extremely tight. // 7
Lyrics: With the exception of the ballads, the lyrics are one of the strengths for Angels & Airwaves. The standout track is Angels Take A Soul, which is the most darkly introspective song on the album. Green sings, With all I am; I stand alone; In fields that I have grown; But if there's nothing left to hold; Let the angels take a soul. While none of the songs have mind-blowing lyrics, Fuel does a decent job of keeping the working pretty interesting. // 8
Overall Impression: It can't be easy picking up the pieces after losing 2 of your members, and guitarist Carl Bell has to be given credit for apparently writing the bulk of the album's material. Bell is right on target with a song like Mess, which revolves around a driving, distorted guitar riff and should absolutely be released as a single. It just would have been nice for Bell to add just a few more aggressive rock tracks to the playlist. There just aren't enough songs like Mess, and the album comes across as more of a Top 40 playlist than a true rock album. This could work in their favor and earn them an even larger fan base, but the band should still not be afraid to release more than just the run-of-the-mill ballad on the next album. // 7
Angels & Devils
unregistered, on august 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Spending four years in the making, line-up changes, and personal issues, Fuel delivers one of their strongest, if not, their strongest performance ever. The sound of this record is mind blowing. Most of the songs have an alternative type of feel to them, but still stay true to what Fuel have produced in the past. The album opens up with the hard-rocking, Gone, and it only gets better from there. I should Have Told You, brings back shades of, Hemorrhage, while, Forever, reveals a much more aggressive side to Fuel, and is the first Fuel song to have swearing in it. Wasted Time (G-Mix), and, Leave the Memories Alone, are the two lightest tracks on the album and are songs that many can relate to. "Wasted Time," also features the drum tracks of Tommy Lee. Mess is the first Fuel intermission type song, which basically introduces one of the records standouts, Not This Time. Scars in the Making has a, Running Away, feel to it, and, Hangin' Round generates a pop-rock sort of tone. Again, is a slow, hard-rocking track, which has a similar sound to that of, These Things, it also has a killer solo through out the final chorus and outro.
Halos of the Son, is the best track on the record. It's a hard-hitting, adrenaline rush, and displays the music talents of the new front man, Toryn Green, bassist, Jeff Abercrombie, and Ryan Giles. Angels Take a Soul, has an eerie sound to it, and then breaks out into a heavier version of, These Things. Just like, Again, this track has a killer solo in it, similar to that of the one in, Sunburn. Wasted Time (S-Mix), is a more melodious version of the, (G-Mix). All-in-all, this record has a similar sound tho that of, Natural Selection. This record has its dark tracks, such as, Gone, Again, Halos of the Son, and, Angels Take a Soul. The record also has a few old school Fuel type songs such as, Wasted Time, and, Leave the Memories Alone. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics of this record, have deep meanings. Gone, for example, talks about how people can influence you to do bad things, and you have to rise above them and make sure they don't influence you any more. I Should Have Told You, talks about regret, and not taking opportunities when they arise. Leave the Memories Alone, talks about, losing the ones you love, and all you have to remember them by are memories. This track has the most moving lyrics on the album. All the songs are written from a personal perspective, and this gives them a lot of depth and feeling. The fusion between music and lyrics is perfect, and Toryn Green produces vocals equivalent to those of Brett Scallions. This album is definitely one of the best written Fuel albums, as far as lyrics are concerned. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall I feel that this album was worth waiting four years for. After huge amounts of criticism, Fuel have just silenced all who ever doubted Fuel making it back on their feet. After the controversial departure of drummer, Kevin Miller, then the shock departure of lead singer, Brett Scallions, Toryn Green and Tommy Stewart helped breathe life into a dying, Fuel. I believe that this record will take Fuel to new heights, and will put Fuel on the map, in a way that they've never been. There's not a single bad song on this record. (except for, Mess, obviously.) The standouts include, Gone, I Should Have Told You, Wasted Time, Not This Time, Scars in the Making, Again, Halos of the Son, and Angels Take A Soul.
Two things I hated about this record were, the track called, Mess, which isn't even a song, just 12 seconds of nonsense, and the fact that there is swearing on this record. Fuel have never sworn on any of their previous releases, which made them more mature than other rock bands. The thing I love about the record is the darkness some of the songs generate, the killer guitar riffs, and the mind-blowing vocals of Toryn Green. I also love the way I can relate to most of the songs on this record, and the meaning and depth this album has. I'm so glad I found a copy of this album, it wasn't due here for a while, so I was over the moon when I found a copy at a rock store. A great record, and definitely worth taking a look at. // 10
Angels & Devils
FamousA, on august 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This particular album brought a simular sound to the past records, but hence the new frontman/vocalist Toryn Green the sound was quite compromised. Leaving some room for dissapiontment, but more room to grow on. With guitarist Carl Bell doing the majority of writing and producing the record as always, the CD provided catchy, yet, deep and innovative riffs and melodies such as "Forever" and "Again", "Wasted Time" and "Halos of the Son". Though, they lost vocalist Brett Scallions and drummer Kevin Miller, the album was quite a big hit sound-wise. // 9
Lyrics: Well known lyrics and inspiration for those going through heart-ache and life's most common problems. The lyrics here provide a nice stream with the music produced and all-in-all distinguishes solid poetry. New singer/frontman Toryn Green gave quite the impression and oh-so-loved sound Brett Scallions provided. Though, not the same, thurally close. // 8
Overall Impression: Given the past vocalist, the album was a little difficult to get by. But as a critic, it showed great intensity and innovation in the much-needed modern-rock world. However, it wouldn't go as far as to putting it over any of Fuel's previous work. If the band started out with the new drummer and vocalist they have now, they wouldn't be near as far as they are today. But it was a great effort, and was still fun to listen to. I would have to say, like before, that "Forever", "Wasted Time", "Again" and "Halos of the Son" had the biggest impression on me. I would buy it probably two more times if it was misplaced or stolen. And I would recommend to any worried Fuel's fans out ther. // 9
Angels & Devils
Powerhouse, on august 16, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Multi-platinum Tennessee based rockers Fuel have finally returned to the music scene with "Angels and Devils," their latest full length album since 2003's "Natural Selection." Fuel has never been a band to be labeled "unique" or "original," but frankly, they're not interested in having those adjectives used to describe them. This album, however, is a breath of fresh air for straight ahead, radio friendly rock fans who are growing weary of a music scene overflowing with Christian hardcore/screamo bands and purpose-canceling "indie" bands. // 8
Lyrics: This time around, Fuel is armed with a new singer, Toryn Green. I loved Brett Scallions, and I must admit I was quite disappointed when he left. But Toryn fills his shoes quite nicely (I'd say they have the same shoe size yeah, I suck). He has the same kind of high pitched, scratchy voice as Brett, but the two singers are both individually distinguishable. Songs like "Not This Time," "Again," and the single "Gone" have the classic, anthemic Fuel sound, enough so that a listen or two would make even a casual Fuel fan to think "Gee that sounds like Fuel but do they have a new singer?" Guitarist Carl Bell writes most of the songs all himself, and his songs haven't changed much. But they're still pretty impressive, especially the first single "Wasted Time." // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great album by a somewhat underrated band. I would recommend it to anyone who may have forgotten about this band over the last few years, or anyone who is a fan of modern alt rock. If lost or stolen, I'd have to replace it immediately. It's catchy, it's loud, it's Fuel. // 8