Passover review by The Black Angels

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Apr 11, 2006
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (13 votes)
The Black Angels: Passover

Sound — 9
The Black Angels have released a unique modern album, taking influences from especially The Velvet Underground in their usage of drones as well as Jesus and the Mary Chain, and the Doors, but less depressing. In it we have stomping drums that sound out especially on tracks such as "Young Men Dead" which sounds like some sort of death march, and the heavy kick drums on "Sniper At The Gates Of Heaven". The guitar is fitted with electro distortion on most songs, and combined with full chords, and sometimes bluesy riffs, the guitar fits in nicely with the music. Heavy bass often accompanies this, but the most original part, that has not been used in rock for a while is the drone machine on a lot of this songs, this creates a dark atmosphere, that sounds gloomy but catchy at the same time. The album finishes with the epic 18 minute "Call To Arms" which has a bluesy intro and main part, then silence for six minutes, with an acoustic hidden track at the end.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics half snarl, half loom around the music, the lyrics of the songs have an apocalytic feel, as the lead singer rages on about war, "The First Vietnamese War" that compares the Vietnam War with the Iraq war now or God, and other topics. With the punding bass and guitar, the vocal rythms are structured well, though sometimes they veer slightly off, and they don't quite fit in, but with the apocalyptic chaos and heavy cymbals crashing, these often go unoticed.

Overall Impression — 9
The Black Angels have created a unique album for the time at the moment, it is a brilliant debut deserved of recognition. They have created an album that fans of the Velvet Underground should like, (their name is from a velvet underground song), though the songs may wear out and become slightly repetitive, awesome tracks such as "The First Vietnamese War" and Young Men Dead", never get dull.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This CD is a must have for any fans of Syd Barrett's works. The Black Angels are heavily influenced by early acid/prog rock. Live presence is unbelievable aswell
    "Tele" Steve
    I'm from Austin and I'm really glad this band is getting wider exposure. I saw them live in September and it was a fantastic show. I only have thier e.p. but this full album is great too.
    "Tele" Steve
    I also have to say that while they are influenced by the bands mentioned in the review and the first post they seem to be especially influenced by fellow Austin psych band The 13th Floor Elevators.
    Unbelievable debut album, and an even better live band! Have seen them twice and both times I was stunned at the sheer power of their music. Can't wait for the follow-up!