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Angel Of Mercy - The Avatar

Angel Of Mercy - The Avatar

Label : Shadow Kingdom Records | Archive under heavy / power metal

Release type: Re-release

Sjak : Nowadays more and more so-called mostly eighties “cult classics” are being re-released. Sometimes that really delivers added value (especially when relevant bonus material is added to the orignal album), but in most cases these re-releases prove not to be of real interest. Also the label Shadow Kingdom Records regularly contributes to these re-releases and now they have re-issued the in 1987 independently released record ‘The Avatar’ of the American metal outfit Angel Of Mercy, with an extra disc full of bonus material.

The band was already founded in 1980 by singer/guitarist David St. James and it took him about seven years to write the songs for this debut album and to form a band to actually record this material. With bass/guitar player Kaign Sevenson and drummer/keyboard player Deniz Derya Gallegos at last he found the right people and as a result of that ‘The Avatar’ was independently released in 1987 (on vinyl!) with the intention to score a record deal. Unfortunately things didn’t really go as planned and a deal never materialized, causing the band to die a silent death.

More than thirty years after the original release the album is brought to market again by Shadow Kingdom Records, but I’m wondering if there’s really somebody waiting for this kind of material. The eleven original tunes that were to be found on ‘The Avatar’ sound very dated and old-fashioned and therefore I can’t imagine that a lot of people will be very appreciative of tracks like ‘Angel Of Mercy’, ‘Metamorphosis’ or ‘The Succubus’. The bonus material on offer is certainly obscure, but has the same quality level as the original ‘The Avatar’ album and therefore does only offer relatively little added value. Maybe that die-hard Manilla Road fans will dig this, because the Angel Of Mercy material resembles that to a certain extent, without claiming that the level of the first mentioned band is approached anywhere by the way.

I’m always in favour of re-releasing quite obscure material from the eighties and as such I’m definitely supporting this initiative. Unfortunately I’ll have to conclude though that it has not been without a reason that Angel Of Mercy wasn’t able to score a record deal during those years, because what they are offering on ‘The Avatar’ can’t exactly be called something special.

Tracklist:

CD1: original The Avatar album
1. In the Beginning
2. Angel of Mercy
3. Chained to the World
4. Soul Searcher
5. Break Away
6. Metamorphosis
7. The Avatar
8. Victim of the Change
9. Journey to the Master
10. The Last Encounter
11. The Succubus

CD2: bonus material
November 1983, Las Vegas Recording Studio
12. The Succubuss
13. Soul Searcher
14. The Avatar
15. The Last Encounter
Spring 1992, Abandoned Sessions IMR Studio
16. Enter the Abyss
17. In the Beginning
18. Angel of Mercy
19. Metamorphosis
Unreleased track from The Avatar sessions
20. The Journey Begins
2015 session, IMR Studio
21. Chained to a World


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