There are probably a lot of bands that released excellent stuff in the past I am not aware of. However when it is of a very high level and in a style I am a huge fan of, I always wonder why I missed it! Was it because I have been partying and drinking too much in the early nineties? Well, that is not the reason this time for missing this band. Steel Angel only released a 4-track demo in 1990 and a full length cassette called “Inquiete” limited to only 100 copies for friends and family. At the PoM site we get a lot of new music for reviewing, so when I read that the style of music is in the vein of Crimson Glory and Heir Apparent I got curious. 9 out of 10 times the material and the recordings of a for me unknown band with only one release in the nineties is low quality and can be ingnored. Not this time, after the first tunes I was convinced and went searching for more info on the internet. Why wasn’t this band picked up by a record company in 1992 for a world wide release of the “Inquiete” album?
What I found out, is that due to tragic losses of band members they decided to stop. After a rehearsal for the new album, the only 17 year old Mark Daklallah (guitar) hopped in the car with a female high school friend who was at the practice to bring him home. She lost control of the vehicle and Mark died in a terrible accident. The other members were devestated by this loss, but decided months later to go on. A close friend of the band Mark Borgmeyer was recruited to finsh the recordings. The first song written after the terrible loss was “Crystal Visions” with very moving lyrics by vocalist Jason Flanders. Early January 1992 Jason Flanders finally finished the recording of the vocals and to celebrate this moment he went together with Joey Webbe (guitar) to a local rock club called the “Town Lounge”. After celebrating, socializing, and enjoying the live music, Joey got a ride home and Jason headed back to Sarasota where he was staying with his parents. Less then a mile from home, Jason fell asleep at the wheel and his car ran into a culvert in the ditch to right of the road. Jason passed away at the scene. To honor both Jason and Mark, the band decided to finish the album to release the limited to 100 copies cassette ‘Inquiete’ (which is Latin for ‘In a Quiet Dream’) only for friends and family. Without figurehead and talent Jason Flanders the band decided to quit.
Now years later, Arkeyn Steel Records brings out a remastered version of the legendary 1992 cassette completed with some demo tracks. Music in the vein of Heir Apparent, Crimson Glory and with an excellent singer, who reminds me a bit of Michael Olivieri (Leatherwolf) at times. The songwriting is excellent and of the same quality as the songs of the bands I just mentioned. The remastered versions of the songs sound o.k. and breath a real nineties U.S. Power metal atmosphere. Listen to the song below and I’m sure you will purchase this legendary album.
01. Valley Of the Skulls
02. Eye Of the Storm
03. Steel Angel
04. Dorian Grey
05. Images (Of Self Destruction)
06. Crystal Visions
07. King of Fools
08. You Can Run
09. Distant Reality
10. What Child Is This?
11. Steel Angel (Alterate Version)
12. Never Say Never (Demo 1990)
13. Faceless Dreams (Demo 1990)
Playing time: 64:00
Release date: 5 August 2016
Label: Arkeyn Steel Records
Jason Flanders (R.I.P.) – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals
Mark Borgmeyer – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals
Joey Webbe – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals
Chuck Reedy – Bass Guitar
Rodney Beasley – Drums, Percussion