A journey through the dark and the divine – just what Angelwings had in mind when they released their new album “Primordium” on June 18th, 2021. This Gibraltar-based symphonic/melodic metal project started out in 2013 with a group of talented musicians who had seen their fair share of ups and downs in the local music scene throughout the years. In time, coming together from genre to genre, the group banded together in a mutual decision to become a cover band for the Finnish metal sensation Nightwish. However, their ambition naturally would not flatline under the guise of a cover band, and the desire to bring original songs to the surface had soon arose with their demo track “Wonderland” being revealed on Youtube in 2015. From there on out, the band gained attention not only locally but, internationally as well through the aid of social media.
After playing with heavy metal legends like Saxon at the Hard n Heavy festival in Gibraltar, they soon followed up with another appearance at the Gibraltar Music Festival where bands like Duran Duran and Kings of Leon were headliners. In came the record offers, and soon Angelwings had signed on with Pride and Joy Music (Germany). In 2017, Angelwings released their debut LP “The Edge of Innocence” with tracks like “Wonderland” and “Lilith” quickly gaining traction throughout the metal scene.
Despite their decisive cover band beginnings, Angelwings, in my opinion, is more reminiscent of early age Within Temptation, which commanded my full attention and resulted in my instant joy upon discovery. The love of an airy soprano voice, and easy yet hastened harmony once more encompassed me with the accompaniment of stories about cold embraces, and sweet revenge. The same haunting melodies that enchanted us throughout their first LP “The Edge of Innocence” are easily followed in their newest album with the title track “Primordium” once again displaying the spiritual power of Davinia ‘Divi’ Cano’s vocals, echoed by the heavy hitting drums of Ismael Viera Giraldo. Rhythmic guitars are unwavering with Carlos Alvarez-Nava and David Duran Ramirez tugging on the strings of fate to keep our minds in tune with the melody. In the same sense, the entirety is encircled by the constant beat of Dani Duran Ramirez on bass, with the striking keys of Glenn Cano on keyboards bringing it all together.
Primordium explores the beginning and end of all in a retelling of the Biblical stories many of us have come to know. From the dawn of time in “Genesis” to Lilith’s fall in “Fallen Angel Song” and the endless question in “Lies and Secrets”. Each is filled with its own set of inquisitive lyrics that tugs at the documents read so many times. The atmosphere continuously shifts from beginning to end with subtle plays on an ever-lurking shadow that never seems to drift away, even after the birth of the universe. The stories in Angelwings’ retelling asks deeper and darker questions, and the one that truly plagues the mind ‘Was Lilith truly an Angel or a Demon?’ Angelwings paints Lilith as nothing less than misunderstood, and at constant struggle to be heard. She had questioned the higher powers, she had defied the rules that had been given without explanation; and though in the oldest tales we would see her as damned, Angelwings grants her redemption.
This album is solid from beginning to end, with ghostly introductions pulling us in to carefully listen to each lyric and live out each chapter of Primordium through the band’s eyes. There is also no shortage of mind-shattering solos like in that of “Nature’s Lullaby”, or pulsating drums like in that of “Sail Away” allowing the band to appeal to a multitude of fans with a touch of something for everyone. My personal favourites stick with the title track “Primordium” with its attention-grabbing ferocity; and “Changes” which brings in a combination of synth-heavy leads and harsh vocals to flow alongside the usual wonders. From heavenly vocals, to cascading keyboards, to the thudding intensity of lengthy riffs, careful bass precision and timely drums. The moment you think you’ve heard the song before, Angelwings shifts the momentum and begins anew which leaves me putting this album on repeat for the foreseeable future.
Release date: June 18, 2021
Label: Pride & Joy Music
03. Nature’s Lullaby
04. Fallen Angel Song
05. Sail Away
10.Lies & Secrets
Album review by: Chrisy Berryman