Angband are a PowerProg Metal band, formed in 2004 in Tehran by Mahyar Dean a classically trained musician and author who is well known in the metal world for writing two books about Death and Testament.
Saved from the Truth is Angband’s third album in a relatively short space of time and you would think they should clearly be in their groove. Seasons of my Pain starts with a beautiful acoustic intro that shows Dean’s classical roots and promises so much before we’re introduced to a horribly muddy slice of riffs and double bass drumming that lead to some fairly lifeless plodding vocals. The whole song just feels flat after such a wonderful intro and I’m already fearing what lies ahead for the remainder of the album. The recording quality of the track, intro aside, is pretty poor with the vocals and drums sounding very empty and flat while the guitar tone is lacking definition.
This production carries on through Fight for Life which does, however, have a good pace about it but the vocals just don’t carry the gravitas they are trying to project. Now, Ashkan Yazdani can certainly sing, the problem is it’s just all very soulless and almost bored sounding when he does. Sadly this is the way the album continues. There’s some horrible blast beat attempts in Man of the New Time that just sound wrong and ill-fitting alongside the muddy and roughly played guitar work which is surprising given Dean’s classically trained background.
Title track Saved from the Truth filled me with hope as it came rushing in under galloping riffage but the song becomes so difficult to follow through the poor guitar tone that I feel they’ve missed a huge opportunity here. There’s a good album here that’s bursting to get out but it’s hampered at every juncture by the poor production and disappointing vocals.
Angel and Persia are perfect examples of this. Angel is a soulful lament that shows what Angband is capable of and more importantly how emotional Yazdani can be when he puts his mind to it vocally, while Dean’s haunting melody carries the song. Probably the highlight of the album to me. Persia by comparison brings a gritty piece of instrumental powerprog to the table replete with tribal drum work and an almost rousing, epic middle eastern flavour.
So there’s definitely a soul and heartbeat to Angband in there somewhere but it’s not given much chance to shine again after those two tracks as we once again descend into the realm of fuzzy guitars and lifeless vocals until we get a little glimmer of hope again with final track, Bitter Truth, that brings to mind shades of earlier track Angel. It’s a melancholic, acoustic piece that just fills me full of frustration at what could have been for them and the album in full.
Saved From The Truth will be available internationally from 28th September
1. Seasons of My Pain
2. Fight for Life
3. Man of the New Time
4. Saved from the Truth
7. Kill the Hatred
8. Fearless Dream
9. Bitter Truth
Ashkan Yazdani – Vocals
Mahyar Dean – Guitars
Ramin Rahimi – Drums
Farshad Shokuhfar – Bass