First off, let’s tell you something you might already know, just to get it out of the way. This is mainly for those who weren’t there or maybe don’t already know. The background info is mostly from the record label page, but with additional information I have added:
Angelica was one of those 80’s cult releases that brought in fans from all over the globe and the brainchild of guitarist extraordinaire, Dennis Cameron. Their self-titled debut is the only one to feature the voice of melodic metal, Rob Rock on all but the last track, sung by Ken Tamplin (Shout). It full of incredible guitar hooks, melodies and just pure high-quality rockers. Rob Rock, if you’ve never followed him is one of the greatest metal vocalist of our time. But that is looking back now in hindsight. At the time of this release Rob was a relatively unknown to most of us.
In 1985 Rob and Chris Impellitteri recorded a demo with the band Vice, but we knew nothing of that. The band Vice continued on without them, to record one more release in 1987, but again, most of us knew nothing of that. In 1986, Rob Rock was part of a “super group” of sorts, the Project: Driver release on Shrapnel Records. Every other member of the band on that project were well known, except Rock. But when you record an album with the likes of Tony MacAlpine, Tommy Aldridge, and Rudy Sarzo, it will get your name on the map. It is from this team up that I personally knew of Mr Rock’s existence.
One year later, we find Rob Rock rejoining with former Vice band mate Chris Impellitteri for the first Impellitteri band EP. But again, a bit unknown to most of us in the world (ok, yeah, I knew about it, but it wasn’t a huge release), and he left the band after that release.
It was Rob’s first dip into the realm of Christian related music when he recorded one of the all-time best melodic metal records of all time (I’m not alone in that opinion), the 1988 Joshua album, Intense Defense. An album that, sadly, was never released in the US. They were popular overseas, and many American’s were unaware of the band in general. I recall ordering the import, and I still remember the day I opened it and was floored by the music I heard coming out of my speakers. On a side note. Joshua’s 1985 release, Surrender, featured a then-unknown Ken Tamplin on guitar and vocal work (though the later reissue removed all existence of him).
So by this point, many of us were getting a little more familiar with this Rob Rock character, but he was still an unknown essentially, and we knew nothing really of where he stood on the issues of faith and Christianity. Was he just a hired gun brought in, it wasn’t fully known to most of us.
For those of us who had been rocking out to the early Angelica demos, we were excited for the forthcoming first album, but mostly unaware of how Rob Rock suddenly got to appear. I want to say I don’t recall even knowing of his involvement until I received the CD (but I may be remembering wrong)
So why did Rob Rock sing on an Angelica album? While in the pre-production stage of making this album Ken Tamplin (vocal producer) pushed original Angelica lead singer (Andy) so hard that he fried his vocal. Ken had suggested two replacements, Bob Carlisle, known for his three albums with pop rock band Allies; or Rob Rock. Remember, Ken had been in Joshua previously, and Rob after him, so their paths had crossed in musical circles in recent years.
Rob Rock was chosen as he best suited the music style. At the time of recording, Rob was in the process of rehearsing/recording with his new band Driver while doing the session work for Angelica. Not withholding, Rob would assume his best Iron Maiden pose in the vocal booth and tackle each session as if it were his own. This band Driver is not to be confused with the Project: Driver super group band previously mentioned. This was a new band with a couple members from the band with Joshua. The band released an amazing cassette in 1990 before eventually fizzling out until returning with a full release in 2008 with Sons of Thunder.
Angelica finished their album in perfect form and went on to become a cult classic in Christian Rock. With Dennis at the helm ripping through guitar solos and Ken Tamplin standing by as Rob Rock did his magic, it’s no wonder that Angelica went on to become one of the greatest AOR Hard Rock/Metal classic on the day.
Angelica was release in 1989 under Intense Records and was recently remastered and released by Girder Music on CD, and now shortly after that, they have released it on vinyl for the first time in the US (only a small quantity was released on vinyl in Europe originally).
That ends the background of the release, so now, let’s talk vinyl. As will all of the vinyl reissues in the Limited Run Vinyl series, we have a remastered for vinyl 180 gram blue and grey marble colored wax release. All songs from the original release appear here as well, and sound more amazing on vinyl as expected.
The production on the original was already superb, so there wasn’t as much of room for improvement with this reissue, but we still find the expected upgrade in sound on vinyl with the wider sound wave range. The first thing I noticed when dropping the needle, was the bass guitar feeling a little punchier than the CD version I was used to, so there is a bit more lows and depth to it.
Look, you’re probably reading this because you already know this album is great. Suffice it to say it is no less great on vinyl – but depending on your system, is even greater. Just buy it – let’s support companies like Girder Music, Roxx Records, Retroactive Records and No Life Til Metal so they’ll continue to remaster and release such amazing classic for us more and more. Of course, I love vinyl, so I want to see them release more vinyl. But it will only be worth the investment to them, if the ones they have released continue to sell. The vinyl resurrection is happening now – are you on board? If not, grab the remastered CD also recently released.
Limited Run Vinyl – 100 pieces
There’s Only One Hero
Are You Satisfied
Shine On Me
Only A Man
One Step At A Time
Will I Ever Learn
Face To Face