Rating 8.5 out of 10
I’ve posted about the new Fifth Angel album The Third Secret on a few occasions leading up to its release. I can’t say that I was a huge fan back in the day, I knew them from covering UFO’s “Lights Out”, and like most knew “Midnight Love” because it was the opening theme to The Howard Stern Show on the E! Network. The member of the band that has achieved the most notoriety over the years is drummer Ken Mary who has played with Alice Cooper, Impellitteri, House Of Lords, Chastain, and a bunch other projects. The band was highly touted in the late 80s, but only released two albums, their last album Time Will Tell was released in 1989. The band’s current lineup is almost identical to the one on that album, the only difference is guitarist Kendall Bechtel now handles lead vocal duties, and for all intents and purposes all of the guitars as well. Guitarist Ed Archer did not rejoin the band until this past August, after the album had been completed. The band is rounded out by bassist John Macko.
The album is strong all the way through, what will surprise most is Bechtel’s vocals, and at times, how much he sound like Ronnie James Dio. His guitar work is also stellar throughout, and I got to tell you there are tracks on here where I can’t help but think wow, this song could have been on Holy Diver or Last In Line. To me the difference between those early Dio albums and the rest of the catalogue is how much Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bain were in sync with on another, how dynamic and alive the music sounded, and just how on fire they were. Some of these tracks give me that same feeling. I’m not debating if these songs will be considered as classic as songs off of those albums, because for most listeners, that’s a no, but damn, songs off of The Third Secret elicit the same feeling from me.
The one thing that I think the band maybe had working against them, and I don’t know if this was their decision, or the label’s, but “Can You Hear Me” should not have been the first single off of the album. The song is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but imagine if Queensryche would have released “Anybody Listening?” as the lead off track for Empire? Cool song that worked as the seventh single off of that album and album closer, but would have been misleading, and a dud as the lead off single. I would have released “Stars Are Falling” before the album release, then “We Will Rise” a few days before the album dropped and then “Queen Of Thieves” on the day of the release. These three tracks encompass what the album is about, and would suck potential listeners in.
The album has the potential of making my end of year list.
Stand Out Tracks: “Stars Are Falling”, “We Will Rise”, “Queen Of Thieves”, “Dust To Dust”, “The Third Secret”, “Hearts Of Stone”