Arcangels – ‘Arcangels: Living in a Dream’ – Album Review

In the day of over-produced studio magic musicians, thank God for the Arcangels with their straight forward guitar driven blues/rock. The Texas “super group” (who first broke on the scene with their debut album in 1992) have returned with the new release, ‘Arcangels: Living in a Dream’ – a three disc CD/DVD release that includes a concert recording from Live at Stubbs in Austin, Texas, a DVD recording of the performance, three new studio tracks, and a full length documentary.

This is a great release, and will leave you wanting more from the group – which consist of guitarist/singer Doyle Bramhall II, guitarist/singer Charlie Sexton, bass player Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. The group was formed following the death of the blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, but as they explain it was never meant to be a recording band.

Arcangels features Bramhall and Sexton sharing vocal with a prefect blend that seems as rough as the sound of their guitars. Bramhall’s voice is smooth and seems to hang in the air as Sexton’s voice gravels out with the kind of grit that makes the blues such a great genre in rock. Together the singers create a sound that is easily identifiable as the Arcangels and is as much a signature as the blending of their guitars that drive many of the band’s songs.

Living in a Dream Arcangels

Pimprenath | MySpace Video

The DVD recording of the concert will be a treat for any fan of the band who have not had the opportunity to see the Arcangels live (which sadly I am one of since I missed an Arcangels concert in Corpus Christi, Texas and have been kicking myself ever since).

Unlike many rock acts that rely on pyro, huge screens, and vocal tracking to entertain their fans at a concert, Arcangels take the stage, pick up their instruments and go to work. There is no pyro, and the guys rarely move from behind their microphone stands. However, it is a great show and the crowds’ energy is electric as the band cranks out song after song from their debut album and treat the fans to some new material.

Bramhall and Sexton prove they can sound as good live as they do on the studio recorded album, and everyone in the band seem to be having as much fun playing on stage as the crowd watching the show. Layton pounds on the drums keeping the energy live as Shannon makes his work on the bass look easy.

The concert recording puts you right in the front row, and has a bit of grain to the picture. While some might find grain distracting, I felt it was a natural fit to the sound of the songs, and the guitars.


ARC Angels | MySpace Music Videos

The documentary will be a real treat for any fan of the band and takes a look at where the guys came from, and where they are going. The audio CD of new music will also be a treat for fans, but left me wishing there was more. This is a great release, but now the guys need to get back in the studios and release a new full length album.

Any fan of blues/rock music, the great Stevie Ray Vaughan, or the Arcangels debut album will want to pick up this release. The music reminds what made the Arcangels a “super group” and what real rock is supposed to sound like.

Visit the Arcangels official website for more information on the album and the band.

She’s Alright

ARC Angels | MySpace Music Videos
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