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Born in 2011 and from the not very metal sounding Hemel Hempstead, Second Rate Angels have arrived with their debut EP, 'The Lost Days'. And if you are going to include the words 'Second Rate' in your band name then I suppose it's very important that the music isn't! Well, on the whole, what Dave Gobran (vocals/bass), Chris Lewis (guitars/backing vocals), Matt Clark (guitars/backing vocals) and Andy Doran (drums) have produced is four pretty good modern metal songs in the vein of Trivium at their most melodic and Avenged Sevenfold etc.

Opener 'Give It A Name' actually had me frothing at the mouth as it starts with an almost perfect metal riff akin to Pretty Maids at their modern and heavy best but, when the song and vocals kick in properly, whilst still being good, doesn't live up to that opening promise. Gobran's voice has good melody and he mixes it with some harsher moments (perfect for the type of music being played), and the rest of the band obviously know their way around their instruments with particular mention going to Doran who produces some great drumming (even though that horribly compressed cymbal sound is yet again ever present), but the songs themselves are not “the fresh take on the metal genre” that the blurb suggests.

Second Rate Angels are indeed good, as is the EP but, perhaps because I listen to so much new music, it certainly doesn't stand out as being anything original. There are plenty of bands around doing a very similar thing! It's great for fans of the band who obviously don't hear everything available (not even I can listen to everything), but when you have a review pile sitting in front of you and the first four bands all sound the same and are all saying that they are original and the next big thing...well, it can get a bit tedious and as a reviewer, and I probably end up sounding a little sarcastic, which is certainly not the intention. As I say regularly, this is only my opinion and not a slight on the bands in question.

'Black Ice', which is the last track here, has a verse reminiscent of Kiss, vocally, but changes for the pre-chorus and chorus and is probably my favourite track. All in all, Second Rate Angels have produced a good EP that bodes well for a full length album. I would just hope for a little bit more experimentation so they do indeed stand out from the crowd.
Review by Rick Tilley
2nd June 2014
1) Give it a Name
2) Dragged Out
3) The Lost Days
4) Black Ice
"...the band obviously know their way around their instruments... but the songs themselves are not “the fresh take on the metal genre” that the blurb suggests."