Fire up the De Lorien, kick off on the skateboard and go back to the 1980’s with Archange. Archange are a French Hard Rock band from Grenoble that formed in 2013, but sound like they are from the 80’s, with a mixture of prime Scorpions, Whitesnake and Dokken.
I hadn’t heard of them before I a got a lucky dip review from The Meister. He knows I’m partial to a bit of these types of bands and I am lucky indeed to find a band that entertains and energises in equal measure.
The band is comprised of Dan Pallas on vocals, Laurent Rabatel on guitars, JC Di Bravo on bass and David Amore on drums. Flashback is an ace introduction to what Archange is all about and is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.
The opening of bubbling base and synths breaks into the atmosphere with “Walk All Over You“, a really strong song that has a killer solo by Rabatel (sounding not unlike George Lynch in his prime). The singing is spot on, with Pallas evoking Klaus Meine or Don Dokken or even (gulp) David Coverdale.
The Dokken love-fest continues with “Live Forever” with riffing again straight out of Lynch‘s playbook (“Standing In The Shadows” comes to mind). The energy is higher than the Empire State Building and the drumming (although too low in the mix) is rock solid.
The tone of the guitars is crystal clear and crunchy, just as I like. This is demonstrated by “Gimme Your Love Tonight“. Okay, the content of the album may be somewhat generic, but nobody could fault the enthusiasm and great musicianship. Plus, the driving test is completely passed – I have had this pumping many times when driving the highways.
Talking of guitaring, Rabatel is a monster guitar hero, with solos that sing to you. They are almost as catchy as the songs themselves! There are also heavy tracks for those who like their metal a bit more crunching. “Rock Don’t Stop” illustrates this in a major way. This could have been produced by Judas Priest on British Steel.
Flashback ain’t no flash in the pan – great album and one to add to your collections. n Get it on Mighty Music now.