[Music Review] Archangel – Two Steps From Hell

Today I’m going to do a few music reviews.  I’ve decided to kick things off with my review of Archangel, by Two Steps From Hell.  I’ve been meaning to do this review for a while, especially after I reviewed Invincible some time ago, but I didn’t get around to it until now partly because I was busy and partially because I had other things I wanted to review first.

There was a point where I was listening to only select songs off this CD and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers for about a good month or so.  That was when I worked this job where I had a long morning commute and I had to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to make it to work on time.  I tend to prefer more “dreamy-sounding” music or something with more instrumental than vocals when I’m driving that early, especially since I’m not a morning person so I needed something that was going to keep me soothed and relaxed while driving.  Archangel and “Mr. Brightside” turned out to be exactly what I needed (commercial-free and not so “classical-y” that I was falling asleep behind the wheel).

I think I liked this album more than I did Invincible.  In fact, I really enjoy how they mixed some of these.  Here’s the ones that I played consistently on repeat:

  • “Archangel” – I loved this one.  And it’s the same title as the album.  This tune made me picture someone running or something.  Like that one scene from Disney’sPocahontas (1995).  Weird, right?
  • “Everlasting” – I enjoyed listening to this one, though I avoided it during my morning commute because it was a little too cheery for me in the morning.  Definitely listened to it on the drive back home from work though.  This song I’d describe as being similar to taking in a breath of fresh air.
  • “Love & Loss” – Again, I preferred listening to this one on the drive back home rather than in the morning, but I kind of liked the technoish beat in this one.
  • “Nero” – Definitely liked to listen to this one to start off my morning.  Peaceful and used a lot of classic piano, something I don’t think you hear prominently in most of their other music.
  • “Destructo” – In a very strange way, I liked how aggressive this one sounded.  Oddly it made me imagine someone using this song in an ice skating competition.  (Yes, I realize I have a very overactive imagination.)
  • “Strength of a Thousand Men” – I liked how this one “built up.”  If you listen to you, you’ll probably hear what I mean.
  • “Unexplained Forces” – Kind of reminded me of the movie Inception (2010); like the part where the hotel was spinning around.
  • “Dragon Rider” – I think this one was my second favorite after “Archangel.”  Again I pictured someone using this in an ice skating competition.  (Yes, I do love watching professional ice skating, but no, it wasn’t even in season when I was listening to this album, so I have no idea why I made the associations.)
  • “Iron Wing” – My third favorite, after “Dragon Rider.”  This one sounded kind of similar to “Destructo” to me.  In fact, I usually listened to that one after this tune, so I guess I can consider “Destructo” to be my fourth favorite off this album.  (And yes, once again I thought of ice skating.  Hahaha.)
  • “Sanctuary is Lost” – I kind of have mixed feelings about this one.  Sometimes I find myself liking it, other times I don’t so much.  Sometimes this reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, other parts had me thinking about his Dark Knight (2008).  “Freedom Fighters” off Invincible was another tune that I thought reminded me of The Dark Knight.

There’s 26 tracks on this album and I liked 10 of them.  I guess that’s not so bad, right?  That’s better than the 6 out of 22 tracks that I liked from Invincible.  A slightly better percentage.

Here’s how I rate this album:

Originality: ****
Sound: ****
Quality of Music: ***
CD Cover Art: *****
Re-playability of Songs: ***

OVERALL GRADE: A-

I liked how this album seemed to take on a different flavor than the last one.  I also think they did a good job improving the listening experience of their music.  Of course, this is just my opinion; perhaps others will disagree.  Regardless, I do think that this album is worth a listen, so check it out!

Anyway, I’m working on about two more music review entries, so hopefully I’ll have them up soon!  Until then, catch you all later!

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