Nothing more to add to the previous positive reviews. This is the only Candlemass album I own (on vinyl), I bought it some months after it came out in spring 1988 at the glorious "Disco D'Oro" record shop in Bologna (Italy): I still remember that because in my village there was no chance to get Heavy Metal records at the time, so I waited for my first trip in a bigger town! And the only reason I bought Nightfall (it has been my first Heavy Metal vinyl ever, I only owned Iron Maiden, Metallica and Judas Priest cassettes at the time) was after reading its review in an Italian Heavy Metal magazine which ended with the phrase: "You all buy this album, it's legend" ! I had not a clue what to expect when back home but when I first listened to Gothic Stone/The Well of Souls I immediately understood I was about to enter a different dimension to what I was used before that day... and that I was about to love it for decades! I had never heard of Doom Metal before, I hardly knew some Black Sabbath songs and that was it. Today I know a bit more about music, but I have to say this album has still the same impact on me, Messiah's voice is absolutely perfect for that sound in every track. Nightfall still stays among my first ten albums of all time, and once more I have to agree (and thank) with that old review, unrepeatable!
This is the best The Almighty album in my opinion, great nineties Heavy Metal ! Their previous albums were more hard rock, this is for sure their heaviest. My favorite tracks are: The Unreal Thing, Jonestown Mind, Move Right In, Welcome to Defiance.
I had the chance to meet these guys a couple of times back in the days, in London and here in Italy and at the time they were quite big and a great live act. As far as I remember they toured with Metallica, Pantera and Iron Maiden in those years. After this album in my opinion they lost their brilliance, maybe frontman Ricky Warwick concentrated more on his solo career and above all he became the singer in the reincarnation of Thin Lizzy (the band he grew up listening to, the dream of every rocker I guess!), then changing monicker in Black Star Riders.
I know, when I write about albums that meant a lot in my "metal life" I tend to exaggerate but... if someone asked me what Heavy Metal is, I'm pretty sure this album will be among the 10 records I would recommend to give my questioner an idea! I never quite go for subgenres, so I'm not capable of labelling Fifth Angel as Power or Epic as I see many did around the web. This is for me just a great Heavy Metal album which came out in perfect timing (1986) for the genre; I bought it in 1988 and it was the second edition with a different (and I have to say far better) cover and I immediately fell in love with the whole atmosphere and with Ted Pilot's voice: I think he was really one of a kind, even more because he completely retired from music soon after their 2nd LP and as far as I know he has been for the next 30 years.. a dentist!
The song "trio" Call Out the Warning, Fifth Angel, Wings of Destiny (the latter a masterpiece) is still one of my favorite plays after all these years, maybe because my mind goes back when a was a small kid: pure Heavy Metal!
This is not a standard album... this a proof, a testimony of what these guys from central Italy were able to conceive in a period and in a country which simply were not the right time and place to be for making Metal, performing shoking horror shows, and talking about Satanism, Black Masses, and Occult. From that early band formation emerged 2 prominent figures, crucial for the Italian Heavy Metal scene of following years: Paul Chain and Steve Sylvester. And the band in general is regarded as one of the first acts in Europe to pave the way for what will then become Black Metal (at least as concerns topics covered, lyrics, face painting, horror shows, blasphemy etc.) The album is rather poorly recorded, it contains the band's first material, mainly taken from demotapes and live shows (some of these songs became legendary and were the most awaited in Death SS concerts in following decades) but this gives the whole work (which I own on vinyl) an aura of early roughness, fear and myth that still today gives me shivers...