Album Review Gabriels - Angels & Queens

There’s so much going on across the release it’s easy to spot how the LA-based outfit have garnered the industry whispers they have so far.

Gabriels - Angels & Queens

We’re told the reason Gabriels opted to release the first half of their debut album this side of the new year is impatience; that teaming up with superstar knob-twiddler Sounwave had them itching to unleash the work immediately. It’s probably a good thing, too, for ‘Angels & Queens – Part I’ is nothing if not an intense listen. That all three have a background in storytelling – Jacob Lusk as gospel singer; Ryan Hope as film director; Ari Balouzian as composer – gives us musical drama alongside lyrical. The menacing string stabs of ‘Taboo’, the contemporary synth sounds of ‘The Blind’, the joyous choral backing vocals that conclude the release echoing the refrain “It’s gonna be alright.” It’s the strings – swooping one song (‘If You Only Knew’), deftly used to provide percussion the next (‘To The Moon’) and yet still able to provide a Motown pep elsewhere (‘Remember Me’) – which share the spotlight with Jacob’s gargantuan, expressive vocal. He booms from the off, opener ‘Angels & Queens’ beginning with just that before crisp ‘90s piano sounds join in. He tones it right down when required, too, the soft instruments of closer ‘Mama’ hushed in similar fashion. There’s so much going on across the release it’s easy to spot how the LA-based outfit have garnered the industry whispers they have so far; and that they were indeed quite right to offer an interlude between this and the record’s concluding half.

 

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