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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! One of the best albums I've heard in years
I ordered this due to it being recommended to me by Amazon and because of all the good reviews on this site. It came throught he post on Wednesday and its been on a continuous loop ever since both at home and in the car. From the opening chord this just blew me away. It usually takes a couple of listens for me to feel enamoured over any album but this one.....well...
Published on 9 Mar. 2007 by Mike J. Wheeler

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Crushingly dull
Texas band The Black Angels seem to be something akin to media darlings right now, though for the life of me I can't see how. There are three bassists and someone operating a drone machine, which should tell you all you need to know, that you are going to be subjected to 60 minutes of noise. Dark, heavy, bottom-end and sparse, and simultaneously monotonous...
Published on 21 Dec. 2007 by Geoffrey Saunders


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! One of the best albums I've heard in years, 9 Mar. 2007
By 
Mike J. Wheeler (Kingswinford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
I ordered this due to it being recommended to me by Amazon and because of all the good reviews on this site. It came throught he post on Wednesday and its been on a continuous loop ever since both at home and in the car. From the opening chord this just blew me away. It usually takes a couple of listens for me to feel enamoured over any album but this one.....well!

As others have already said you can hear the influences that Black Angels liberally borrow from - Velvet Underground obviously, Joy Division (especially one particular track), and The Doors (especially Alex Maas' vocals - a spit for Jim Morrison if ever there was one). But...when music sounds this good who cares where its borrowed from!

The entire album is played with a relentless drum beat (like the Velvets - Black Angels have a female drummer - however unlike the Velvets she seems intent on knocking the skins off her drumset). It doesn't let up until the very last track.

The opener "Young Men Dead" is a superb track - one of the best opening tracks I can remember. Okay this, like the entire album is anti-war (anti Iraq war lets say) but even if you don't agree with the message you can't help being pulled in by this song.

The whole album is accompanied by an incessant drone à la Velvet Underground at their best. This connects the songs throughout and like the drumming give you the feeling that this is one piece of work. Sometimes you listen to an album and feel that a load of songs have been thrown together for the sake of filling up space. With 'Passover' there's none of this - this is undeniably a single, coherent piece of work.

Now to Joy Division. Its completely striking but "Manipulation" just sounds for HALF of the song that its straight out of the Ian Curtis canon. But at the same time this is so different. The song is played with a verse sung in English accent with the chorus interjected by Alex Maas which brings a completely different pace and sound. This is a great song just like the rest of the album.

I don't know how they'll follow this, but I wish them every success. Superb! Oh and by the way turn it up loud to really appreciate. (9/10)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sniper In Black Grease At The Gates Of Vietnam, 19 April 2012
This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
Imagine dragging yourself through tar pits in Vietnam while off you're nut. Thats Black Angels.
Shimmering drones like helicopter blades in the afternoon heat. Muggy vocals like the voices of dead men. Cascading sound like mind control techniques. Vibes that spread like oily tentacles into your brain and wrap around your cerebellum.
Passover is packed tight - song after song of coiled guitars like serpents. Woozy washes of noise like a coal black tide.
Martial drum beats like the footfalls of soldiers marching across the Russian front.
The vocals a mix of pained anguish and druggy euphoria.

I have dozens and dozens of modern psychedelic albums and this probably sits at the top. 4 years since I was first introduced (2014) it stills hits me like a punch in the guts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passing over, 3 Feb. 2007
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
If Jim Morrison had ever gotten depressed and started a pyschedelic hard-rock/blues band, then the result might sound something like Black Angels.

And this fledgling Austin band introduced their fuzzy-rock, blues-toned rock in their first full-length album, "Passover." It takes a little while to fully sink in, like the effects of a good wine -- but when it does, this haunting rock music is intoxicating.

It opens with a bluesy guitar playing, only to burst into a hypnotically fuzzy melody, full of drums and bass. "We'll fly for the hills/pick up your feet, let's go/we'll head for the hills/pick up steel on your way," Alex Maas intones in his rough, compelling voice. "Fire for the hills, pick up speed, and let's go..."

It continues with the slow-burning, mellotron-edged "The First Vietnamese War," a dark rocker that slowly pulls listeners deeper into its orbit. With the songs that follow, the Black Angels plunge into taut blues-rock, ghostly hard-rock, fuzzy bass melodies, cycling electric guitars, supernatural dirges, and even a plaintive song about "he's fighting in the Iraq war/what for?"

The Black Angels aren't really typical psychedelica, hard rock or blues. Instead, they pursue a ghostly, shamanic sound that is sort of a mad, sizzly mishmash of all of the above. It's like the Velvet Underground, Clinic, the Doors and Syd Barrett all returned to jam together in the desert.

Droning and cycling guitars and the fuzzy bass are the most prominent instruments here, locked into kinetic riffs and Ouroborous loops, and twisted up in some very solid drums. The effect is hypnotic. The psychedelic, slightly softer edge comes from some very subtle organ and keyboard, but not in a terribly prominent way.

Maas has the perfect voice for this hard, complex music -- he wails, growls, and murmurs seductively. He sounds like a weathebeaten, rough-voiced shaman who is telling us his visions. And grim visions they are -- war, love, anguish and pain. "You're just so kind/The eagle with red wine/You made me see that bright eye/Between me and time..."

The Black Angels are one of those bands that aren't as well-known as they deserve to be -- brilliant fusion of rock, blues and psychedelic anguish. Absolutely stunning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 6 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
This is psychedelia and drone music at its finest. The last song "call to arms" is one of the best ever.... The hidden bonus track is ... well... it`s Lennon during the sixties but this time it`s about Iraq! Great album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not to be Passed Over, 11 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Passover [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Heard the latest offering from The Black Angels and liked it. Bought this recently and was mightily impressed. Has been on the turntable for a few weeks now and I still love it.How can you describe them? They have obviously nicked a lot from other bands Velvets, Doors,Joy Division even the Jesus and Mary Chain, but it sounds great can't wait to see them live. Will definitely need earplugs noise is amazing.Passover a must for noise lovers who like a psychedelic twist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny., 28 April 2014
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This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
brilliant cd. one of the best uknown bands around. wish they would tour england they would sell out every gig
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 19 Nov. 2013
By 
Mr. K. RJ Graham (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
How chuffed to come across this excellent new band. Young Men Dead will go on to be a classic (in the same way Lightning Crashes did for Live from their Throwing Copper album in 1994). Sniper at the Gates of Heaven and the First Vietnam War echo The Doors late '70's era stuff. Haunting yet beautiful. An amazing talent that I really look forward to following in the future. Get it now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars modern psych genius, 19 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Passover [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Another perfectly formed Black Angels album. I know all the usual reference points for the Black Angels (Loop et al), but they are not here to copy, emulate or pastiche - the Black Angels take the format and drive it in their own direction, and it's a wonderful trip.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drone n Roll at its best!, 28 Sept. 2006
By 
D. Hamill (Corby, Northants) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
I came across these guys well over 18 months ago now, and they have been a prominent figure in my iTunes collection ever since. Im really happy to see that they finally have a UK release date for this amazing debut album, as these guys deserve to be exposed to a larger audience. If you love the whole rock n roll and psychedelia genre, that follows in the tracks of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Warlocks to name a few, then this album is a must for your collection. This is a really deep and moody album, with some beautiful sounds and powerful vocals, which at times are reminiscent of such great bands as the Doors, the Velvet Underground, Joy Division and the Stooges. Passover has arrived, don't miss it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars intense driving americana blues...intense, YEAH!!, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Passover (Audio CD)
Sonic Hedgehogs!!! I fell in love with their sound on hearing the first track 'Young Men Dead'. heard it in 'True Detective' on HBO.
mesmerising if you're susceptible to mesmerisation.
much love x
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