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Angel Of Eden: The End Of Never
Neo-Classical/Power/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.75/5.0

Angel Of Eden is the new project by Artension guitarist Roger Staffelbach. This is a powerful album of heavy metal music that dovetails Staffelbach's neo-classical guitar slinging with forceful power metal. Originally released in Japan in 2007, 'The End Of Never' is now available from Lion Music. To accomplish 'The End Of Never,' Mr. Staffelbach recruited some real metal heavyweights including Carsten 'Lizard' Schulz (ex-Domain, now Evidence One) on vocals, keyboard virtuoso Mistheria, bass player Steve di Giorgio (ex-Testament), and drummer Rami Ali (Evidence One). Additionally, there some well-known guests appearing on this work, namely John West (Artension vocalist), guitarist David Shankle (ex-Manowar, now David Shankle Group) and Ferdy Doernberg (Rough Silk, Eden's Curse, Alex Rudi Pell and much more). With such quality talent you should expect some downright impressive metal and that's what you get.

The first thing you would expect to hear on 'The End Of Never' is some fantastic shredding by Staffelbach. You are not disappointed one bit. Without doubt, Staffelbach makes Yngwie proud when he rips things up from song to song. This is some of the best neo-classical guitar work I've heard in some time. Check out 'Return of the Pharao, Parts 1 (David Shankle delivers the first solo here) & 2 and you'll hear what I mean. Staffelbach's guitar is only accentuated when he duels with Mistheria on keyboards. As for Carsten Schulz, I'm a big fan. I loved his work with Domain. But expect something a little different here. This is not the 'Lizard' of the same color. His vocals are raw and breathlessly intense, more so than anything found on a Domain or Evidence One work.

Significant tracks include 'Angel Of Eden' which has a more traditional neo-classical heavy metal style. The title track displays that merger between neo-classical guitar metal and power metal I mentioned earlier. It cruises along at light speed with Staffelbach commanding eloquence from his guitar and Doernberg offering rather impressive keys. 'The Battle of 1386' (referring to the Hundred Years war I'm guessing) features John West on vocals. This song is epic in scope bringing the full measure of talent of every musician. 'Stampede' lives up to its name: this is tour-de-force metal. This could be the best song on the album; it certainly has the best Staffelbach guitar work. He's simply on fire throughout. Much of the same could be said for the instrumental number 'Towards The Light.' Listening to Staffelbach control his guitar and Mistheria provide extravagant keyboards, makes me remember why I'm a fan of metal. This is astounding stuff!

If you dig heavy metal with a neo-classical bent especially in guitar technique, then you cannot pass over Roger Staffelbach's Angel Of Eden. It is loaded with soaring guitar work. The arrangements are creative, the musicianship top shelf. This is a terrific album. Highly recommended!

In Short

Roger Staffelbach (guitarist, Artension) brings to metal fans everywhere Angel Of Eden's 'The End Of Never,' a tour-de-force of neo-classical guitar virtuosity blended with a heavy doses of power and traditional metal. Mr. Staffelbach rips and shreds like a madman. This completely great stuff! Pick it up!

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