The logo from their second album, entitled "Time Will Tell"
The logo from their first self-titled album.
|Back in the glory days of traditional metal in the 1980s, with the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Ronnie James Dio, Led Zeppelin, and many others as an influence, Ed Archer, Ted Pilot and James Byrd had a vision. This vision was to blend their various musical influences and backgrounds together to form a new version of traditional metal. Thus, the inception of the band Fifth Angel. Ken Mary was brought on board on drums, and would later move on to much success playing in bands such as House Of Lords, Bad Moon Rising, and Alice Cooper, to name but a few.
From their beginnings in 1983 in Bellevue, Washington (near Seattle), Fifth Angel sought to create a musical landscape of their own to express ideas, thoughts, opinions and emotions in the most eloquent form, in the form of music and story-telling through lyrics. Fifth Angel recorded a demo with the now-famed Terry Date at the mixing desk and was first signed to independent label Shrapnel Records, which opened the door to an international following and a very positive acceptance of their vision. John Macko was brought on board to become the permanent bass player around this time.
Through fate and happenstance, the band caught the ear of Derek Simon with Concrete Marketing and Management in New York, NY. This again opened new doors for the band leading to offers from various major labels including Atlantic, Elektra, and Epic, the latter being the label which seemed the best fit. Epic Records re-released the original Fifth Angel album, giving it new life with remastering and cover art and the band began the journey of composing new material for a second album, to be the debut for the Epic label. This was also a time of change for the band as Kendall Bechtel became the new lead guitar player.
Time Will Tell was recorded with Terry Brown producing, from Rush fame, and was released to a much wider world audience through Epic's far reaching distribution network, being met with much anticipated acceptance. The song "Midnight Love" was featured as the theme song for Howard Stern's cable television show for several years.
In a short period of time the collective musical landscape and listening audience of the world changed. Seattle became a Mecca for a new sound called "grunge". Fifth Angel was caught in a grey area that many of the up-and-coming 1980's/90's metal bands were in - established enough to be known world-wide to a certain degree, but not established enough to be seen as a profitable investment by record companies when competing against the wildfire known as grunge. The realities of the "business side" of the music industry began to settle in and the writing was on the wall. Ed Archer decided it was time to leave and start a new path in life. Fifth Angel continued on, but as record companies faced the realities of the very profitable grunge music against their bottom line, Fifth Angel was released from their contract with Epic.
The band members went their separate ways, some intertwined with music, some not. Eventually, as fate would have it, some of the core band members reconnected and decided it was time to re-visit music and the band became active again in 2010 with a successful reunion gig at the Keep IT True Festival in Lauda-Koenigshofen, Germany. With "real life" responsibilities dictating progress, it has been slow going, but Fifth Angel is working towards a goal of releasing new music to round out the previous releases from so many years ago. It is unknown if this goal will be reached. Only time will tell...