|ABOUT FIFTH ANGEL:
The Seattle music scene in the mid 1980’s was a breeding ground of exceptional talent. Heavy metal was a new wave of music that was sweeping the globe, and FIFTH ANGEL is one of the forefathers of the legendary Seattle metal scene that produced iconic metal bands such as Queensryche and Metal Church.
In 1984, school friends Ted Pilot (vocalist), Ed Archer (guitarist) and drummer Ken Mary (Alice Cooper, Flotsam and Jetsam, House of Lords) joined forces with lead guitarist James Byrd and bassist John Macko. Inspired by the success of Queensryche, who shunned playing clubs for the sake of writing, recording and releasing their own music independently, FIFTH ANGEL chose a similar path. They focused on honing their writing and recording skills, crafting the incredible debut album “FIFTH ANGEL,” which today stands as a metal classic that has influenced countless bands.
Co-produced with famed music producer Terry Date, (Pantera, Soundgarden, White Zombie), “Fifth Angel” was Date’s first ever production. The album, recorded at Steve Lawson studios in Seattle and first released in the United States on Shrapnel Records, was distributed in Europe through a fledgling label named RoadRunner Records based in the Netherlands. The album quickly became a cult classic in the European metal community, charting higher than many major label releases.
Epic Records caught wind of the band, and were so impressed with “Fifth Angel” they signed the band to a seven album, $21 million dollar deal. Re-mastering the recording and re-releasing the album with new artwork, Epic unveiled FIFTH ANGEL to a worldwide audience in 1988.
The band received rave reviews, and was touted in the press as the “next big thing” in all the major metal magazines of the day, including Hit Parader, Kerrang!, RIP, Metal Edge, Metal Forces and many others. Kerrang! went as far as attaching a flexidisc of the band’s music onto their cover, and giving the center fold out of the magazine to the band as well.
In late 1988, the band entered the studio once again, this time with producer Terry Brown (Rush). Epic Records released “Time Will Tell” by FIFTH ANGEL in August of 1989. “Time Will Tell” saw the departure of lead guitarist James Byrd, and the introduction of guitar prodigy Kendall Bechtel. The video for “Time Will Tell” was released from the album, and went into rotation on MTV. An additional single from the album, “Midnight Love,” became the theme song for shock jock Howard Stern’s #1 ranked US radio show for over four years.
However, the winds of change were beginning to stir over the music industry, and when grunge music hit the US music market hard in the early 90’s, (music that ironically was based out of Seattle as well), FIFTH ANGEL disbanded. But that’s not the end of the story…
FIFTH ANGEL was invited to headline the Keep It True festival in Germany in 2010. The reception was incredible, with the sold out crowd singing the lyrics to every song. This positive momentum planted the seeds for a new album.
Finally, several of the members began writing and recording together, and the collective enthusiasm was very strong over the music that was created. Nuclear Blast signed the band to a new recording contract based on a three-song demo that was submitted in 2017, and in the fall of 2018 FIFTH ANGEL released their first new album in nearly 30 years, “The Third Secret.”
The album featured the incredible talents of Kendall Bechtel, Ken Mary and John Macko. Original guitarist Ed Archer soon returned, and along with two new members, Steve Carlson on lead vocals and Ethan Brosh on lead guitar, the lineup was completed after an unexpected departure at the end of 2018 by Bechtel.
“The Third Secret” topped the charts on Deaf Forever (DE), Rock Hard (DE) and numerous other international magazines, and brought the group back on the charts. In 2019, the band returned to the festival stages, headlining the Metal Assault festival in Würzburg, Germany, and then appearing at the Rock Hard and Alcatraz festivals in the Summer of that year.
FIFTH ANGEL will appear this spring at the Keep It True festival once again with the current lineup, and will also perform at Alcatraz (BE) later in August 2023.