Shadow Kingdom Records reissues one of the cultest '80s metal records: Angel Of Mercy's lone 1987 album, The Avatar. A true document of true epic metal without aiming to be epic metal in the first place, The Avatar is a mesmerizing blend of magick and high drama, of mysticism and glory, sorrow and triumph, and all unselfconsciously so. Angel Of Mercy's' main influences were Kiss, Rush, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. Strangely enough, they didn't hear Iron Maiden until after all the songs comprising The Avatar were written, so somehow, the band had crafted this highly melodic yet highly mysterious sound without hearing one of the form's most foundational bands.
If we're speaking strictly of US metal, The Avatar could be compared to early Manilla Road and demo-era Anvil Chorus, even though Angel Of Mercy were unaware of either band at the time. But the seemingly aeons-old intros on The Avatar that patiently build into towers of epic metal majesty - were primarily influenced by Zeppelin and Kiss' proto-epic metal Music "From The Elder." No matter how popular and widespread heavy metal got in the '80s, in hindsight most of its bands were simply making it up as they went along, with no wider awareness, and The Avatar is a brilliant example of raw talent and unbridled ambition coalescing into a wild and weird but ultimately eternal document of glorious times never to be replicated.