Angelica Rylin’s solo debut ‘Thrive’ (Frontiers Records, 2013) was a decent AOR record. The core of its material took its influence from Robin Beck and other female stars from the late 80s and despite a very predictable approach to the material, Rylin gave strong vocal performances throughout. Its dozen well-written, chorus driven rockers opted for big hooks and bigger melodies at almost every turn and by going for a less bombastic approach than her band The Murder of My Sweet, it certainly made Rylin far more of an appealing musical prospect.
In 2015, The Murder of My Sweet released a terrible concept album called ‘Beth Out of Hell‘ which their record company likened to ELO and Queen. A brave but foolish claim: in reality, the album sounded a fourth rate Nightwish and it’s hard to imagine even the most staunch Euro metal fan would’ve enjoyed such a charmless, generic set of songs. Its follow up, 2017’s ‘Echoes of The Aftermath‘, was much better in that it actually gave a concession to some more melodic material, but even so, it still wasn’t the kind of record that would set the world alight. None of the band’s shortcomings lay with singer Angelica Rylin. She has a great voice, and as demonstrated on her solo album from 2013, she’s capable of using it far better than The Murder of My Sweet’s general bombast ever seemed to allow.
Despite claiming to draw influences from early Queen, ELO and Genesis, on their 2015 LP ‘Beth Out of Hell‘, The Murder of My Sweet came across as a really overbearing, second rate Nightwish. The album introduced listeners to a concept about a love affair between good and evil; a theatrical narrative made the material harder to digest than it already would have been…and in terms of both good taste and sanity, a children’s choir was the final straw. In short, ‘Beth Out of Hell’ was an egotistical, bloated effort that once heard (and once was enough) had the potential to cause long term mental trauma.
Formed in 2007 around the talents of drummer/producer Daniel Flores and vocalist Angelica Rylin, The Murder of My Sweet is a symphonic metal band based in Sweden. Their third album, 2015’s ‘Beth Out of Hell’ is a ridiculously grand affair straddling a fairly typical symphonic metal sound with huge elements pulled from musical theatre. Those who enjoy Within Temptation, Nightwish et al might glean some listening enjoyment, but to say its bombast is both one-paced and predictable would be an understatement.
Since this debut record from Angelica Rylin pays homage to her childhood heroes Robin Beck and Ann Wilson, it’ll come as no surprise that the album, therefore, ploughs a well-worn furrow of melodic rock. With Frontiers Records regular Daniel Flores handling production duties/drums/song-writing and other regulars Alessandro Del Vecchio and Robert Sall also having a hand in proceedings, the whole thing feels like an all-chums-together affair. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but obviously the combination of a familiar team and a rigid musical blueprint makes ‘Thrive’ feel wholly predictable. So, given that this album breaks absolutely no new musical ground whatsoever, why should you check out Angelica, when there is so much other rock music out there vying for your attention?