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Longings Past - An Angels Tale review

Arkeyn Steel Records

Longings Past from Jackson, Michigan were one of the most genius and inspired bands of all time into the genre of Epic Metal, case closed. Anyone that has listened to their music, even for a single time can do nothing more than agree with the above statement, simply because Longings Past is not “the metal band next door”, they were something much more different: Longings Past were a company of musicians that released not just music, but a complete VISION of art painted by the musical colors of Epic / Progressive Metal. The second –and last- chapter on the Longings Past saga is entitled “An Angel’s Tale” it was originally released back in 1994 in 500 tapes and 500 CDs and in its original form it is now one of the rarest pieces in Epic Metal history. It is now re-released by Arkeyn Steel records, so now everyone has the chance to listen to this gem that is re presented completely re-mastered and with new artwork. Compared to their debut “Meadows of Maseilya” the music included in “An Angel’s Tale” is even more dreamy, taking the listener into a changeling musical trip. James Shellberg now takes care of the most guitar parts of the album –while in the debut he was doing just the vocals due to tendonitis problem-. In this album he is able to perform his own compositions on his own very special guitar style that offers to the music that dreamy touch. This very special, Epic and musically narrative style of Longings Past is still their big trademark, presented in here in a more Progressive way. The music embraces the lyrics of a fantastic concept that has already started from the previous album. I will advice the listener to hand the booklet and reading the lyrics while listening to the music, this way someone will take the maximum artistic enjoyment, because the music and the lyrics completes the dreamy puzzle of Longings Past. Like a classical composer James Shellberg paints emotional pictures of fantasy with his melodies. As the listening of the album goes on you will notice the music to get even more apocalyptic and Epic. A re-arrangement has been also done to track list order by Shellberg himself so unlike the original track list of the tape and CD the two tracks The Goddess and Epitaph (Song For Britain) have been added as the two final tracks of the album as they are separated Longings Past’s compositions not belonging to the Angel’s Tale concept. So this re issue presents the album in the way it should be as the track list order as well. The total new artwork also does great justice toe music of this album, such a fantastic album should only be packed in a fantastic artwork. In a few words this re issue completes the Enchanter and Longing’s Past re issue series that Arkeyn Steel Records has started a year ago. In this way the whole artistic offering of James Shellberg is totally re presented the way it should be. For more information about both Enchanter –pre Longings Past band of Shellberg- and Longings Past please refer to the in depth interviews featured in Forgotten Scroll issue 4.



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