Scarlet Angel are a relatively new traditional Heavy Metal band from the wilds of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. They consist of Michelle Armiger (g, v), Kim Yates (d), Jackie (Joyce) Glenn (v) and Rich Wilcox (b). They released their self-titled debut CD on Road Peet-Zah in 2004, followed by the new "Enter the Magic" CD in 2008. High Roller Records has just released their vinyl debut (HRR 032) including the entire material of the 2004 CD plus four bonus tracks taken from "Enter the Night".
As it is very difficult for unknown Metal bands to get a deal in the States at all, Scarlet Angel decided to go it alone in 2004, a fact of which Michelle is still proud today: "We're pleased with the sales of the first CD. I mean, we are an independent label and did finance the project ourselves. Initially, we had run 1,000 copies. It sold so well that we ordered another 2,000 copies. I think we may have sold over 2,000 copies thus far and I think that's amazing considering that they've basically sold by word or mouth, CD Baby, and by me asking for contacts from small independent record and CD sellers. We're always looking for distribution channels. But we're proud of the fact that we've remained independent."
One of the stand-out tracks on the self-titled vinyl album is called "Jack-O-Lantern". It does have a pumpkin/halloween theme, which may lead to the question, if it is not a bit too close to the bands Helloween and Halloween conecptually? Michelle does not think so: "No, not really! I love Helloween and to be honest, I always loved their artwork with the pumpkin man and that is actually what peaked my initial interest in them. From listening to Helloween's music, I wouldn't gather that the lyrics are Halloween (October 31st - the American holiday) oriented. Prior to the release of our first CD, I've never heard of the band Halloween. After hearing our CD, Rita Van Poorten of 'Metal Maidens Magazine' sent me the Halloween CD. I liked it and although we may be kindred spirits, I have to say that the band Halloween was not an influence on us or the song. Kim and I have just always loved the Halloween holiday. I love pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns). I even have a tattoo of a Jack-o-Lantern on an undisclosed body part. In addition, autumn (harvest) is my favorite season. Some day, I'd like to write a comprehensive history book on Halloween (harvest) type holidays across all cultures. Germany has some awesome holidays along the Halloween vein. Scarlet Angel is currently writing a children's book for the song 'Jack-O-Lantern'. A CD of the song will be included in the book. Kim has a haunted house called 'Kim's Krypt'."
If you look closely at the thanks list of the band's two albums, the name of God turns up here and there. Is Scarlet Angel a Christian band after all? Michelle: "I thanked 'The Great Spirit' on the first CD and 'The Universe' on the second CD. My faith is more nature oriented. I sort of have my own faith that is eclectic. On the other hand, Jackie has a very strong Christian faith and that is evident on her 'thank yous' on the CD and even in some of her lyrics. I haven't heard Kim and Rich speak about religion. I wouldn't classify us as a Christian band, in that Christian bands like Stryper have predominantly religious lyrics." Well, as Scarlet Angel are three parts female and only one part male, they might have been influenced by all-girl bands like Girschool, Rock Goddess or more recently The Donnas. According to Michelle, that is definitely the case: "I love Girlschool! We used to play a cover of one of their songs. I haven't heard of Rock Goddess and The Donnas. Kim, Jackie and I have been very much influenced by Heart. And, Jackie and I were very much influenced by Stevie Nicks. I also was influenced by The Runaways, Warlock (and Doro)." Not a bad choice of bands at all! However, Scarlet Angel have supported even more high-profile bands at some local shows, namely UFO and Krokus, two all-time great HM bands. Michelle: "Playing with UFO and Krokus was awesome! We loved the experience, those guys are all very cool and nice. We also played with Twisted Sister, LA Guns, Winger, Kittie, and Otep. We look forward to playing with more internationally renowned Metal greats!"
If you compare the very basic artwork of the CD release of the first album to the nice cover of the vinyl, you will see that it is worlds apart. Michelle thinks the same: "Yes, I agree wholeheartedly! For the CD, we wanted to do something like the LP, but could not find an artist that captured our essence. In the end, we needed to get the project finished and the basic CD cover with our logo was the option that was readily available, so we used it. It's basic, but it is Scarlet Angel's truest symbol. The LP art is so awesome that I almost wept for joy when I gazed upon it for the first time as it is exactly what we had hoped for on the CD, but we were unsuccessful at conceptualizing! The artist, Brigit Hahn, is absolutely incredible and wonderful! Steffen Böhm, High Roller Records and Rainer Krukenberg are the best! Steffen, Rainer and Brigit came up with this awesome concept for the LP. The art on the LP truly captures the essence of Scarlet Angel. We are truly greatful!"