Crannk Interviews-Fifth Angel:John Macko

I caught up with John Macko from the almighty Fifth Angel to discuss their latest forthcoming release the epic double concept album”When Angels Kill” due out worldwide 16th of June through Nuclear Blast.

For FIFTH ANGEL fans or fans of melodic power metal, this album is simply a “must-have.” Weaving the lyrics and subject matter of the last trilogy of FIFTH ANGEL albums into a double concept record among the likes of Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” or Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime,” “When Angels Kill” is all killer, and absolutely no filler. Each song has been crafted into a standalone work, and the double vinyl, CD, and digital versions are nearly seventy minutes in length. FIFTH ANGEL is back with a vengeance, with standout tracks such as “When Angels Kill,” “On Wings of Steel,” “We Are Immortal,” “Resist The Tyrant,” and “Empire of Hate.” The story of “When Angels Kill” begins in the future, when Phoenix, a young man caught in a world undergoing enormous changes, determines that the cunning, deceptive, and ruthless global leader that is enslaving billions will not subjugate him. Although it seems pointless and even fatal to resist, Phoenix joins a remnant of people that fight on for a better world. Traitorous love, catastrophic events, isolation, and impending doom darken his days, but Phoenix somehow retains his will to survive. The story concludes with a surprise ending.

Vocalist Steve Carlson: A native of the Seattle music scene, Steve Carlson performed in the Seattle area, singing in local bands at the same time FIFTH ANGEL was being formed. An incredible singer in his own right, and working in the same musical circles, Steve and FIFTH ANGEL were not introduced until Ken Mary met Steve Carlson in Phoenix, Arizona in 2018. Mutual friend and radio DJ Mike Gaube connected the two musicians.

Drummer Ken Mary: Also a product of the Seattle music community, Ken performed on albums that collectively have sold over five million copies worldwide, and include artists such as Alice Cooper, Flotsam and Jetsam, Impelliterri, Don Dokken, Chastain, Jordan Rudess, House of Lords, and many others. He has toured with Alice Cooper, Accept, Flotsam and Jetsam, House of Lords, and FIFTH ANGEL.

Bassist John Macko: John Macko performed on the last three FIFTH ANGEL albums, and has been instrumental in keeping the flame for the band alive. A veteran of the Seattle scene, John joined FIFTH ANGEL in 1987.

Guitarist Ed Archer: Ed Archer was instrumental in the formation of FIFTH ANGEL and Ed’s writing, along with his tight and intricate rhythm guitars, are a hallmark of the FIFTH ANGEL sound.

Guitarist Steve Conley: Steve Conley (Flotsam and Jetsam, F5) was the sixth angel for this album, lending his incredible guitar playing and writing abilities to the cause. Steve hails from Kansas City but is a longtime Phoenix resident.

Lead Guitarist Jim Dofka: Hailing from the hills of West Virginia, lead guitarist Jim Dofka (Dofka, Necrophagia, Leather Leone, Psycho Scream) has been burning the metal torch since his first release in 1987. He is a full time guitarist, touring artist, composer, and engineer-producer.

“When Angels Kill,” available in all formats worldwide June 16, 2023:







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