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Disclaimer

This website is the unofficial online home for the history of the band Fifth Angel. The band's official home is at FifthAngel.com. While the information presented herein is true to the best of my knowledge, any difference concerning facts on this site in comparison to a statement by a member or former member of the band, should be viewed with preference towards that band member. It is also not-for-profit, and will not be using advertisements or any method to generate revenue.

All images and written accounts presented on FifthAngel.org are from my personal collection or donated by various individuals. Please do not reprint or repost without express written permission from the site administrator.

Credits

First and foremost, thanks to the members of Fifth Angel (current and past) who spent many hours meeting with and speaking to me about the history of the band. In addition, many of those members donated article scans and photos. Again, thanks to all of you. Speaking of scans, thanks to Sian J., who went through a large magazine collection to send me a bunch of article scans.

Fifth Angel: My Story

My introduction to Fifth Angel is probably similar to many other fans. Back in late 1987, two close friends of mine would exchange cassette copies of various hard rock and metal band. Their adult older brother came home one day with Fifth Angel's self-titled debut, and we proceeded to dub the tape. I was pretty blown away by the guitar skill, raw power and emotion from the band and the singer, and was immediately hooked. At the time, I was (and continue to be) a fan of Queensryche, another Seattle metal band, having heard that band's 1986 release Rage for Order, but they simply didn't hit me ( at least at that point in time) like Fifth Angel had.

A copy of that self-titled tape was like gold to me back then. I remember going to the mall and department stores looking for an original copy, finally finding one at Tape World (now defunct) at the Sunvet Mall in Long Island, N.Y. I also went through countless metal and hard rock magazines each month, looking for more information about Fifth Angel. After about a year, I saw a brief mention somewhere about the band working on a second album, due out in late 1989. Without question, a cassette of that album was first thing on this kid's Christmas list. In fact, I distinctly remember asking my mother that if I could only have one thing that year, that was what I wanted.

I'll never forget that Christmas morning in December 1989. I received the second Fifth Angel album, Time Will Tell, in my Christmas stocking. I had woken up at 4 a.m., found the tape and put it in the Walkman I had at the time. There was no happier kid that Christmas than me. I listened to it all the way through before going back to sleep. In fact, I don't even remember anything else about that Christmas, other than opening that Fifth Angel cassette. It made my year, and while Queensryche had taken over my "top spot" due to the 1988 release Operation: Mindcrime, Fifth Angel was still right there with them.

As 1990 began, I found a couple of articles about the band in various magazines and of course, was happily surprised that "Midnight Love," a track on that second album, was the theme song for Howard Stern's late night TV show. I was a little surprised at the guitarist change from James Byrd to Kendall Bechtel, but Kendall could hold his own in my opinion, so at the time, it really wasn't a big deal. I wrote a letter to the band at some point, I distinctly recall being so excited to send it, hoping they'd respond. That response never came and I found out in the months to come that Fifth Angel had broken up. For a kid so enthralled with the band, you would think it should have bothered me more. But by that time, as I mentioned earlier, I was also really into Queensryche, so I simply latched onto them. But I never forgot about Fifth Angel.

Years past, and when the Internet started really becoming popular in the mid-1990s, I searched for whatever information I could find on the band, coming up empty. In roughly 2000 or 2001, I finally hit upon the web site of Fifth Angel's original lead guitarist, James Byrd. I took a chance and contacted him via e-mail, and to my surprise, he wrote back, appreciating the note. When I asked about Fifth Angel, he directed me to an interview he did with RockReunion (no longer online), which explained his view of the entire Fifth Angel situation leading up to his dismissal and the guitarist change to Kendall Bechtel.

A couple of more years went by, and in 2003, I ended up interviewing Byrd for an article on Fifth Angel and his solo career for a music publication I was writing for at the time. In 2006, with the Internet still really void of any comprehensive information on Fifth Angel, I developed this site. Over the next few years, I ended up getting in touch with Kendall Bechtel, John Macko, Ed Archer, and Ted Pilot. Fifth Angel got back together to perform its first "official" show in 2010, featuring three of the five Time Will Tell era members. See the History section of this site for details on that. But personally, I couldn't believe my good fortune -- through this site, I was able to connect with, meet, and become friends with members of the band, even working with them for a short time on various projects.

I shuttered the site from 2012-2017 for personal reasons. But with Ken Mary rejoining the fold and Fifth Angel ready to perform again, I wanted to get it back online, for good this time, despite its outdated format. Time will tell whether Fifth Angel will ultimately provide fans with the long awaited third album. But the band is back, the future looks promising, and it is once again time to call out the warning...

-- Brian Heaton