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The image is profound: forgotten angels, gathered together in song. Literally, that’s what we have here. Vietnam Soul is an Australian Vietnam veterans choir, and Angels Beyond the Abyss is the benefit compilation put together with the choir and special guests through the agency of organising member and primary songwriter Francis Edwards. These songs are for veterans, by veterans, singing for themselves and others like them: again and again the lyrics turn to the downs and ups of the veteran experience (homelessness, alienation, crippled love, redemption, understanding), and one gets the impression that choir practice for these singers is a serious, emotional experience. The arrangements are mostly piano-driven pop, but there are moments of pub rock and country, which makes perfect sense for the group. If I have complaint, it’s that there isn’t enough of the choir themselves on the disc. While choir-driven numbers like Standing Tall At Last are great, they are exceptions: the voice that dominates is Edwards’s baritone, often quite alone. Where the voices sing together, you get the best feel of the choir and the cause, and it’s a shame there’s not more of that on here. Still, it’s hard to fault a community production like this. Special guests include Little Pattie, and all profits are split between St Vincent de Paul Society, Wesley Mission,  and Father Chris Ryan’s ‘Youth Off the Streets’ project.

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