The Fall of a Rebel Angel

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The Fall of a Rebel Angel
The Fall of a Rebel Angel - album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released11 November 2016
RecordedMarch 2015 – May 2016
StudioMerlin, an all-in-one mobile digital studio
114:18 (Limited Super Deluxe Edition)
LabelIsland Records (Universal Music)[1]
ProducerMichael Cretu
Enigma chronology
The Platinum Collection
The Fall of a Rebel Angel
Singles from The Fall of a Rebel Angel
  1. "Sadeness (Part II) (feat. Anggun)"
    Released: 10 October 2016
  2. "Amen (feat. Aquilo)"
    Released: 18 November 2016
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]

The Fall of a Rebel Angel is the eighth studio album from the German musical project Enigma, released on 11 November 2016 by Republic Records. The first studio album since Seven Lives Many Faces (2008), it is a concept album that tells the story of a protagonist's journey of development and change to find a new, fulfilling life. The album was developed by Enigma's founder, producer, and principal composer, Michael Cretu and German lyricist and librettist Michael Kunze. Its artwork was designed by Wolfgang Beltracchi.



The Fall of a Rebel Angel is the first release from Enigma since its 2010 fan collaboration track "MMX (The Social Song)" to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the musical project, and its first studio album since Seven Lives Many Faces (2008). Michael Cretu, Enigma's founder, principal composer and producer, spent one year "testing and experimenting" for a new Enigma studio album prior to recording.[3] Cretu aimed to return to the Enigma sound adopted in its early years which earned the group its biggest international commercial and critical success, adding his wish "to transfer the spirit of Enigma's beginnings to the here and now, but in a new musical language".[4] As the new album would be its eighth, Cretu wanted to make the album with a more complex idea behind it, with the number "8" being a symbol for "a new beginning". Having spent a period of four years recording music for a musical based on the German silent film Metropolis (1927) which involved German lyricist and librettist Michael Kunze, Cretu took a liking to writing music to a story, and wished to pursue such a concept for a new Enigma album.[5] The two had previously worked together during Cretu's time as a solo artist in the 1980s, writing the German lyrics to his 1985 hit single "Samurai".[5] Cretu asked Kunze to write a story for the new Enigma album, to which Kunze agreed. Cretu already had The Fall of a Rebel Angel in his head as a title for the project, and after several brainstorming sessions at Kunze's home in Hamburg, selected 10 out of 20 situations that Kunze had outlined for the album's story and developed them further.[5]


On 19 March 2015, a quote from Cretu posted on the official Enigma page on Facebook revealed that recording for The Fall of a Rebel Angel had begun.[3] A video update posted on 19 January 2016 revealed that five months were left to complete the album, during which three songs had yet to be completed.[6] The album features four guest artists: Brazilian singer-songwriter Mark Josher, Indonesian singer Anggun, Nanuk as female voice in intro, and English electro-pop duo Aquilo.[7] Its artwork was designed and illustrated by German artist Wolfgang Beltracchi, who also designed 12 paintings that accompany each of the album's "chapters".[4]

The album was recorded on Merlin, an all-in-one mobile digital studio that is the successor to a larger version of the unit named Alchemist, which Cretu operated to record Seven Lives Many Faces. The machine was built specifically for Cretu and his way of recording.[8] First used to record "MMX (The Social Song)", Merlin is roughly one third the size and weight of Alchemist and incorporates an Apple Mac Pro computer running the Logic Pro digital audio workstation software, an LG 21:9 aspect ratio monitor, three 3 terabyte LaCie hard disks, a Mark of the Unicorn analogue/digital interface, an 88-key keyboard, and surround sound speakers.[9]


The Fall of a Rebel Angel is a concept album formed of 12 "chapter-like" tracks[7] that tells a surreal narrative, based on an epic poem written for the album by Kunze, about a male protagonist's journey of development and change to find a new, fulfilling life.[10] Cretu described the story as a "symbolic journey to redemption – with everyone to define his individual path" combined with "psychedelic undertones".[4] He quotes from various literature, religious, and pop culture sources to aid the story which includes themes of sexuality, faith, and death. In one chapter, the character wanders through an imaginary town and encounters a priestess whose god is the Marquis de Sade, thus becoming a continuation of the story to "Sadeness (Part I)", the worldwide hit single from Enigma's debut album, MCMXC a.D. (1990).[7] The story concludes with the individual breaking their own reflection in the water of a lake, accepting responsibility of its life.[10]


The album was officially announced on 8 August 2016 with a scheduled release date of 11 November.[7]

Four editions of the album were made available on Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group.

  • The standard edition on single disc includes a 28-page booklet and the 12 "chapter" paintings by Beltracchi.
  • The two-disc limited deluxe edition digipak features a 12-track narration of the album's story and a 40-page booklet.
  • The limited super deluxe edition includes a signed picture frame and exclusive online content.
  • The gatefold vinyl edition has the 12 Beltracchi paintings and a 16-page booklet.
  • "Sadeness (Part II) (feat. Anggun)" was released as a digital download on 10 October 2016 for those who pre-ordered the album.[7]

Following the album's completion, Cretu felt proud of the album.[11] In May of 2018, the album was reissued on a limited edition colored vinyl as part of The Colours Of Enigma series, which includes all prior studio albums.

Track listing[edit]

The Fall of a Rebel Angel – Standard Edition
1."Circle Eight" (featuring Nanuk)Michael KunzeMichael Cretu2:19
2."The Omega Point"Kunze, CretuCretu, Kunze5:39
3."Diving"Kunze, CretuCretu, Kunze2:52
4."The Die Is Cast" (featuring Mark Josher)Kunze, Cretu, Marcelo Amaral PontelloCretu, Pontello4:16
5."Mother" (featuring Anggun)KunzeCretu3:38
6."Agnus Dei"Kunze, CretuCretu3:57
7."Sadeness (Part II)" (featuring Anggun)Kunze, CretuCretu4:09
8."Lost in Nothingness"Kunze, CretuCretu3:20
9."Oxygen Red" (featuring Anggun)KunzeCretu4:02
10."Confession of the Mind"Kunze, CretuCretu3:47
11."Absolvo"Kunze, CretuCretu2:01
12."Amen" (featuring Aquilo)KunzeCretu4:52
Total length:44:52

Narration tracks[edit]

The Super Deluxe Edition includes the album's story audio narrated over 12 tracks in three languages, for a total of 36 tracks. The English version is narrated by Ian Wood, Spanish by Manuel Sanchez Fraguas, and French by Patrice Luc Doumeyrou. The English language version is available in HTML5 format on Enigma's website.

All tracks written by Michael Cretu and Michael Kunze.


  • Michael Cretu – music, lyrics, story, production, programming, arrangements, engineering
Additional personnel
  • Anggun – vocals on "Mother", "Sadeness (Part II)", and "Oxygen Red"
  • Aquilo – vocals on "Amen"
  • Nanuk – featured performer voice on "Circle Eight"
  • Mark Josher (Marcelo Amaral Pontello) – vocals on "The Die Is Cast"
  • Michael Kunze – story, co-author
  • Wolfgang Beltracchi – cover art
  • Ian Wood – album story narrator (English)
  • Manuel Sanchez Fraguas – album story narrator (Spanish)
  • Patrice Luc Doumeyrou – album story narrator (French)


Chart (2016) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[12] 73
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[13] 24
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[14] 37
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[15] 61
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[16] 19
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[17] 29
French Albums (SNEP)[18] 71
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 10
Italian Albums (FIMI)[20] 42
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[21] 8
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[22] 23
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[23] 32
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[24] 38
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 19
UK Albums (OCC)[26] 40
US Billboard 200[27] 122
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[28] 1


  1. ^ "The Fall Of A Rebel Angel (Limited Deluxe Edition) Doppel-CD". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ Jurek, Thom. The Fall of a Rebel Angel at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Official Enigma Facebook post: "Message from Michael Cretu"". Facebook. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Enigma 8 marks 'The Fall of a Rebel Angel'". UDiscovermusic. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Enigma 8: El regreso de Michael Cretu y la revolución sonora de The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in Spanish). Perú.com. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Official Enigma Facebook post: "Roadmap to #Enigma8"". Facebook. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Getz, Dana (8 August 2016). "Enigma announce first album in 8 years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ Mettler, Mike (11 November 2016). "Enigma performs 'musical alchemy' with Merlin, his Mac-packed mobile studio". Digital Trends. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  9. ^ "The mobile studio Merlin". Enigmaspace. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Enigma VIII: Biography". Enigmaspace. August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  11. ^ Locoge, Benjamin (17 December 2016). "Michael Cretu. L'homme mystère d'Enigma". Paris Match. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  12. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #395". auspOp. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  13. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  14. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  15. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201646 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  17. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  18. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  19. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 46 (dal 2016-11-11 al 2016-11-17)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  21. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  23. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Albumes — Semana 46: del 11.11.2016 al 17.11.2016" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  25. ^ " – Enigma – The Fall of a Rebel Angel". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Enigma Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Enigma Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2016.

External links[edit]