Wednesday, 17 August 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Death Angel - "The Evil Divide"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/05/2016
Label: Nuclear Blast


The material here is a thrash master class and is perhaps comparable to that of the latter day Overkill records- thrash, hooks, some speed, some mid paced stuff.... Yep, the Death Angel of recent times is my favourite of their career. Proper metal, all the time, of uniformly high quality.

“The Evil Divide” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. The Moth
2. Cause for Alarm
3. Lost
4. Father of Lies
5. Hell to Pay
6. It Can't Be This
7. Hatred United, United Hate
8. Breakaway
9. The Electric Cell
10. Let the Pieces Fall

The Review:

Death Angel return, hot on the heels of last release “The Dream Calls for Blood”- which was awesome, in case you missed it. Business as usual is the name of the game here. Opener “The Moth” pretty much slays with thrash beats, twisting riffs and strong hooks. The run that Death Angel have been on recently equals the quality of their earlier records, in my view. Old school Death Angel may be, but there are echoes of such bands as God Forbid and Shadows Fall in the arrangements and delivery- theirs is a more expansive sound than, say, Exodus (not knocking Exodus- great band).

The album continues at pace with “Cause For Alarm” which is again a thrash tour de force. “Lost” is more mid pace, but still of thrash features- and hooks. The same can be said of “Father of Lies” which motors along nicely with trading and chugging guitars and the vocal is spat out with genuine spite by Mark Osegueda. The material here is perhaps comparable to that of the latter day Overkill records- thrash, hooks, some speed, some mid paced stuff... a thrash masterclass, basically.

Over the course of the ten tracks there is not really any let up- “Hell To Pay” is a rager, “It Can't Be This” is more measured (but still deadly) and so on. One thing is for sure as the clean intro of “Hatred United, United Hate” gives way to a thrashing riff, the Death Angel of 2016 is the heaviest most metal of their lengthy career. I for one welcome this approach- as enjoyable as their early records are, they certainly contained some experimental elements and more balladic material from album three onwards. The comeback of the early 2000s mixed and match brutality and melody, but for me the band have really hit their stride with “The Evil Divide” and its predecessor. There are echoes of NWOBHM esque sounds and vibes in “Breakaway” and even the NYHC hardcore scene as well.

The final two tracks are no less impactive with “The Electric Cell” being rather state of the art thrash and “Let The Pieces Fall” being an impressive and almost epic finisher- a maelstrom of riffage and changes. Yep, the Death Angel of recent times is my favourite of their career. Proper metal, all the time, of uniformly high quality.

“The Evil Divide” is available here

Band info: facebook

RIYL: Testament, Exodus, Annihilator, Evile

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