Tuesday 12 November 2013

Death Angel - The Dream Calls For Blood (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full length
Date Released :  11.10.2013
Label :  Nuclear Blast

The Dream Calls For Blood, album track listing :

1. Left for Dead 5:31
2. Son of the Morning 4:02
3. Fallen 4:41
4. The Dream Calls for Blood 4:11
5. Succubus 4:27
6. Execution / Don't Save Me 4:40
7. Caster of Shame 3:37
8. Detonate 4:42
9. Empty 4:58
10. Territorial Instinct / Bloodlust 6:37

The Band :

Mark Osegueda | Vocals
Rob Cavestany | Guitars
Will Carroll | Drums
Damien Sisson | Bass
Ted Aguilar |Guitars

Review :

Death Angel return with two original line up members and a boat load of enthusiasm, chops and history. Right off the bat, I will say that this is the latter day record of theirs that I have enjoyed most.  Discounting early efforts like “Frolic Through The Park” and “The Ultraviolence” I cannot claim to be massively familiar with their work- I enjoyed “Relentless Retribution”, but have always preferred Exodus, Testament and Overkill from thrash's second wave.

Regardless of that, this record is a thriller; Left For Dead welcomes us all to the thrash-fest with state of the art production, excellent riffs and a superb vocal performance from live-wire front-man Mark Osegueda. Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguila playa razor sharp blinder as the rest of the band deliver a  sonic beatdown masterclass. End of Morning follows with more high quality thrash while Fallen has hooks aplenty and some lovely riff passages. Props (am I actually using that term?!) also to bass man Damien Sisson- his bass lines are all over the record; complementary and precise, not too mention easy to pick out in the stellar mix.

The title track is up next and goes for the throat from the off- good to have the band back on this kind of brutal form! The pace is quick, the guitars precise and the overall effect sums of bay area thrash well. Will Carroll rings the changes with some very precise rhythms- the snare sound is particularly good, as is the ride- and brings a controlled fury to the attack. Snaking fretwork heralds in Succubus as the pace drops a little for a choppy workout.

Acoustic guitars make an appearance foe Execution/Don't Save Me, which then intertwine with electric lead work before fading out and then the furious pace picks right back up prior to a kind of swinging feel employed for the verses. Caster of Shame has a very nifty riff and a righteous fury to the vocals as Osegueda's voice soars. Again, the hooks are strong and the adrenaline flows enough for you to know that this would be excellent live (The Underworld on December 10th anyone?!).

Detonate begins with a throw back to simpler thrash times (no irony, no-one other than Anthrax having “fun” etc), as it offers up a melodic and rather grandiose intro before building to a slow burner of chugging riffs. Empty offers up nigh on five minutes of discordant riffathon pyrotechnics- lovely soloing too- and a cool little bass break as well. The album finishes in style with Territorial Instinct/Bloodlust- again a pretty acoustic intro turns electric and a mid paced groove comes in. Excellent lead licks abound, the mixing is top notch and the placement of little acoustic parts that drop in and out is a very neat production trick.

Overall, the record is a darker and heavier beast than “Relentless...” and shows the band, for me, at the peak of their powers. It is interesting to note that many of the thrash bands are hitting late career peaks: Overkill are on scorching form, Kreator are making excellent metal, Exodus have been awesome since Rob Dukes joined, Testament are truly back in the game and now Death Angel return to bid for the championship. Truly, this is an excellent modern thrash record; mature, well written, played and produced. For those of you who perhaps overlooked the band since reforming- give this album a try. You will be glad you did. Death Angel may not be much of a family affair these days, but they certainly deserve international success. On the strength of this album, that is exactly what they are owed.


Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here


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