'The Evil Divide'
Death Angel, the Bay Area thrash kings, return with a full frontal assault entitled 'The Evil Divide'. It's their eighth album in a career spanning over three decades. They define the genre having stuck to a simple formula of providing venomous-injected thrash in its purest form since 1982. This offering is nothing short of a 10-ton slab of metal played by a band that still sounds like they have something to prove.
The fret blazing 'The Moth' opens the record with an aggressive raging attitude. Mark Osegueda's uncompromising vocals play off the machinegun riffing with skilled perfection. The result is an instant gem in the bands long historic catalog. The second cut, 'Cause For Alarm', has a definite hardcore flavor. It's an explosion of energy that harks back to Death Angel's earliest material.
The band stretches its creativity on the song 'Lost'. The mid-tempo melodic approach sets the track apart from the constant pile-driving chaos on the other songs. Although the song may cater to the masses it still encompasses the intensity through the vocals of the chorus. Some may not like Death Angel stepping away from the norm but it shows the versatility and willingness to stray away from the thrash blueprint.
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Another standout is 'Father Of Lies' which returns the album back to a frantic pace. The song is a stomper led by the power of the crunching guitars and an instant recognizable head banging rhythm. The small caveat is a musical interlude that takes the song off the track momentarily. The same can be said for 'Hell To Pay', which is vintage Death Angel executed with speed and precision. The bass opens 'It Can't Be This' before it blasts off.
'Hatred United/United Hate' opens with a haunting intro that leads back into familiar territory. The main riff is decisive and destructive. This song contains some catchy hooks and memorable pieces. It also features a ripping guitar solo from Andreas Kisser of Sepultura. 'Breakaway' is another classic sounding head crusher with break neck guitars and jackhammer drumming. 'The Electric Cell' stays the course that has been laid out so clearly through the previous tracks. The closer 'Let The Pieces Fall' contains some fantastic guitar work through the various solos littered within the song. This track may not stand out on the first listen but as you dig into the album this track becomes something to go back to.
'The Evil Divide' is truly Death Angels best work in some time. The album is a hard-hitting thrash monster that maintains the core elements of the genre but also adds a modern twist to its formula. The guitar duo of Cavestany and Aguilar shine throughout the album. They shred through the material while staying conscious to cater they're playing to fit the song.
Vocally, Osegueda hasn't lost a step. His talent and high octane performance puts the material on another level that most bands can't match. Will Carroll (Drums) and Damien Sisson (Bass) provide another outstanding effort by providing that important rhythm section.
There is no doubting Death Angel's place in thrash history. The catalog is rich with standout material and they continue to add to it with the spectacular new album 'The Evil Divide'. Death Angel with join Slayer and Anthrax on a run through North America in the fall. A night not to be missed by any thrash fan.