REVIEW: DEATH ANGEL – “The Evil Divide”
Weird as it may sound, there are still a good chunk of people who say there are no new good bands around; that 80s thrash metal is a dying breed. And to be honest, they can’t be criticised for saying such. Earlier genres were distinct, but as the years passed by, new musicians started experimenting by fusing genres. There are definitely new good bands around – in fact there’s a plethora of them – but the rawness and power that the bands of the 80s had got lost somewhere in time.
Slayer, for example, had a different sound in 80s, 90s, and the early 2000s, even though it was the same thrash metal. The same went for other bands like Kreator, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Sodom and so on. However, stuck somewhere between the thrash metal of the late 80s and early 90s are a few bands that are, amazingly, still releasing albums one after another and still holding the baton of the thrash of that era. One of them is Death Angel, with their latest album ‘The Evil Divide’.
Death Angel’s track record has been more or less like a see-saw, where they alternatively released albums which were greatly appreciated by the fans, and sometimes weren’t. Their previous album ‘The Dream Calls For Blood’ was widely accepted by fans and critics. ‘The Evil Divide’ is everything you expect a 80s thrash metal band to sound like, and it hit the bull’s eye in that regard. The album cover by Bob Tyrell even has a semblance of the iconic poster of ‘The Silence of The Lambs’. Initiating with “The Moth”, the album picks up the pace in a snap and the intensity is kept constant throughout, which is just one of the treats of listening to the album. The riffs of “Cause For Alarm” and “Hell To Pay” are gritty, serving up all the animosity that you may have had for over two decades for not being able to listen pure and raw thrash metal, just to silence the complainers (or the lambs).
The second half begins with “It Can’t Be This” followed by “Hatred United, United Hate”, which are personal favorites of mine and simply in-your-face thrash, and the guitar solo on the latter is mesmerizing. The one track that really shakes the ground beneath you is “Let The Pieces Fall”, which also concludes the album and is probably its best track in every aspect, be it vocals, music, guitars, bass or drums. The guitars by Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar are definitely something to look forward to; they’re pure brutality and annihilation. Mark Osegueda sounds awesome as usual with his high-pitched vocals, with some extra spark in his voice that pushes the album a level higher. Damien Sisson on bass duties is groovy and earth-shaking, but what really tears the ground asunder is Will Carroll on drums with good production for better finesse. The mastering on the album fails to impress though, leaving a lot of room for improvement.
If you want to listen to 80s thrash metal and experience that same power, just buy Death Angel’s new album ‘The Evil Divide’ without asking questions. It is everything you need to revisit and relive the decade in its full ambience and decadence. It’s heavy, it’s fast, it’s raw, and it’s thrash.