Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Old Skool Thrash Lives! (Death Angel: Killing Season)
Its been quite a pleasant surprise to see so many bands from the Golden Age of Thrash (ie the 80s) still doing the rounds. Who would've thought eh? Some of the lesser known names still moshing away like grunge, emo, nu-metal or whatever the fook else is the flavour of the month, never fooking happened.
Fer those of you unfamiliar with Death Angel, these five Filipino-American cousins are related to Metallica's Kirk Hammet & first came to notoriety via their super fast & heavy The Ultra-Violence album in 1987. They were then just a bunch of pimply faced teenagers obsessed with speed but had shown signs of things to come on the follow up Frolic In The Park. That potential was fulfilled on Act III (1990) where they perfected the balance between heavy thrash & melodic sensibilites that was the Bay Area scene's signature sound.
But this was a time when the thrash scene was being overtaken by more extreme genres such as death metal & grindcore as well as the emergence of grunge. The band went their separate ways with some members performing as The Organization before a cancer benefit concert fer Testament's Chuck Billy in 2001 saw them tread the boards together again as Death Angel. The enthusiastic response they got convinced em to reform & they produced The Art of Dying in 2004.
But all this is news to me too until me chanced upon this latest offering on one of the metal blogs. Me is proud to report that this album is fooking killer! Classic Bay Area thrash which urges you to headbang thru a lethal combination of power, melody & dynamics. If this album had been released in 1988, Death Angel could well have been bigger than Metallica.
The solos are typically technical yet expressive & the songs have a real sense of being well-thought out pieces rather than yer typical hammer-to-yer-face blast of sound. You can really hear on this LP a band that has matured over the years & know just how to reign things in when the proceedings get a touch too heavy. Even the vocals are much better this time round, clear, crisp & nary a bum note in sight.
But its good to see these thrashers still pummelling away & keeping the Metal alive! Fer that alone, you should check out this album but rest assured you will get plenty of neck exercise with The Killing Season. Enjoy!
To download this long player:
ps: Death Angel were one of me wifey's fave bands - "coz they're cute". . .
pps: Couldn't find any new vids, so enjoy their "power-ballad" Room With A View below.