When you think of thrash metal, what instantly come to mind are The Big Four. In truth, what those bands miss is the intensity that they once possessed back in the 80s. Look a little bit further and deeper into the thrash metal scene and you come across groups like Death Angel, a band who’ve been going as long as the thrash scene, cropping up in 1981 and touring with a lot of the bands many casual listeners care to name when thinking about the genre. This is a band who’ve not lost their edge, and thankfully not lost any of the elements of what made them great, as is displayed perfectly on ‘The Evil Divide’.
Lead vocalist Mark Osegueda puts in a powerful performance on tracks such as ‘Hatred United / United Hate’ and ‘Electric Cell’. The frontman screams with such intensity about anti-government/religious control that it can be felt from the gut. He shows he also can have a sombre side on ‘Lost’, as he takes the speed away from the band and guides the song with his voice perfectly. This is most noticeable when the song goes into its slower passage with more cymbals and softer guitars.
The instruments on this record don’t let up, with the band powering ahead as fast as a younger group like Havok or Municipal Waste. Admittedly, most of the band joined the group after the reformation back in 2001, but lead guitarist Rob Cavenstay is an exception to this. Cavenstay shines on the likes of ‘Electric Cell’, as his form of teutonic thrash is seen perfectly taking the song forward at such speed. This doesn’t mean that the songs don’t go into moments of beauty with the guitar, opting for acoustic on ‘It Can’t Be This’ and ‘Father Of Lies’ to end both tracks is something that works amazingly well. ‘Hell To Pay’ also includes secondary guitarist Ted Aguilar perfectly, and makes his role mean something truly integral.
Finally, bassist Damien Sisson can be heard on the album incredibly well, especially on the intro to ‘It Can’t Be This’, playing quite an intense but catchy intro riff. Drummer Will Caroll also plays well on this track, guiding it along and giving it the intensity that it truly deserves.
In truth, this is the best album to display what thrash truly is in 2016. Though it might be from a band who have produced classic albums, the group still know how to make the genre relevant to this day, and from this make them one of the more underrated classic bands in the history of thrash.
Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)