Death Angel Relentless Retribution


Nuclear Blast Records

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Death Angel 

After re-uniting at the beginning of this century, Death Angel released the albums ‘The Art Of Dying’ and ‘Killing Season’, the band is now on the verge of releasing their latest opus which is entitled ‘Relentless Retribution’. The Death Angel boys have grown into men, but their Bay Area thrash metal is still as original and refreshing as it was back in the day. What can we say? Do not expect a lump of easy-to-digest thrash like the latest Slayer album..

The opening tracks on the album are entitled: “Relentless Retribution” and “Claws In So Deep”. Admittedly, these are not exactly the smoothest thrash tracks to start out with, though the somewhat complicated riffs and song structures are never really an issue on this album. Death Angel has mastered the art of building solid songs around the complicated structures, and blending into easy going, catchy parts at just the right moment.

In the final part of “Claws In So Deep”, Death Angel is even joined by the Spanish guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. It all fits in nicely with the Death Angel tradition. After the Spanish guitars, the band proceeds to rip it up: these guys are still angry, too. I’m not sure what exactly they are angry with, but the holy fire within Mark Osegueda is still burning strong. He screams, sings and rages his way through the album as if he were still eighteen years old. After five somewhat short songs, the band hits the breaks a little with songs such as “Death Of The Meek” and “Opponents At Sides” which reminds us a lot of ‘Act III’. In “Opponents At Sides”, singer Mark lashes out at the concept of war and the army in general. He sounds sincere and that’s a good thing. In the song “Volcanic” we hear a different vocalist and suspect that we’re dealing with Rob Cavestany who is known to join in singing “Kill As One” when the song is performed live on stage. We are not overly impressed with the last two songs on the album but hey, there’s always going to be a couple you don’t like!

We can conclude that what we are dealing with here is no standard Bay Area record. The anger and intensity on this album are impressive. Production-wise, Death Angel have this thing nailed: not too modern, not too “thin”. The production duties were taken care of by Jason Seucof, whom some of you may know from Capharnaum. Doesn’t ring a bell for me, but this guy also produced for Trivium, the Black Dahlia Murder and Chimaira, among others. I can strongly recommend this record to anyone who is willing to step outside the box. And go see these guys on tour!  (Koos van Marle)

85/100

Tracklist:
01. Relentless Revolution
02. Claws In So Deep
03. Truce
04. Into The Arms Of Righteous Anger
05. River Of Rapture
06. Absence Of Light
07. This Hate
08. Death Of The Meek
09. Opponents At Sides
10. I Chose The Sky
11. Volcanic
12. Where They Lay

Line up:
Mark Osegueda - Vocals
Ted Aguilar - Guitar
Rob Cavestany - Guitar
Damien Sisson - Bass
Will Carroll - Drums