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Death Angel - Humanicide

Death Angel
by John Paul Romero at 17 June 2019, 4:58 AM

DEATH ANGEL has been one of the strongest, longest running and most successful thrash metal groups of all time. Since they have started their pursuit with “The Ultra-Violence”, they have only gotten stronger and bolder in every following release. Not even the temporary hiatus could stop them, as they have released true epics in “Relentless Retribution”, “The Dream Calls For Blood” and their most recent release “The Evil Divide”. And just by the last day of the past month, they have released yet another opus with the highly anticipated “Humanicide”.

Variety and unpredictability are what made every DEATH ANGEL album very entertaining, and this album is no different. The entire 45 minutes of playtime of the ten-piece album contains several twists, turns, and sometimes, wild leaps. The first song out of the album “Humanicide” kind of contains most of the elements that they mixed played throughout the album. It went from that somewhat epic and dramatic minute-long intro before blasting to an all-out old school Bay area thrash. Mark’s voice is still on point, from his soaring screams to his signature pissed off barks. The riffs resemble so much “The Ultra-Violence” to it, and the solo only made it stronger. While the opening song is more of a classic style thrash, “Divine Defector” is more of a modern DEATH ANGEL. They employed the same guitar sound as that of “The Evil Divide”, and those death metal chops on the drums. The riffs are crunchy and blazing all throughout and Mark’s vocals puts so much power to the song. This song is the most aggressive track in the album with its tempo and unapologetic beating. In fact, it can be identified as a death-thrash hybrid.

“Aggressor” can be simply determined as a straight-up pure fuckin’ thrash. Sharp aggressive riffs, non-stop crushing drums and a solid bass backbone are what gave life to the track. The acoustic fills add the right bite of suspense to the song, and when the solo was unleashed, it’s simply all-out hell. “I Came For Blood” runs on the same rails, starting ruthlessly fast and never looking back. It has a certain MOTORHEAD type of speed metal element in it, and that was pretty much dictated by Will’s punishing smashes. It also has a punky vibe, as provided by the vocals and the overall attitude of the song.

The change of pace begins with “Immortal Behated”. The song mostly ran on a moderate tempo, and everything is executed in a much slower and dramatic way compared to the first songs. There were moments where it would remind you of early DISTURBED stuff, but without really having to shift to a foreign soundscape because the way they attacked it is \\very much a DEATH ANGEL mannered.

“Alive and Screaming” is that one thrash song that can effortlessly summon mammoth moshpits in the crowd for its crazy energy outbursts and its tons of solos. Right beside it is the track “The Pack” which is a very anthemic track. The song is just as moshy and headbang-able as the track before it, but it is heavier by tons. It has riffs reminiscent of ANTHRAX’s “Among the Living” and therefore providing that old school feel to it although the majority of the song reflects modern age DEATH ANGEL.

Meanwhile, “Ghost of Me” arrives with so much energy and adrenaline with it, parading an unforgiving pace and hard-hitting beats. It still has that punk attitude combined with signature DEATH ANGEL crunchy riffs and Will’s ever unforgiving rolls. Mark’s vocal performance in this song is really remarkable as he unleashed everything he has in his arsenal and proving that until this day, he is still that fucking mean and angry screamer that he is. “Revelation Song” is another mid-pacer that followed nearly the same formula as “Immortal Behated” with those slight touches of modern metal in it especially on the guitar work.

Closing the album is “Of Rats And Men” that comes in like a hurricane. It has a gradual buildup, and a classic DEATH ANGEL vibe. Until this point in the album, it is still the riffs and vocals that provide so much power in the song, and the drums perfectly back it up with an equally electrifying attack. Overall, it is safe and easy to say that “Humanicide” is a strong addition to DEATH ANGEL’s catalogue. Compared to the most recent thrash releases, this album so far is the strongest, the meanest, and angriest. Rob proves that he still has lots of ideas going on in his mind with the level of songwriting that he did in this album, and Mark simply says that after all these years, his voice is still a force to reckon with. Highly recommended to any thrash maniacs out there.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

Overall: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Humanicide
2. Divine Defector
3. Aggressor
4. I Came For Blood
5. Immortal Behated
6. Alive and Screaming
7. The Pack
8. Ghost of Me
9. Revelation Song
10. Of Rats and Men
Rob Cavestany – Guitars
Mark Osegueda – Vocals
Ted Aguilar – Guitars
Will Caroll – Drums
Damien Sisson – Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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