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Death Angel - The Bastard Tracks Award winner

Death Angel
The Bastard Tracks
by Andrew Harvey at 19 January 2022, 6:02 AM

DEATH ANGEL needs no introduction coming from a bunch of well known thrash metal favourites like METALLICA, SLAYER, TESTAMENT and EXODUS all from the state of California in the USA. The city of Los Angeles and other cities in California could certainly be the beating heart of where thrash metal was born. They have also been signed to Nuclear Blast along with some other big metal bands like ALCEST, KREATOR, BEHEMOTH, ANTHRAX  and CRADLE OF FILTH amongst other big names.

The band consists of ROB CAVESTANY on guitar in the original lineup before MARK OSEGUEDA joined on vocals whereas DAMIEN SISSON didn’t join till 2009 on bass guitar plus their current drummer WILL CARROLL also joined. The band formed all the way back in 1982 and released 3 studio albums from their early days in the 1980’s before a long break in 1991. Since 2001 and when they decided to get back together in 2004 officially they released 6 more studio albums, I will be looking at their latest release which is a live album titled THE BASTARD TRACKS released in November 2021.

Opening with “Lord Of Hate” with cutting edge guitar and drum parts with vocals barking out words of power, majesty and mischievous attitude. Guitar especially stands out before the next track “Where They Lay” pounces with trashy drums and guitar so exquisite. Drums are also making their mark already, as well vocals giving a glam metal statement of authority. The momentum here is incredible, full of energy and daring dynamics of each individual instrument.

“Why You Do This” is mostly instrumental electric guitar, bass guitar and drums to begin with the vocals reappear with that vibrato or echo. Guitar leads the narrative for the rhythm to vary and vocals underline track title before heading into the next track which is “Fallen”. A flying boomerang of a track but also running like fury with the pedal to metal drumming and threatening vocals right in your face becoming intimidating. Pulsating rhythms of guitar also and the clinical but precision of drum patterns following the guitar melody. Speedy drums at times are epic and it is a fantastic tune.

“Absence Of Light” slows at first with guitar but certainly picks up the pace with drums but is very much the beacon of the energetic, rock n roll sensation we feel running down our spines and tingling as well. Comes with guitar playing solos as before but never calms down that much before going into the next track. “The Organisation” packs a punch once more with the usual thrash classic guitar and drumming throttling the vocals through as ever. Tempo does vary as always going into the next track. “Execution/Don’t Save Me” is more of an acoustic and aggressive medley of two tracks blended together in such a magical but extraordinary way.

“Succubus” with drumming taking the narrative with guitar booming with excitement and thrust of stupendous musicality and tonality as well. “It Can’t Be This” counts us literally into a calmer tempo and dynamics with each instrument in their own zone and boundary set by the vocals in charge of all that must obey their master, as the other instruments are enslaved to what the singer has to say.  “Let The Pieces Fall” is merely a continuation of what we have heard before the anthem of all instruments before the next track, “Faded Remains” also an acoustic intro bringing angelic vocals with no drums but beautiful orchestration of guitar and vocals in unison.

“Volcanic” is also a carbon copy of the acoustic segments from before and that is pretty much all there is. “Fallen Off The Edge Of The World” a cover of the classic by BLACK SABBATH is completely full of passion and busting attitude with a right kick in the teeth as well as all that is brilliant about this arrangement. “Guilty Of Innocence” shouting and exploding full of noise of drums and guitar melodic as before but also racing along with the tempo of vocals setting the light for all to go wild and chaotic. “Alive And Screaming” the grand finale of an aspiring live album going all the way from strength to strength, signals the end and conclusion of a brilliant work of art, simply a masterpiece!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Lord Of Hate - Live
2. Where They Lay - Live
3. Why You Do This - Live
4. Fallen - Live
5. Absence Of Light - Live
6. The Organisation - Live
7. Execution/Don’t Save Me - Live
8. Succubus - Live
9. It Can’t Be This
10 Let The Pieces Fall - Live
11. Faded Remains - Live
12. Volcanic - Live
13. Falling Off The Edge Of The World - Live
14. Guilty Of Innocence - Live
15. Alive And Screaming - Live
Mark Osegueda - Vocals
Rob Castavany - Guitar
Ted Aguilar - Guitar
Damien Sisson - Bass
Will Carroll - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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