Back in 1990 a sequence of unfortunate events meant shattered dreams and unfulfilled potential. However, since reforming and then recruiting a new rhythm section in 2009, guitarist Rob Cavestany and Co. have been at the forefront of the genre, banging out quality albums of menacing riffs and certifiable thrash metal fury, and ‘The Evil Divide’ proves to be another exhilarating offering.
‘The Moth’ shatters the silence with a frantic opening riff, before settling down to solid thrash but wait, there are twists and turns – vocal harmonies, bass runs and buzzing riffage – this is classic thrash souped up for the new generation; cool! ‘Cause for Alarm’ continues the attacking fury, whilst also managing to sound up-to-date and showing Death Angel to be a heavier band now than when they were on the brink of global superstardom.
Even so, they’ve retained some of the elements that once set them apart; ‘It Can’t Be This’, for example, has a slower groove and great vocals from stalwart Mark Osegueda, while ‘Hatred United, United Hate’ delivers edgy riffs on this excellently arranged pulsating thrasher. ‘Lost’, meanwhile, has a cool groove and showcases their ear for a melody, it’s a well worked number with an emotional edge that is the stand out track.
The record benefits from crisp production, giving the guitars a very up-to-date sound with a sharp metallic edge, and although the vocals are old school, some tweaks to the arrangements have kept it fresh. ‘Father of Lies’ is a prime example of where the combination works and album closer ‘Let the Pieces Fall’ also delivers. One or two tracks, like ‘Hell To Pay’ or ‘Breakaway’ owe more to the past than to the present, but if aggressive riffing is your bag, you won’t be disappointed.
On the whole ‘The Evil Divide’ is a quality metal thrashing mad record of riotous riffs and well-thought out songs, showcasing precisely what makes Death Angel such an enduring force.
‘The Evil Divide’ by Death Angel is out now on Nuclear Blast.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)