FOR more than 30 years Death Angel have been pounding and powering their way through the thrash universe, but if you think that their longevity would diminish their hunger then Mark Osegueda’s roar to open Humanicide will dispel any such thoughts.
This is a tribute to not only their staying power since re-emerging with their 2004 album ‘The Art of Dying’, but also that ‘fuck you’ spirit first exhibited on début release ‘Ultra Violence’ way back in 1987.
What is striking about ‘Humanicide’ is that Death Angel are not content to tread the same path as many of their contemporaries; rather they incorporate subtlties, and even progressive elements, such as on ‘Aggressor’ and ‘Immortal Behated’. Delicacy and destruction married in an unholy thrash wedlock.
Not that you are going to find any let up in the power elsewhere. ‘I Came For Blood’ shoves punk thrash attitude into your aural tracts: punishingly great.
Jason Seucof’s production compliments the work that Death Angel put into the crafting of the 10 tracks included herein. And, it is evident that here is a band that know the vision they want to put forth musically and lyrically.
The title track’s dystopian vision of human extinction in a world ruled by wolves (nicely summed up by Brent Elliott white’s cover design). Equally ‘The Pack’s tribute to fans’ devotion does not trip itself into cliché, but showcases a band not wanting to slip into any tried and tested trope.
Of course, the playing is immaculate throughout, Rob and Ted trading licks and solos that will leave the Angel hordes salivating, while Damien’s bass thunders along to Will’s pounding.
However, the depth of the vision on Humanicide is more than just the collection on this release. Like the very best of thrash the joy comes from the challenge that the band presents, forcing you to listen intently to the construction of the music and the dark concepts presented to demand attentive listeners’ attention and thoughtful reflection amid the maelstrom.
‘Ghost of Me’, the title track and closer ‘Of Rats and Men’ are exemplars in this collection.
What Death Angel have pulled off, again, is an album the delights on first listen, demands a second and third spin to appreciate it, and many more sessions to really understand it. And, rest assured it will stand the test of time.
Humanicide is out now on Nuclear Blast.