REVIEW: Death AngelThe Evil Divide (2016)

When I discovered Death Angel many years ago they were/are a band that I quickly fell in love with. Their sound had invigorated me with their mix of both groove and thrash metal, and they quickly propelled themselves to one of my favourite bands. I really loved The Killing Season, but when it came to release their new record, Relentless Retribution, two new members who were brought into the band: Damien on bass and Will on drums. I felt that it was merely just testing the waters and breaking the new members in. The Dream Calls For Blood, then, was a firecracker of an album. Right from opening track “Left For Dead” through to closing track “Territorial Instinct/Bloodlust” the band never let up and it surely seemed like it that was going to be an album to beat. The question was, though, when exactly were the San Francisco Bay Area metallers going to follow that up? Of course I saw the announcements throughout social media (as is how I found about everything these days…) and my pulse quickened a little, though I really didn’t need it, with the excitement of another Death Angel sonic throttling incoming. Receiving the album as a birthday present, the deluxe edition including a ‘making of’ the album, mixed with interviews and whatnot, I have to say that, after studiously listening to the album, I’m somewhat mixed in my opinion. This album starts off brilliantly: the opener and ever-groovy “The Moth” followed by “Cause For Alarm”, all rounded off by slow-burning “Lost”. After that the album becomes very samey in its approach. The album is only 10 tracks long – 11 if you count the bonus track “The Wasteland” – and I would have loved another slow song like “Lost” thrown into the mix just to make things different, but because I love this band so much I find it hard to be critical. Yes, The Dream Calls For Blood was/is an amazing record and I would’ve been blown away if the band had managed to outdo themselves on this one, but it more or less just feels like it’s on par with that album – not exactly bettering themselves, but just staying on the same ground. Even the overall mix of the album feels like it tried to make the album seem more compact and, dare I say it, a little punk rock at times – it doesn’t sound exactly perfect but it feels gritty at the same time too. Death Angel’s records have always been near perfect and The Evil Divide comes really close to that. All in all, another awesome album from the San Francisco Bay Area metallers, but it gets very samey after “Lost”. Still, it’s another worthwhile notch in the belt for these guys who have been going since the ’80’s.

RATING: 3 / 5

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