Death Angel – The Bastard Tracks Review

Some reviews ago I came into with the question if record companies had some kind of agreement to release at the same time bands related by all means. Well, in a matter of speaking, the answer came this week with the release of two seminal bands from the Bay Area with a week difference of release: Exodus and now Death Angel. Ok, they are fro the same recodr company. I know that, but I do think companies agree on a date of release.

As I told before, it’s so easy to write a review of a seminal band as Death Angel. The review almost comes written. Here I got some info about the taht I think to be interesting to the fan that doesn’t know the band that well. Remember, my dear child of the night, it’s no shame not to know all Metal bands in this ad and lonley and pathetic little world. Death Angel are also often credited as one of the leaders of the second wave of thrash metal movement from the 1980s, and considered to be one of the “big eight” of the genre (along with Metallica, Megadeth, SlayerAnthrax, Testament, Exodus and Overkill), as well as one of the so-called “Big Six of Bay Area thrash metal” (alongside Exodus, TestamentLååz RockitForbidden and Vio-lence). Following the underground success of their first two studio albums, 1987’s “The Ultra-Violence” and 1988’s “Frolic Through the Park,” Death Angel signed to Geffen Records in 1989, and released their only album for the label, “Act III,” the following year. While they were touring in support of “Act III,” then-drummer Andy Galeon was injured in a tour bus accident and needed more than a year to fully recover. This resulted in the band’s break up in 1991. However, Death Angel reformed in 2001 (without original rhythm guitarist Gus Pepa) at the Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for Testament singer Chuck Billy. The band has since released six more albums, including “Humanicide” (2019), to which the title track gave Death Angel their first-ever Grammy Award nomination.

“The Bastard Tracks” is a very varied album. Officially it’s a live album without the sounds of the crowd. This album makes possible to the fan to understand some great influences of Thrash Metal as Death Angel travel around many, and diverse, influences. Vocals, for instance, can go from the Thrash harsh of bands as Slayer or to the clean and pitched of Anthrax. This means that Death Angel are loyal to their NWOBHM mixed with hardcore which, by the way, is the root of all Thrash Metal. The fifteen tracks in the album shows lots of variations and different mooding. It’s interesting that the band likes to work with intros as in “Lord of Hate” and “Execution – Don’t Save Me” where voth start sweet and gentle to go all hell’s break loose. It’s also remarkable the influence of Judas Priest felt in tracks as “The Organization” and in the guitar tones and technique of the guitar solos. Judas Priest fans will easily noticed that – I did. Hardcore are well and alive in tracks as “Why You Do This” with its flaming and inspiring guitar riffing and the energy it delivers.

I have to say that is very good to listen to the sharp and hypnotic guitar riffing that Death Angel deliver. Not to mention the pounding guitars of “Succubus.” By the way, the cover of Black Sabbath’s Dio era “Falling off the Edges of the World” is sublime. Each album I receive it’s getting harder and harder to nominate the bands for the best of the year. Hard task, my dear fan, hard task. You can’t miss this album. Go for it!

Death Angel “The Bastard Tracks” will be released on November 26th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Lord of Hate
  2. Where They Lay
  3. Why You Do This
  4. Fallen
  5. Absence of Light
  6. The Organization
  7. Execution – Don’t Save Me
  8. Succubus
  9. It Can’t Be This
  10. Let the Pieces Fall
  11. Faded Remains
  12. Volcanic
  13. Falling off the Edge of the World
  14. Guilty of Innocence
  15. Alive and Screaming

Watch “Where They Lay” official live video here: