DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide
The old guard like Death Angel continues to teach the newcomers a thing (or ten) about the art of blistering, attacking thrash metal on their latest opus "The Evil Divide". Like a finely tuned axe blade that has been sharpened to the core, this quintet takes their experience and road work and channel the energy into another solid 10 song platter of dynamic metal, heavy and melodic when called for while creating some very memorable riffs, hooks, and lead breaks.
Mark Osegueda carries "Lost" to that next level in terms of a chorus that conveys the right pain/pleasure principle through carefully chosen words and proper phrasing (‘Rain down on me/ and wash this pain away’) – possibly one of the more commercial Death Angel tracks to come out since their reformation a decade ago. Meanwhile the Cavestany/ Aguilar riff train rolls along just fine – accenting killer cuts like "Father of Lies" and "Breakaway" with the right melodic injections at key spots to encourage massive audience interaction of a physical and vocal variety. Keeping the focus squarely on the music and tight time frames (the closer "Let the Pieces Fall" the longest at 5:47, most of the songs in the four-minute range) negates any possible boredom factor, as well as tempos that fluctuate between more of a mid-tempo anthem groove template and then all out speed workouts.
Recording again at Audiohammer Studios in Florida with Jason Suecof, the band ripping nature on all fronts (especially in Will Carroll’s massively big snare thump) keeps this moving along briskly as the instrumental and vocal action just flows from the speakers. Thankful the second life of Death Angel seems to be just as productive and successful as the first one – "The Evil Divide" paints these Bay Area legends in a forward momentum mold, not content to live solely on their past laurels. If you enjoyed their last album "The Dream Calls for Blood", this is the logical follow-up – great job gentlemen.