Death Angel was one of those Thrash Metal bands that I grew up with back in the 1980’s and then, nothing They reemerged again in 2008. Shame too, because Death Angel was one of those Thrash Metal bands that had been around since the days of Metallica’s “Kill em’ All”, even though their first record debuted in 1987.
In 2010, Death Angel released “Relentless Retribution.” With a new line up consisting of vocalist Mark Osegueda, guitarists Rob Cavestany & Ted Aguilar, bassist Damien Sisson and drummer Will Carroll, you see Death Angel blending their style of Thrash Metal with newer styles of Heavy Metal. The end result is a very crunchy duel guitar attack, with plenty of thundering bass lines, and hard hitting drum tempos.
Musically, this album is pretty decent. It’s trashy and yet a bit sludgy in some spots. Song structures vary, in which over half of this album, the tempos are fast and upbeat. And then the other half is more even keel and milder. Another aspect that is often never heard of in Thrash Metal is that this album is even melodic in some spots. There’s even a ballad on this album and that is “Volcanic.” I do like the end of track two “Claws In So Deep” where the outro of the song features an acoustical piece performed by Rodrigo y Gabriela.
Now let’s talk instrumentation and musicianship. The guitar work is brutal. There’s a ton of great riffs on this album. On many of the songs, there is a degree of harmony between the two guitars. From the slower crunch to the medium chops to the faster melodies. The rhythm section of this album are just fantastic. The leads are very good. There’s a lot of fill ins with the leads on the chorus lines and bridges. In some instances, the fill in leads add a bit of eeriness to this the overall sound. The bass is clearly heard and is more focused setting the tempo for the faster paced guitar work. There some really good drumming on this album. The scorching vocals are classic. The chorus lines are very beefy and more harmony focused with regards to the backing vocals. Although, Death Angel is no longer the original line up, these musicians are playing very tight.
With all of the technology advances since the 1980’s, you hear Death Angel incorporating some of those modern sounds here and there on this album. Is this album a pure thrash Metal album? No! But, the different tempos that make up this album are Thrash Metal orientated with other modern musical styles thrown in to create a more modern sound of Heavy Metal music.
1. “Relentless Revolution” 4:28
2. “Claws In So Deep” 7:44
3. “Truce” 3:31
4. “Into the Arms of Righteous Anger” 4:31
5. “River of Rapture” 4:35
6. “Absence of Light” 4:32
7. “This Hate” 3:33
8. “Death of the Meek” 5:15
9. “Opponents at Sides” 6:21
10. “I Chose the Sky” 4:06
11. “Volcanic” 3:34
12. “Where They Lay” 4:30