Death Angel - The Art of Dying
Nuclear Blast
Bay Area Thrash/Speed Metal
12 songs (55:09)
Release year: 2004
Death Angel, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jeff

Within the last few years there has been a rebirth of sorts for California's Bay Area speed/thrash metal scene. Bands from the 80's such as Exodus, Nasty Savage, Agent Steel and Heathen have written and recorded new material. These bands have even toured and played the club circuit, showing that they still believe in doing what they love so much. Death Angel is yet another band that has recently resurfaced with a brand new album, "The Art of Dying".

Death Angel started their career young and ended it just as fast as it began. Most of the band were in their early teens when they released their first and very mature sounding album in 1987, "The Ultra-Violence". Death Angel's second effort, "Frolic Through The Park", was released in 1988 and continued to show an improvement on the band's technical thrash formula. But it wasn't until the 1990 release of "Act III" that Death Angel finally reached musical adulthood. It was their first album to benefit from major-label distribution and had top-notch production courtesy of Max Norman. Unfortunately, the album fell somewhat short of expectations. In addition, the band was involved in a horrific tour bus crash in Arizona, severely injuring Galeon. The band went their separate ways.......

Fast forward almost 14 years later (members being in their early 30's now) and we have "The Art of Dying". Death Angel manage to maintain the song writing formula used on their third effort. "Act III". Death Angel's sound continues to be preserved by four of the original members. Andy Galeon provides some intense drumming as well as lead vocals on "Spirit". This track sounds a little like a Tourniquet song. Rob Cavestany demonstrates some fiery lead guitar work and riffing as well as lead vocals on "Word To The Wise". Bass player Gus Pepa also takes his shot at lead vocals on "Land of Blood". However, it's lead vocalist Mark Osegueda whose vocals have really improved with time. He sings with more confidence and control, is stronger in his delivery and more versatile than before. Replacing original Death Angel rhythm guitarist Gus Pepa is Ted Aguilar. This guy fits in well with the rest of the band and had I not read about this change I would have never known the difference in the way these guys translate the music.

A short acoustic guitar intro leads into "Thrown To The Wolves", a strong thrash/speed metal track that clearly makes the statement, Death Angel is back! "Prophecy" is another fast, aggressive track that has some phenomenal guitar work in it. There's a few slower, grooving songs like "The Devil Incarnate" and "Famine", which pick up towards the end with up-tempo thrashing. "No" almost borders punk but works well.

Unlike some of the other Bay Area thrash metal bands, Death Angel's trademark is really their ability to successfully blend melodic vocal harmonies and phrasing over speed and thrash metal styles. Also, their use of the occasional acoustical guitars and multi dimensional vocal talents from the other members gives this band an edge that few others have.

"The Art of Dying" just hit the stores this past April 27 in Europe and South America and will be out May 4 in the United States and Australia. Worth the purchase!


Killing Songs :
Thrown To The Wolves/Thicker Then Blood/The Devil Incarnate/Prophecy/No/Spirit
Jeff quoted 80 / 100
Aleksie quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Death Angel that we have reviewed:
Death Angel - The Dream Calls for Blood reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Death Angel - Relentless Retribution reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Death Angel - Killing Season reviewed by Marty and quoted 76 / 100
Death Angel - The Ultra-Violence reviewed by Aaron and quoted 88 / 100
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