Review: Death Angel – The Evil Divide

It’s always a comforting thing to see the old school thrash bands still going for it. Heavy music has evolved into so many subgenres that it’s easy to forget the pioneers. Eventually, the bands who paved the way for all this music get taken for granted.

In the late 80”s, and 90’s, California served as a hotbed for thrash metal. One of those Californian bands was Death Angel. A band initially dominated by Filipino descent, Death Angel was brought to life by cousins Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Dennis Pepa (vocals, bass), Gus Pepa (rhythm guitar), and Andy Galeon (drums). Tallying eight studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set, and two live albums, Death Angel has left their mark.

Plugging in their guitars in 1982, Death Angel played alongside bands to the likes of Testament, Anthrax, D.R.I., Exodus, and Slayer, to name a few. The future looked bright for the band, but in 1990 tragedy struck when Andy Galeon was injured in a bus accident while on tour for the band’s album ‘Act III.’ With Galeons recovery time eclipsing the year mark, the band decided to part ways in 1991.

A decade later, on August 11th, 2001, a benefit concert was held for Testament vocalist, Chuck Billy, and Death mastermind, Chuck Schuldinger. Both metal icons were battling different types of cancer at the time. Friends and peers in the thrash metal scene joined forces and held the concert ‘Thrash of The Titans’. This was also the show that would be responsible for the return of Death Angel.

It’s rare for a band like this to slip past me, but I’m man enough to admit it when it happens. Getting into the new release, ‘The Evil Divide’, it’s blatantly obvious, that this is a band hell bent on staying true to the old school thrash metal sound. I hate when people complain about new records “having the same old sound”. That sound is what made all of us love metal bands. Staying true to a sound isn’t a lack of growth, it’s a sign of love and dedication, and it deserves respect.

‘The Evil Divide’ is fast, in your face, and a genuine flashback in thrash metal dominance. Modern day bands don’t even attempt to emulate this sound, it’s left to the masters, and Death Angel knows the drill. The album erupts immediately with ‘The Moth’. It’s tough to explain, unless you’ve heard and love this style of metal. The phrase “melting your face”, comes from this style and that’s exactly what’s delivered. Track four, ‘Father of Lies,’ is a standout song as it’s a shred fest in the purest form. Understand, this entire album is an unabashed, breakneck serving of thrash metal. Hearing records like this is a breath of fresh air, so do yourself a favor and check out this album. You may just fall in love with it. 7/10

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