Death Angel – The Evil Divide

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read one of my reviews that I am a big fan of the Big 8. For those of you new to metal, the eight are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Overkill, Exodus, Testament, and last but not least, Death Angel. As all these bands have continued to be relevant, some more than others, many have recently put out new albums. The latest of these bands to do so is Death Angel. This group has come a long way from starting as a band of cousins and having Kirk Hammet produce one of their demos. Death Angel was on the brink of super stardom in 1990 after the release of their third album Act III. However, a near fatal bus accident crushed their momentum. They disbanded soon afterwards, but reunited in 2001 at Testament vocalist Chuck Billy’s cancer benefit show. Most of the cousins have left the band since then, leaving only guitarist Rob Cavestany and vocalist Mark Osegueda as the only original members. This has not stopped them from putting out a new album worthy of the name Death Angel in The Evil Divide.

The Evil Divide was released May 27, 2016 through Nuclear Blast Records. I would say Death Angel was returning to their roots, if they had ever left them. Ted Aguilar’s riffs are as vicious as Osegieda’s lyrics on opening track ‘The Moth,’ and throughout the entire album. Tracks like this one, ‘Father of Lies,’ ‘Hell to Pay,’ and ‘Hatred United/United Hate’ prove they are still a force to be reckoned with in the world of thrash. ‘It Can’t Be This,’ ‘The Electric Cell,’ and ‘Let the Pieces Fall’ may let off the pedal a bit, but not the intensity. Rob Cavestany’s guitar solos transition well between the two speeds, as usual, going from full picking fury to open and sweeping (except for the solo on ‘Hatred United/United Hate’ that is done by Andreas Kisser of Sepultura!). The one song that feels out of place, but is the most interesting, is ‘Lost.’ Mid-tempo, and dare I say radio friendly, the track lets the band groove and Osegueda change gears in vocal tactics to become a little more soulful. For most bands of Death angel’s ilk, it would be a drastic change, but coming from them, it makes perfect sense.

For me, The Evil Divide is Death Angel’s best album since Act III. They have long been one of my favorite bands of the OG thrash era, and this album reminds me why. Filled with blistering riffs, smoking solos, some of the best thrash vocals in the biz, and great production by Jason Suecof, The Evil Divide is a certified success for Death Angel.

Track listing:

  1. The Moth
  2. Cause for Alarm
  3. Lost
  4. Father of Lies
  5. Hell to Pay
  6. It Can’t Be This
  7. Hatred United/United in Hate
  8. Breakaway
  9. The Electric Cell
  10. Let the Pieces Fall

Playing time: 45:18

Release date: May 27, 2016

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: www.deathangel.us

2 Comments

    • I like F&J, but I don’t feel like they’ve been as consistent with their releases. The new record is cool. They could be the next tier with Sacred Reich, Metal Church, and Nuclear Assault

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