“Killing Season” by Death Angel

Artist: Death Angel
Title: “Killing Season”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 2/26/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

You’re not imagining things nor are you in a time warp and reliving the moment when you sit back and start counting all of the classic Thrash Metal bands of the genres past who seem to not only be returning to a scene that they once dominated, but who are also delivering worthy slabs of Metal to boot. Such is what the listener will find when they start to play “Killing Season” the latest album by an officially reunited Death Angel. You know you remember these Bay Area Thrashers if you were knee deep in the sound back in the day and if you are too young to remember them; you definitely had some older fans turning you onto the good stuff that these guys dropped like an assault weapon on any fans of the movement. The Thrash scene was amazing back then as bands like Exodus and Testament (both who have also recently released crushing material) dominated the region and quickly rose to incredible heights and found bands like Death Angel raising the bar a little bit in their own right. Their new album finds the band sticking true to form and skillfully blending tight and sharp riffs over very melodic fast paced vocals. Led by singer Mark Osegueda, the band still features most of its original members outside of guitarist Gus Pepa, who has been replaced by long time friend Ted Aguilar. For those who might need a refresher course that means we have Rob Cavestany (guitars), Andy Galeon (drums) and Dennis Pepa (bass) rounding out the lineup.

The album starts off with “Lord Of Hate”, and with this track we find the band as energetic as ever and bringing their signature sound from the past straight into a new Millennium, dead set on pleasing a hard core fan base of today’s Metal legions. It’s not a throwback sound of course but like their peers, their style has managed to remain pure since officially reuniting in 2001. The onslaught continues with “Sonic Beatdown” and if you don’t start head banging around to this one I would suggest that you get this problem looked into. Traditional Thrash Metal purity comes to life during “Carnival Justice” and this is going to surely start some pits during the bands live shows. It’s one of my personal favorites on the release and I found myself playing it a few more times before I continued deeper into the album. Another favorite fell to “Buried Alive” which is a slower but no less heavy crusher and as you get past track after track you can almost envision them in the live sense. Clearly this is going to be some brutal shit during a show. If you are one for displays of guitar solos then “The Noose” is an interesting number as some of the melodies and feels from their axe men are to be commended. There is something pure for their oldest fans and yet this remains fresh and exciting to the younger ones who might be making their first Death Angel purchase with “Killing Season”.

The release is packaged in a slipcase CD jewel case and oddly enough they do NOT include the lyrics for you outside of some liner notes and a couple of photos of the band in today’s world. I liked how the songs were phrased and found myself a little disappointed that I could not easily read along with the points that they were making. The insert is a foldout as opposed to a booklet and this allows you to hang it as always a mini poster of the albums artwork. Welcome back to the scene guys, this was a really solid return from one of the standouts that the genre offered up back in the day. If the Traditional style appeals to you then you should already be ordering this online somewhere for your collection as these eleven tracks are worthy additions to anyone’s Metal library.

Track Listing:
1. Lord Of Hate
2. Sonic Beatdown
3. Dethroned
4. Carnival Justice
5. Buried Alive
6. Soulless
7. The Noose
8. When World’s Collide
9. God vs. God
10. Steal The Crown
11. Resurrection Machine

Official Website: www.deathangel.com

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