DEATH ANGEL – The Art of Dying

It’s been fourteen years since we last heard new material from DEATH ANGEL. And in the midst of metal’s recent resurgence, the band is back with a vengeance with The Art of Dying. “Thrown to the Wolves” trumpets their return with an ominous acoustic intro segueing into a full-throttle thrash fest, complete with sing-along gang vocal choruses. This continues throughout The Art of Dying, which is packed with plenty of tribal drum pounding and chugging riff-fests. But there’s also funk metal jams like “Famine,” that along with some heavy wah-pedal action, display singer Mark Osegueda‘s bluesy vocal phrasing that’s sure to appeal to fans of “Discontinued” (from Act III). The epic, “The Devil Incarnate,” shifts from slow, yet driving riffing and catchy melodies to an IRON MAIDEN-influenced triplet-heavy outro. In an interesting twist, the band takes turns passing the mike around, with drummer Andy Galeon commanding the vocals on the classic thrash of “Spirit” while bassist Dennis Pepa counters with the MOTORHEAD-inspired, “Land of Blood.” “Word to the Wise” closes the album with guitarist Rob Cavestany‘s acoustic-happy, San Francisco-hippie inspired optimism. It’s conveniently placed at the end. Despite that track, The Art of Dying is an inspired return to form from these Bay Area thrashers, capturing the band’s lively, spontaneous feel of earlier efforts, while avoiding the pitfalls of sounding dated (much credit due to producer Brian Dobbs) and delivering one of the most welcome comebacks of the year. (Nuclear Blast Records)

Comments are closed.