Death Angel – Humanicide
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date: May 31, 2019
Wine tastes better with age… Absolute truth proven by Death Angel. Since 2004, Bay Area thrashers are releasing albums on regular base. And each one is better that its predecessor. So as “Humanicide”.
Few months ago, when video for “Humanicide” was released on March 22, an opening, memorable riff cut into my brain. And agony has begun. Two months waiting to hear the rest of the album was hell on Earth. And now, listening it for at least 1360 times, I can tell you, this is paradise! From the first video till album came to my hands, one trip to Budapest to see my favorite thrashers, and review in August?! Sorry, but I am not one of those who compete to publish review first. I like to listen it carefully, to live with it, to live it and when I feel moment is right, than you can read. The time has come now!
From the first to the last riff, it seems, Death Angel(s) have great motivation, inspiration, youthful energy, passion, dedication… Lyrics, as always, with strong message cut like a razor!
Mostly aggressive, with a touch of clean singing and beautiful melodies (piano part in), Mark Osegueda has proven he is one of the best vocalists in genre.
“Divine Defector” brings aggression to another dimension. I have no idea what inspired Mark to sing, but this man was mad as hell! And I think there is no need to mention magnificent opening riff or hellish drumming.
And aggression has to be delivered by the “Aggressor”. Mostly, I love that aggression Death Angel bring. Well, thrash metal is all about aggression and fast tempo, isn’t it? At the other hand, they ballads will always buy me and with no remorse I always cry while they perform ballads on concerts. Not a secret.
The leading riff of “I came for Blood” in Motorhead style, brings punk roots.
If you ask me which one is my favorite Death Angel song, I will always answer “Lost”. Even playing thrash metal, those guys know to deal with emotions and they do it in the best way, with strong lyrics and strong messages. On “Humanicide”, Death Angel delivered one more song that is my absolute favorite in their opus, and that is “Immortal Behated”.
“Immortal Behated” can stand face to face with already mentioned “Lost”. If you are Death Angel fan, than you are aware of Mark′s vocal range. He mostly brings aggressive approach, but at the other hand he can deliver clean singing and my favorite is slightly harsh voice in ballads. For me, the words in “Lost” (The only truth is death they claim, I chose to gift that lie, Force feeding truth to so many, My eyes numb as I watched them die) have the same emotional touch as (I warned you, I’ll stay true, Keep on fighting for the rest of my life, Erase me? Deface me? My true legacy will stay).
“Immortal Behated”, besides crying guitar solo, ends with amazing piano part. I warn you, there will be crying on concerts again!
“Alive and Screaming” is Ted Aguilars debut for Death Angel. It was about time! Ted brings us back to 80’s, so easily it could fit to some earlier albums. Great job!
Another favorite, “The Pack”. If that song does not kill you, than nothing will! Strong lyrics, unity, gang vocals… I have always liked tribute songs, so as this one. At least, I see “The Pack” as tribute song, although it can include several interpretations.
I have no idea how do you feel listening songs dedicated to loyal fans. Proud might be the right word? I somehow recognized myself in verses: (Loyal to the core, Got each other’s back, Forevermore). Yeah, I am loyal to the core (never saw Death Angel in my home country, but traveled abroad to hear them no matter the price-6 hours in the bus, 3 hours on border line, sleepless days and nights, little lies with Angelic smile that melts down my principal′s cold heart)… Forevermore! Guys, if I ever loose my job lying just to get some free day to follow you on tour, I expect roadie position at least.
“Ghost of Me” brings guest appearance Alexi Leiho of COB. Again, strong, intelligent lyrics, great guitar solos, harmonized drumming.
“Revelation Song” might be the one little bit different than the rest of the album. Bit groovy. But, it fits well.
And at the end “Of Rats and Men”… Catchy refrain, again great songwriting… Oh, what else to write? This is awesome album (I wanted to write f****** great album, but girls don’t swear).
Brent Elliot White clearly represents in cover art what you can expect when you push the play button.
Apocalyptic or realistic point of album title, it depends on your point of view. Accept you or not, mankind goes to extinction and Death Angel have found adequate words and notes to warn you.
Maybe it is too early, but this might be the best thrash album in 2019!