Death Angel – The Dream Calls For Blood
I’m not big on Slayer or Metallica, nor too familiar with Megadeth or Anthrax. One wonders why I even bother reviewing thrash. Yet over the years one band has always captured my attention and kept my interest in thrash alive. If I am currently falling for Kreator and Overkill, I have Death Angel to thank for it.
What separates Death Angel from their Bay Area colleagues is hard to define. Despite the aggression inherent to the genre their music emits a certain warmth, possibly because of the band members’ friendly demeanor on stage (compared to Exodus they’re practically the Santa Claus of thrash). The presence of clean vocals also works in their favor, where my tastes are concerned, and they never shy away from innovation or variety.
Or maybe it’s just because I prefer modern thrash to the traditional eighties stuff (purists, sharpen your knives). Albums like Overkill’s Ironbound or Kreator’s Phantom Antichrist infuse the music with a level of melodicism I can get on board with, and Death Angel does the same. Ever since The Art Of Dying the addition of clean vocals has made Death Angel more interesting than some of their peers (again, Exodus). Vocalist Mark Osegueda has a wonderful croon, as evidenced here on “Son Of The Morning”, “Fallen” and album highlight “Execution – Don’t Save Me”.
Yet The Dream Calls For Blood is still as vicious a beast as the wolves on the cover. “Left For Dead”, the title track, and “Caster Of Shame” all snarl and bite, Osegueda oozing charisma in what must be his best performance yet. A song the level of “Claws In So Deep” is lacking, but I couldn’t have dreamed up a worthier successor to the excellent Relentless Retribution. After all, this particular dream calls for blood. And hard. With style.
As said before, Death Angel’s formula is hard to decipher. The rhythms, the riffs, they all sound familiar, but nonetheless no song on here feels like a carbon copy. The Dream Calls For Blood bursts with enthusiasm, violence, and charm, and therefore should get Death Angel the audience they have been deserving for years. I’ll take this over Slayer’s insufferable showboating any day of the week.
4.0 // 5