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Pure brilliance - 99%

Agonymph, September 17th, 2004

This review just needed to be written, because in my opinion, people are being way too critical about this album. Of course there are always those stubborn people who think Death Angel should have stuck to what they started with on 'The Ultra-Violence' (which is, in my humble opinion, the worst Death Angel album to date), but what I always appreciated so much about these Phillippino Thrashers from San Francisco is their will to experiment. On their second album 'Frolic Through The Park', a lot of people found it a little too much. I can come into that, but the only minus for me personally on that album were Mark Osegueda's doubtful vocals. On 'Act III', Mark's vocal efforts have grown much stronger and along with a very strong production and as always the brilliant musicianship of the band members, that makes 'Act III' one of the best albums I think that were ever recorded.

From the moment the album starts out with 'Seemingly Endless Time' to the moment the last notes of 'Falling Asleep' fade away, the album just shows moments of genius. 'Ex-TC' is less memorable, in my humble opinion, but other than that, the album just rips.

Then why do so many people complain about the album? Call it stubborn, call it conservative, call it true, call it good, but I think it's because there are so many different things on this album. Let's not forget that apart from Metal, the members of Death Angel are also big fans of Punk, Funk, Fusion, Seventies Rock and Raggae. That special combination of influences made this album so special.

The Funk and Fusion influences become clear in 'Discontinued'; a strange song, which works amazingly well. A very unusual structure it has in deed, but I love the song. The drum intro shows the true genius of Andy Galeon (who was just 18 years old at the time!).

There are some pure Thrash songs on this album. Opener 'Seemingly Endless Time' (also the first single of the album) makes a great Thrasher (it just has a little more melody than most Thrash songs) and other than that, there is also 'Stop', 'The Organization' and 'Disturbing The Peace'.

The first moment of true genius and goosebumps is called 'Veil Of Deception', this acoustic Rocksong took me away the first time I heard it. Beautiful acoustic melodies, beautiful multivocal parts...truly beautiful.

But the two highlights of the album for me, come right after each other. The first one is 'A Room With A View', most likely the most beautiful song I've ever heard. 'A Room With A View' is an outstanding ballad, which starts out with vocals by guitarist Rob Cavestany and I have always loved his fragile vocals for songs like this. Another song which has beautiful multivocal parts and unbelievable solos. The lyrics are mystical and beautiful. I don't think I can explain it in words, just listen to the song and let the beautiful melodies conquer you.

The other highlight is the experimental stomper 'Stagnant', which follows up 'A Room With A View'. 'Stagnant' is another duet between Rob Cavestany and lead singer Mark Osegueda and both deliver a great effort on this song. The song has a strange structure; a clean guitar intro, then a stomping Metal part...it has melodic and heavier parts, funky, Raggae and Metal parts...and all of this together makes 'Stagnant' a unique song, of which not one band ever made a "copy".

I can't help to think that 'Act III' is one of those few moments of pure Thrash genius. Don't get me wrong, I love Thrash Metal, but there are few bands (actually...none) who reach the level of what Death Angel did on 'Act III'. Listening to Metal now and taken the fact that 'Act III' still sounds fresh and alive nowadays, is only just another proof for my hypothesis that 'Act III' was way ahead of its time. Maybe that's why a lot of people don't understand the album?