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First off, I will be utterly frank: I am not much of a fan of Death Angel. The Ultra-Violence went completely over my head. And I wont even get into the later 90's (The Organization.), I will spare you that. But this album, surprised me a little bit. There is quite a bit of good material, although at times it is inconsistent and experimental but not nessecarily in a good way. And one thing I don't undertsand is, why is it regarded as full throttle thrash? Yeah there are thrashy tunes, but it tends to side step into other territory, more like say: Ride the lightning. You cannot strictly class this as thrash, as so many people do.
I can back this up also. A room with a view, is so far from thrash it is unreal. It is a great ballad, and the vocals are truly stunning in places. But it is also predictable, you just know some heavy chugging riffs are going to drop at any moment, in an attempt to make the heavy side all the more err "shocking"? The riffs are good but not outstanding. Remember this was released in 1990 people. Think about it for a minute you had releases such as: Rust in peace, seasons in the abysss, cowboys from hell, slaughter in the vatican. I mean Death Angel being on the more exposed side of thrash, had to really deliver something worth while here. The riffs, songwriting, and general direction fall slightly flat on their ass. And again having gained some notice, they have delivered an album which no metal band thrash or other, would have been peering eerily over their shoulder, having to worry if these guys were the next breed.
Fair enough, these guys were not innovators or genre enhancers. (Thrash would have survived with or without this album, let's face it!) But they have some good material to back it up non-the-less. Some tracks are catchy, EX-TC, Discontinued, and The Organization. But there are just too many sounds thrown in a blender, and the turn out is unique...but it just doesn't work. I have nothing against softer more disciplined metal, but many people in the 90's didn't want to pick up a metal album with, funk slap bass and riffs which just don't provoke much emotion nor creativity. Looking at it from a budding young guitarists point of view, you wont listen to this album and go: "wooah, I need to pick up my chops!" And at times, it almost sounds dare I say: "alternative". Which may have been a good thing considering what was stirring in Seattle.
But for me this album was disappointing. Being told it was a thrash onslaught, only added to the anti-climax. At the end, not only was I disappointed I was confused about the general direction, and sound these guys were striving toward. There are some great songs...but this is the sound of thrash dying. In fact it was album's like this that rendered second tier thrash into irrelevance, in it's mere infancy. The reason why? Because it sounds like a thrash band, who have run out of ideas. (Or you could turn it around and say, they had plenty of ideas, it just sounds confusing and don't work. Either way it's the same outcome.) But this is just my opinion. This album is easy to get ahold of, and countless zines and video bloggers will have this album in their "top 20 thrash albums of all time!" But for me it is slightly catchy, but doesn't open any doors for me. And even if you do disagree with me look at the name: DEATH ANGEL. Fuck, can you blame me for expecting more?