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Competent Bay Area thrashers, Death Angel, released this underground classic in '87 called "The Ultra-Violence". The first thing you notice about this album, from the start of the first song, "Thrashers" is that these guys are all about the riffs. The album is completely guitar driven, most songs only have vocals on them about 30% of the time. The manic guitar riffs give off the impression of youthful rebellion and extreme aggression. And they have that distinct Bay Area tone to them as well. The vocals, mostly done by one Mark Osegueda are pretty top notch, and match the music VERY well, something most thrash bands could never accomplish.
The album kicks off with "Thrashers" it sounds like a lost Bonded By Blood song, even the vocals sound similar to Paul Baloff. The song is very energetic and angry sounding, the vocals on this one aren't done by Mark, but they are decent enough. The next song is "Evil Priest" wow what a diference a great singer can make, as soon as Mark comes in you can tell this guy was made to sing this stuff. This one sounds less like Exodus and more melodic like Heathen. Three's a cool part in the middle where the song gradually speeds up and leads into the solo, great song.
"Voracious Souls" kinda slows things down, but not much. This is probably the catchiest song on the album, that chorus is absolutely infectious. Lots of soloing, and some really inspired riffing to be found near the end. "Kill As One" uses kind of the same formula, another really catchy chorus, also of note is the absolutely blood curdling screams Mike belts out in this song. This is one of the things that got him recognized, these aren't the flowery pansy little screams you hear from power metal singers, these are the kind of screams you expect to hear from someone who just got their heart pulled out of their chest by a giant fire breathing demon. Fucking metal screams.
The title track is up next, and wow this thing is just awesome. Some of the most intense and agressive riffing I've yet to hear. There must be at least 50 different riffs in this song, 10 minutes of pure thrashing metal madness. "Mistress of Pain" is a really neat song, I can't say I've heard anything like it before. The verse is structured really cool, it moves along at about 975bpm but manages to be catchy and memorable, nice chorus too. Some more horror screams are belted out as well. "Final Death" starts off with probably the best riff on the album, some nice harmonics. Constant leadwork throught the song. Some great verses, these guys just really know how to structure a song. "I.P.F.S." is a short little instrumental, that ends the album quite nicely.
Probably one of the better Bay Area thrash albums ever.