without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Admittedly their is a lot of nostalgia when it comes to this release with me. It was the album that truly made me realize how much I loved thrash, and more importantly metal in general. This is undoubtedly Death Angels best release, and pretty much their last good one. This album features over the top riffage, and the band showing off their unique sound and talent. This album helped establish Death Angel as the runts of the scene, but despite being young they delivered some killer thrash for 1987. It was Death Angel that was seen as the next generation of great bay area bands in 1987, and its easy to see why. If only we could have prevented their failure as a band on all levels.
Well onto the music. "Thrashers" starts off with a feedback intro and basically was the song that grabbed my balls and never let them go. Its catchy as fuck despite the cheesy "thrash metal" lyrics and displays some truly killer riffage and two guitar solos (Ok the solos aren't that good, but these guys are teenagers give em a break). Its easy to see why this became a staple of their live show. "Evil Priest" explores more in depth song writing then what would be expected of Death Angel at the time, and it features good song writing up to par with the rest of the album. "Voracious Souls" features a stomping groove-like intro used very well and integrated into the music. Its a mostly mid-paced song, but Mark Osuegada starts to show off his very unique vocal style here. "Kill As One" is a very interesting thrash piece featuring solid riffage. Mark really gets going here yelling out high pitched screams that are simply too good to be true almost. "The Ultra-Violence" is a massive 10 minute riff test, and has enough riffs for a Pantera album. The aggressive riffing is stuff that would make Pantera kiddies boil in their own blood. "Mistress of Pain" is intense as fuck, and features more soloing that is sub-par but not terrible. Easily cannot be forgotten. "Final Death" features crushing intro riffs and zooms along at lightning speed again. Its probably the least up to par track here, but theirs nothing bad to say really. "I.P.F.S." is funny, and shows off the bands youth-first attitude to a tee.
Mark Osuedega's vocal work is simply amazing, few have as high pitched a voice as he does. Andy Geleons drumming is shockingly competant for such a young person. He doesn't experiment a whole lot, but he provides a steady beat for the entire album and thats all you really ask for. Gus Pepa and Rob Cavestany's guitar work is solid, and considering they no doubt came up with a load of these riffs they deserve credit for that even if they can't solo. Dennis Pepa is competent as bass and gets the job done. While the band has yet to come into their own it seems, their is an obvious potential to be one of the more legendary thrash bands here. Sadly it was not to be, and most of these people peaked here.
Highlights.. "Thrashers", "Evil Priest", "Kill As One" and the title track all are exceptional. Although theirs not actually a sub-par song here besides "I.P.F.S." and possibly some of "Voracious Souls". Really not much else to add besides the fact that the vocal work by Mark is truly amazing.
Lowlights.. Well the musicianship is far from the best, but they considering they were young this album is rather amazing. But really their is nothing to complain about. Its far from perfect, but Death Angel truly had all the right ideas on how to do a debut album here.
Its a shame in general that this would be Death Angels best effort and that they would never fulfill the promise presented here (like so many thrash bands). I'll admit I have a huge nostalgia trip when I hear this every time (Especially on the chorus to "Thrashers" or "Kill as One"). All the ideas presented here are a solid foundation to what could have been one of the better Bay Area thrash bands. What we got instead was several whiffs in a row with the occasional "oh my god where did that come from!" moment. So in the end cherish this album for what it is, even if it does stand alone.
Conclusion: Buy this album if your a fan of thrash, and even more so if you like Bay Area Thrash. This is essential material for any thrasher and a Bay Area Thrash classic.
Final Grade : 92