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After listening to a lot of well-known and underground scene bands of the called "New Wave of Thrash" I get really sad to the fact that this genre in particular will never be as good as the old school stuff. I mean, same riffing, same solo, same drumming and to be honest Suicidal Angels is not really different, but this band has something that really attaches me to keep listening to the music, is truly one of the best thrash bands I listen to for a long time.
The high point on the album is the rhythm section: guitar riffing and drums, oh my god, the drums. This guy is a really human metronome, just keeping the beat with awesome precision and unpredictable blasts of snare and cymbals. The guitar riffing, as I say before, is not really different of all the thrash bands, even this band uses similar verse riffs. The strong riffage is found in the intro parts or bridges, look at "The Trial", "The Lies of Resurrection" or "Suicide Solution".
Talking about bass, practically unaudible. I've seen this band live and the bass player is good, but the problem of all thrash bands with the bass lines: tedious and pretty simple. They try to give a little bass presence on the "Dead Again" intro, but nah...
The vocals are a little bit new for me, kinda of whispering. Not the clean vocals we always hear on thrash bands or this little harsh try on the new wave. Interesting. Lyrically, nothing spectacular, just people talking about death, violence and how he is going to kill.
Really recommended for all kind of fans of any thrash metal. Fast, good and aggressive. If you like thrash, you like Suicidal Angels.
Favorite tracks: Reborn in Violence, The Trial, The Lies of Resurrection.
Originality and innovation, contrary to popular sentiment, are not sins in thrash metal. Sounding like a bumbling band of hoodie toting homeboys in the name of one or both, however, is among the most unforgivable of apostasies. The retro thrash scene is a repudiation of this once dominant heresy that was so readily embraced by the RIAA as some new thing to pass off as envelope pushing music, and Greece definitely seems to have gotten into the habit. One of their noteworthy offerings to the 2000s throwback craze is Suicidal Angels, a band after the molds of the more intense side of the 80s coin, reminiscent of what would pave the way for death metal while still clinging tightly to the basic tenets of what first defined the genre when it broke from the NWOBHM. In fact, one can’t help but picture Fred Durst’s mangled carcass being crushed by the mighty grasp of the winged zombies depicted on the cover of this band’s fine 3rd LP that is “Dead Again”.
Apart from a very clean, tight mix that is standard for any band putting out a product with readily available digital recording technology, this opus sounds like it came right out of 1986. The rapid fire riff work of Dark Angel, the vile chromatics of Slayer, the rawness of the Teutonic scene, and an occasional helping of mid-tempo moderation ala Exodus and some creepy clean guitar atmospherics ala Testament are all mixed into a nice, skull pulverizing package that is sure to sate any appetite. It is unapologetically derivative, and yet these songs largely manage to make their own impression despite the heavy stylistic similarities to previous works of the 80s and the ongoing revival of late. Perhaps the most original part of the sound heard on here is the lead guitar work, which largely sticks to the Hanneman/King approach of wild screams and rapid shred lines, but occasionally chimes in with some creepy melodic passages that are fairly similar to Skolnick’s work on “The New Order”.
Like with any extreme, fast as a raging shark slab of thrash metal with proto-death influences, things are largely at their peak when the tempo races at full speed. The most obvious examples tend to cut right to the chase and leave all but no time for breakdowns, such as the morbid “Bleeding Holocaust”, the hyper-chug fest in “Suicide Solution”, and the blurred smash fest “Violent Abuse”, all of which are heavily informed by “Reign In Blood” and “Persecution Mania”. The longer offerings are a bit more restrained and venture into late 80s territory where the likes of Exodus and Heathen were offering up a somewhat tamer version of things, though “Beggar Of Scorn” isn’t content with providing a pummeling groove for a full 5 minutes and launches into yet another hyper-thrashing fit of mayhem for about a minute before closing out.
This is a band that knows what works, and also one that definitely sounds like they are having a hell of a good time making it work. These songs could very well have been heard 25 years ago, but the fact remains that they weren’t. What is in a year of release any way? As far as delivering a faux thrash destroying dose of head banging glory, Suicidal Angels has the competition working to keep up, and that’s all that need count for this brand of metal. This is only slightly tamer than their most recent offering “Bloodbath”, but still a raucous fit of unfettered rage that needs to be heard by more willing ears. This band seems to get better and better with age, and hopefully they will continue to age well for a good many years.
Greece continues to hone itself as a hotbed for quality thrash metal, a distinction it did not bear in the 80s (when it mattered most). Along with Drunkard and Tornado, the Suicidal Angels are one of the front runners, painstakingly evolving themselves with each new release, and their third and latest offering, Dead Again, takes a few baby steps past its predecessor Sanctify the Darkness. Not the steps that will propel the band to the top of the rock, mind you, but at the very least, you feel like you've gotten a solid punishment here, where the previous album just squeaked past the gates of mediocrity.
Suicidal Angels have a familiar approach to riffing that rekindles the passions of Slayer, Kreator and Sodom, though they will also cruise off at a mid-paced mosh that summons nostalgia for Exodus. The gruff, biting vocals of Nick Melissourgos most remind me of Tom Angelripper, and at a few points I though I had screwed up and was listening to the wrong album, since the new Sodom is just around the corner. At any rate, the guitars are crafted with precision, and the rhythm section tight as a pair of undersized combat boots, but the album's polish might actually work against it in some places. With compositions so aggressive and mean sounding, the album can tend towards gimping itself with such a clean tone. That's not to castigate the riffing itself, because there are a number of tunes like the Razor-speed "Violent Abuse", S.O.D. lurching "Reborn in Violence", and Vio-Lence/Sodom fusion of "Search for Recreation", in which the riffs excel. That's a lot of violence...
Unfortunately, not all the songs hit with the same impact. All are snappy and professional, but a few of the slower hitters like "The Trial", "Dead Again" and "The Lies of Resurrection" hinder the overall excitement, failing to keep momentum alongside their spiffy, rapid fire counterparts. Suicidal Angels are not an original band, and they'll tell you this themselves, so there are moments in which their music feels interchangeable with a number of other artists ranging from Dew-Scented to Sodom. Still, at least 6-7 of the songs here are quite fun, inducing fits of neck hammering that take you straight back to the 80s, despite their modern, controlled mix. There was more enjoyment to be derived here than either of the band's previous offerings, so if you're not too picky about your retro-thrash, you could certainly do a lot worse than Dead Again, and might seek out its undead vulture men for a taste of concussive belligerence.