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Guess who have done their homework? - 67%

PhantomLord86, April 24th, 2008

Dark Angel definitely did. Less than one year after the lackluster "Gonna Burn" demo, bay area thrashers Dark Angel re-enter the studio to record another one consisting of five songs, three of which are new.

The length is pretty much the same, but the songs are much more developed and the band has progressed without a doubt. Don Doty's vocals remain the same, although he uses a bit more his shrieky falsetto (we have arriiiiiived!!) but still it's your average thrash singing.

Right from the start you realize that the aggression has been upped as well. The intro riff to "We have arrived" is simple and repetitive, but once the song speeds up the band throws two nice riffs and a killer, catchy chorus consisting of the aforementioned screaming. The song is pretty much circular as it repeats itself 3 times before throwing another barrage of riffs near the end, but the dynamics have been used properly and as a result it does not get tiresome. 7/10.

"Gonna Burn" is the first of the re-recordings from the previous demo, and it's still the same traditional metal song as before but with improved singing and clearer sound. Nothing remarkable except for the excellent solo found here, this song would be scrapped some time after this recording. 5/10.

"Eternal Captivity" is a full throttle and overt thrash song, starting with a lengthy intro where the drummer shows his double kick skills and then morfing into a riff monster, the kind that Dark Angel would be known for later. The first verse riff is of special attention, as it's the first thing that feels really original so far in DA's career. At 2:00 the speed disappears for a more trad metal driven section where the lead guitarist shines once again with another melodic and fast solo, before picking up the pace again near the end and giving a good intro to the next song. A pity it wouldn't find its way onto their debut album. 7/10.

"Metal Head" is the other re-recorded song and it sounds pretty much the same, an average thrash tune that has received some improvement over its previous form on tape but not really that much. Anyway it didn't need it, it commands you to headbang. Simple and to the point, this one would too be scrapped. 7/10.

The title track shows some new ground being explored, with a nice and haunting acoustic intro. After a minute everything disappears and a fast and very thrashy riff starts the headbanging mania, which won't stop for the two minutes that it lasts. 3 riffs and 1 solo later the song is done kicking your ass and thus ends. 7,5/10

The production is again very good for an underground demo and you can hear everything, maybe the vocals are a bit buried. The drums are of course muted and the bass rather buried, but still very good production values.

This baby is worth tracking, and should have given them a deal.