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An Excellent, Mature and Devastating Album. - 95%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, February 10th, 2008

Like Slayer after Reign In Blood, Dark Angel too released a more obscure and, if you want, mature album. It was senseless and risky trying to do another fast masterpiece like Darkness Descends because it could have been not so good or interesting. So our big guys decided to change a bit the style. With a new singer, Ron Rinehart, now their style is more focused on the creation of obscure, suffered guitar lines while the lyrics are more about the human feelings and pain.

The most important example of this are the superb “No One Answers” or the great, gloomy instrumental “Cauterization”; they are both very obscure, doomy in some parts and really suffered. The production contributes to create this atmosphere because all the instruments seem very low in terms of volume. The sounds are essential and quite raw, but I definitely love them.

The opening song is pure thrash fury, like in Darkness Descends. The new vocalist has a different tone than Doty but his voice is more mature and very good for this new direction taken by the group. Anyway he is able to be harsh and bad ass like few others. Hoglan is always inhuman behind the drums and this time, with these new songs, we can really see his most technical side.

“Never To Rise Again” is astonishing for the heaviness and obscurity. It’s like a semi mid tempo with pounding double kick and massive guitar work. “Immigrant Song” is the famous Led Zeppelin cover, made thrash! Here we can really hear the new vocalist's skills. The beginning of “Older Than Time Itself” (what a title…) is immense and murky and in few minutes becomes an up tempo with excellent, intricate, hyper fast guitar riffs.

“Worms” is instrumental with only strange noises and distorted guitars, not remarkable. The mid tempos to “The Promise Of Agony” are, instead, really heavy. The title track puts the exclamation point to an album already great, being a superb, devastating song. Almost 8 minutes of tremendous up tempo, hyper fast bass drum and always suffered guitar lines. Check out the bestial final part where the double bass kicks seem neverending.

Sometimes, this album gives me the idea of being the most death metal oriented one in Dark Angel discography…maybe it’s for the production but who cares? Recommended to every thrash metal fan who wants to know about a milestone on the road to Time Does Not Heal.