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The times were a changin - 65%

Karimlan, January 26th, 2003

"The times are a changin..." if I'm not mistaken, this was the title of a Bob Dylan song and many early 90s music pundits applied it to the situation that was happening when 'Act III' was released. The whole grunge rock scene was on the rise and even long time thrashers such as Exodus or Megadeth took a shift in their songwriting and even image. Remember how Megadeth all of a sudden were wearing flannel shirts? This was also the time when bands like Faith No More, Mindfunk, and Mordred were releasing albums that were hybrids of metal and funk and/or other musical styles.

Enter Death Angel's 'Act III', an album that was no doubt a product of it's time. Now before anything, this is definitely not my favourite Death Angel album but it is one that could have been something. Starting off with the no mistake thrasher of 'Seemingly Endless Time' it goes through a variety of moods, riffs, and tempos that were previously not in common use among thrash metal circles. 'Seemingly Endless Time' alone indicates the direction and tone of this album where it starts off with a pummelling riff that breaks down and segues into groove laden riffs pulled out of 1970s car chase movies and then finally topped off with melodic vocal lines.

Other worthy mentions are 'Discontinued', 'Stop', 'The Organization', 'Veil of Deception', and 'A Room With A View.' I must say that the last song mentioned was, for a long time, a favourite drinking song amongst my friends and I. Now innovation is a good thing, but despite how much of it was displayed on this album, it just didn't work. To my way of thinking, the songwriting approach here should have been a real breakthrough but there was just something missing.