DEATH ANGEL - Humanicide
Release date May 31/19 (Nuclear Blast)
Going somewhat against the grain, I'm one of the seemingly few who prefers latter-era Death Angel to the first three "classic" releases. While I found The Ultra-Violence an acceptable debut, the subsequent two platters (Frolic Through The Park and Act III) lost the plot in my opinion, becoming too quirky and experimental for their own good. Thrash is about aggression, speed and the riffs, dammit. The band dissolved in 1990 (no tears shed here), before returning to action in 2004, some 14 years later.
Since then they've issued a new album every two to three years, with Humanicide being the sixth since the comeback. While none can be proclaimed genre classics, you could make a proclamation that Death Angel have become the Motorhead of thrash, consistently issuing the high quality goods without a blip on the radar. Happily, Humanicide continues the streak, providing thrash fanatics with memorable fare from a melodic instrumental opening section (reminiscent of Priest) to the hard charging conclusion.
Highlights include the blitzkrieg attack of 'I Came For Blood' and 'Alive and Screaming, along with the headbanging 'Revelation Song', while the mid-tempo chug 'Immortal Behated' provides an Accept-style respite in proceedings. Meanwhile, vocalist Mark Osegueda once again makes a claim for being one of the best men at the thrash mic, delivering in his unique register, as always. Altogether they're an unstoppable machine right now. Hail!