The Art of Dying
posted on 5/2004 By:
Death Angel have always been a little bit too… cute for my liking. Put it this way – if Sammy Hagar was into thrash, then this would be his band. The guitars are razor, the vocals are astounding and the musicianship is excellent – It gets on my fucking tits.
With all their melody and “wow” musicianship, these Geffen golden boys have never even got me nodding (let alone flailing my head with primal bloodlust). That’s right folks… this is healthy anger with a nice acoustic intro, the legacy of Load-era Metallica rings clearer than a fart in an empty arena.
Despite this, I was quite impressed with The Art of Dying on my first listen. Memories of ACT III came back to me as my ears were assaulted by “Thrown to the Wolves”. Over the sounds of a Filipino thrash circus, Mark Osegueda’s vocals carry out a raspy but pristine assault and delightfully evil solos hook left and right: The production is supercharged – crunchy guitars, thunderous drums and a deep bass sound. Nuclear Blast have evidently forked out for this one.
Sure, it's polished, ear-friendly and uh… cuddly, but to my mind The Art of Dying is rather like the experience of cheap weed – Initial euphoria… slight revulsion and then the overwhelming need to sleep. The sugar coated thrash soon melts away to be displaced by the sickly sound of modern Hard Rock with subtle implications here and there that Death Angel were once quite a cool band. Certain songs like “5 Steps of Freedom”, “The Devil Incarnate” and “Famine” are more obviously directed at your girlfriend: There are flirtations with a vocal style not too far off from that of The White Stripes, an effort to sound like The Misfits (“Land of Blood”), and a lovely ballad (“Word to the Wise”). Fortunately one or two good tracks are hidden between the lines (“Prophecy” and “Spirit”).
I hate it. But unfortunately, I can’t trash this album with bad scores because some bloke named Helmut at Nuclear Blast threatened to beat me with a bratwurst.
Give it to your car for Christmas.
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