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Melodic Thrash - Pre Black Album...,
This review is from: Act III (Audio CD)After a 14 year hiatus, Death Angel released the much anticipated Art Of Dying, then this year saw the release of Killing Season.
Both solid albums and out & out thrash metal.
For me, Act 3 is the Bay Area cousins most mature & accessible album. Released in the spring of 1990 it predates Metallica's Black Album in its melding of frantic guitars & drums with REAL melody & harmonies, especially on the vocal lines.
There is more than enough thrash here to satisfy the most rabid of tastes but where this album scores is in the willingness to experiment.
Slap bass, funk guitar, rap/gang vocals; all are in this mix. All of DA's members are decent singers & the album is awash with strong vocal performances & harmonies. Mark Osegueda does a fair impression of Rob Halford at times with the lead vocals and you wont find any bog standard 666 lyrics either!
Dennis Pepa & Andy Galeon on bass & drums respectiveley are a formidable unit, never willing to take a backseat to the guitars! (Since departed) rhythm guitarist Gus Pepa adds plenty of hard riffs to the brew but the real plaudits must go to Lead guitarist, Rob Cavestany who serves up quality solos, fills & chords from start to finish. One of metal's finest lead players, he marries technique with feeling in ways that Kerry King & Jeff Hannemann(Slayer)are incapable of. He's also the main backing vocalist here, and can step up to the plate when required to sing lead vocals. I understand his recently released solo CD is excellent.
2 Tracks really stand out here, possibly the albums most daring.
VEIL OF DECEPTION: Stunning acoustic track with some amazing vocal harmonies, with a cool jazzy/funky vibe midway.
ROOM WITH A VIEW: The standout track - starts with more atmospheric acoustic chords & emotive vocals, then a great chorus and a beautifully played short acoustic solo before bursting into life with a lead break that is reminiscent of Stairway To Heaven's classic solo. Then the song plays out with spine chilling guitar melodies that wouldnt sound out of place on any of Pink Floyd's 70's epics!
The production by Max Norman is clear, crisp & organic, giving the album a classic rock feel at times and there are still plenty of kick your face in songs eg Seemingly Endless Time, Disturbing The Peace.
Basically if you like Metal with intelligence & dont mind a bit of diversity then you'll like this. If you are a hardcore Slayer or Sepultura fan (no disrespect, i like some of their stuff) then this may be too mellow in places for you.