Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
A Strong Metal Album, Typical Nuclear Blast Excellence In The Artistic Department, Thrashers Will Not Be Dissapointed!!
on 6 September 2010
First impressions are promising, although I think this album may be more of a grower. I had seen a slightly negative review somewhere online that said DA had changed their style but I don't find this so. It's more standard Bay Area Thrash albeit with the benefits of a modern production. There are still the acoustic sections and the always inventive solos of Rob Cavestany but it's still full on Metal. Full marks on production - it's possibly the best the band has ever had. 2008's Killing Season had great guitar tones but as I think I commented in my review back then, the snare lacked a little punch for me. Not so here, the drums and the bass guitar are really clear and sharp. Should point out that this is an entireley new rhythm section who step comfortably into the shoes of Andy Galeon & Dennis Pepa. The new guys have their own style without being at odds with the DA sound. Something about the drums & bass recalls Overkill's Years Of Decay. So it's left to Rob Cavestany & Mark Osegueda as the last two original members and both still fly the flag admirably. Cavestany is surely one of Metal's most underrated lead guitarists and has been threatening for many years now to break free of his Thrash roots what with a fine acoustic/guitar rock solo album under his wings. Osegueda who if I am truthful was a slightly acquired taste in the earlier days has possibly improved with age with a physically stronger voice on recent albums. And of course, Rob C chips in with backing vocals and the odd lead vocal. Ted Aguilar weighs in with solid rhythm guitar work but it's always been Cavestany's show when it comes to the lead breaks and the riff frenzy.
Must mention the digipack - great artwork and a nicely illustrated lyric booklet. Is it me but are Nuclear Blast simply THE best label, independent or otherwise, when it comes to the presentation, atwork etc of the bands on their roster? I've yet to check out the 30 min DVD documentary which looks to be a studio retrospective of the recording sessions. It's a Region Free disc but it is NTSC so it may depend on your set up how it plays. This DVD may be a limited edition so I can't guarantee that it comes with your copy if you order,say, six months down the line!
All in all, a decent album that will get many more spins, A more metallic/rocky album than Killing Season which sounded a little Punk/Hardcore at times. Still heavy & fast though! I even heard the odd riff that sounded a little bit in the Black Metal vein but don't worry, DA aren't ready for corpse paint just yet ;-)
Track 2, the 7 minute plus Claws In So Deep has grabbed me the most so far. Very aggressive but it ends with some really cool, clean picking acoustic work that is the product of a couple of guest acoustic players who really impressed me. Great chords & simple but nice melodies.