It has been three years since we last saw the Bay Area thrash band last release Relentless Retribution and now with the two newest members fully initiated into the line-up, this is their fourth album since their 2001 reunion and their fourth on Nuclear Blast. Their sound hasn't really changed from their previous album and with the wolves now in the wilderness baying for blood, unlike last album's cover artwork with the lone wolf on the pile of bodies, I feel the artwork best represents Death Angel now.
The general state of all thrash metal bands presently, with so many alike to Death Angel that to me thrash metal is well and truly kicking. Even though it is 'just another label' that we stick to bands, I think that Dream Calls For Blood truly sums up thrash metal in one album. There have been many great and `classic' albums, and in today's stale music scene I'm looking for that one band to energize me every time I listen to their album. Enter Death Angel. Even the added quick review by Kirk Hammet on the sticker is like: "If Kirk likes it, then so do I!"
When I say that the "sound hasn't changed' I also mean the production as well. In fact, truth be told, I don't think there's much difference between the last album and this one if anything has changed at all; the only change I can think of is that the album is more streamlined, more concise and with a ton of energy going into it. What's good about a Death Angel album is you know what you're getting - there's no hesitation about the last album, if you're hesitating at all. With a few songs streamed through the official Death Angel website and if you've managed to have a sneaky listen, then I'm sure the songs you heard will have surprised you. Firstly, with the title-track stream available (along with a following lyric video on YouTube) and it is to-the-point rip-your-face-off tune, full of meaty licks and awesome vocals from Mark - whether you're already screaming "take my money" is another matter altogether. Secondly, another song "Son of the Morning" is available for stream and it's one of the more groovier songs from the album.
The Dream Calls for Blood is a fantastic album from start to finish. The opener - "Left For Dead" - starts off this album really well with its reverb guitar chords then soon opening up to a full-on thrash assault. Whilst the "Son of the Morning" offers up some groovier parts with reverb vocals of Mark. It's true that this album is (probably) the fastest album Death Angel have released since their début The Ultra Violence but by no means is it better than that album, as The Ultra Violence is an undeniable classic in its own right, however The Dream Calls for Blood is just another example of why Death Angel are very underrated as a band. Whilst I'm the topic of being `underrated,' over the years there has been some dispute by the fans over the Big 4 of Metallica (questionable), Slayer (yes damn right), Megadeth (Rust In Peace, anyone?) and Anthrax (no, just...no). Different fans have different opinions and there has been talk among them of forming another Big 4 with other thrash bands such as Exodus in there, as well as Death Angel.
The Dream Calls for Blood flows extremely well and you can hear how much effort Death Angel have put into this. With Jason Suecof once again at the helm a second time round he understands how this band works now and it is heard as every instrument is heard clearly throughout the album, and (for me) this is one of Mark's best performances. I always feel like I really sit with a Death Angel album as they have become one of my favourite bands over the years and so far my favourite tracks are 1, 4, 6, 8 and 10. The added `making of' DVD (if you choose to get this version) is about an hour-long, and it gives you some real insight to the album. The band explain about pretty much everything you'd want to know: from working with the same team again, right down to the artist (and depicting "wofly" again); to every musician on the album (even the added emphasis on Will's cymbals); even the working titles and how they wrote most of the music on tour, written by Rob. I would say go for this version as it comes in a cool digipack...but that's me.
Overall, The Dream Calls for Blood is an excellent juggernaut of thrash that I loved from the first moment I heard it. Whether you like the old Death Angel or the new reincarnated beast, at least give the album a listen to see what you think, but you already know how I feel so there's no need to keep on bashing you over the head. All I'm going to add further is that I know I'll be listening to this for some time.
A lot of thrash bands have been coming back to the fold since the turn of the 21st century, and I for one am very happy that Death Angel is among them. Along with the likes of other Bay Area staples Exodus and Testament, a very convincing argument can be made that they are releasing albums that are as good, if not better than the albums we all remember from the late 80's and early 90's heyday. The Dream Calls For Blood hits your speakers with all the swagger, attitude and meaty metal goodness that all enduring thrash albums possess. The Dream Calls For Blood is the most aggressive album Death Angel have made in a run of four great records that began with The Art Of Dying. Yet it also contains a great mixture of light and shade in the songs. I never find myself feeling that their bludgeon is getting monotonous, or that the lighter moments are overstaying their welcome. Their song writing has also matured to a point where all of the songs are allowed to breath and not feel cluttered, even when your eardrums are being assaulted by a crunchy 100km/h riff. Speaking of riffs, The Dream Calls For Blood is chock full of great, neck snapping riffs that flow really well. Your ability to hear all of these, as well as the tighter than tight drums and bass is due to a fantastic production job that is nice and clear. Sonically this is a great sounding album. Vocally Mark Osegueda has come to terms with the loss of his higher end and actually helps up the aggression with his delivery. It's nice to hear a thrash vocalist who hasn't joined the death growl bandwagon, and who doesn't pay homage to James Hetfield by copying his delivery. As much as I enjoy The Dream Calls For Blood, it's not going to be mentioned in the same breath as Master Of Puppets or Reign In Blood. But, it is damn close to the quality of those releases and is a lot better than anything Metallica, Anthrax or Megadeth have released in some time. If you can remember buying albums from the Big 4 upon release then you will love this. If you are coming to thrash now as a newbie, firstly welcome, then listen to The Dream Calls For Blood loud. Death Angel have produced an incredibly solid album full of more than enough to like for even the most jaded metal head. Thrash metal doesn't get a whole lot better than this.
Another solid release from this underrated US band. Less experimental than some of their earlier albums, this really goes for the jugular with a full on thrash metal attack. Excellent production, premier musicianship and strong material are always a winning formula.
A superbly consistent act that just keeps giving year after year - I would heartily recommend all of their albums.
i have all death angels albums and i thought relentless retribution was a heavy thrashy album but the dream calls for blood is a full on thrash assault!! and by far the most brutal album they have done, the special edition includes a cover of "heaven and hell" which is a very unusual choice i thought but they did a good job, anyway to sum it up if your a death angel fan or just a fan of thrash buy this album!!! there are no ballads or slow boring tracks just full on in your face thrash!!!
Death Angel, a good name to bring up in the metal scene. Well, for me anyway. They're certainly on form here. in particular, Mark Osegueda. Great vocals from this unique singer. He sounds really pissed off and genuinely attacking the mic with all he's got on some tunes. Impressive.
HOLY S.... ! I`ve always liked Death Angel , but never before been blown away by any DA album before. This on the other hand BLOWS away any other DA album from beginning till the end. Brilliant Thrash Metal. Album Of The Year 2013 alongside AMON AMARTH`S "Deceiver Of The Gods"..."Execution/Don`t Save Me" and Territorial Instinct/Bloodlust RULES on this MONSTER OF AN ALBUM !!!
I'm not a great person at analysing tracks in detail, main reason i can't be bothered, so i'll lay it down from the perspective of an old school thrasher who grew up with bands like this.
Simply, this album is amazing, from song structure, performance and production. It's one of those times when a band just gets everything right.
It's a powerful album, hammering out one classic after another and personally I've not heard them sound this good since their first two albums. RIffs are amazing, mixed with speed and amazing melodic sections as only Death Angel can do, but this is a hard hitting album. Not many albums will beat this for the quality of the song writing throughout each track. Love it.
Just listen to the opening track - Left For Dead, if you like that, which in my opinion is one of the best tracks on it, you'll love the rest. Very nice balance throughout the album. In my opinion they seem to have avoided filler songs, those crappy ones some bands do because they either don't have the time, creativity or patience to write something better. The album does not have a bad track on it.
It's laughable when we hear the rubbish being spewed out by the prima donna bands like Metallica and Megadeth these days, that bands like Death Angel will never reach these dizzy heights of fame, because they came out during a time when there was 1000's of stand out bands.