Death Angel - The Dream Calls For Blood (Nuclear Blast)

Solid. Nothing more, nothing less.
Release Date: 
10 Oct 2013 - 11:30pm

You can’t blame them for getting involved, I suppose. Why should Death Angel miss out on the current and ongoing thrash metal resurgence when every other fool in the room is putting on their old hi-tops and cashing in?

Why indeed. And at times when you listen to The Dream Calls for Blood – the title track, for instance, or opening  number Left for Dead – you’ll be pleased they are still plugging away. 

They’ve never actually gone away, I know, releasing a stream of solid, sometimes exciting releases since The Ultra-Violence first appeared on our radars in 1987, so we can’t throw down the ‘cynical-cash-in reformation-card’ at them, but, and it’s a reasonably big one given the arena they are working in, you’d think by now the band could come up with something slightly more exhilarating than the admittedly spritely thrash by numbers that comprises much of this, their seventh album.

Guitarists Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar make some nice contributions throughout – Empty in particular springs to mind here, a track where both men bob and weave in and out of one anothers’ playing with truly enjoyable results – and drummer Will Carroll acquits himself well in the engine room with bassist Damien Sisson. But after half an hour in these mens’ company you start to be able to predict what’s going to come next, and enjoyable though this is when you’re proved right it’s probably not saying much about the level of inspiration to be found in the songwriting department.

The final couplet of Territorial Instinct/Bloodlust ends things on a high note if only because vocalist Mark Osegueda drops down from his default – and slightly uni-dimensional – high pitched vocal setting to something lower. The resulting change in character of the song perks things up no end, sounding a bit like something off the last Flotsam and Jetsam record, no bad thing to my mind.

At the end of the day, you’ll take this or leave this, probably basing your decision on whether or not you’re an old-school thrash completest, and on those terms it’s probably solid enough to warrant a purchase. If you’re not, then you can probably pass over this next time you’re browsing the record racks with a purchase in mind.