Death Angel - The Ultra-Violence review


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Band: Death Angel
Album: The Ultra-Violence
Release date: April 1987

Disc I
01. Thrashers
02. Evil Priest
03. Voracious Souls
04. Kill As One
05. The Ultra-Violence
06. Mistress Of Pain
07. Final Death
08. I.P.F.S.

Disc II [Artifacts and Archives re-issue bonus]
01. No Time for Love [Heavy Metal Insanity 1983 demo version]
02. The Hunted [Heavy Metal Insanity 1983 demo version]
03. Intruder [Heavy Metal Insanity 1983 demo version]
04. Barren Lands [Heavy Metal Insanity 1983 demo version]
05. Thrashers [Kill As One 1985 demo version]
06. Kill As One [Kill As One 1985 demo version]
07. The Ultra-Violence [Kill As One 1985 demo version]

I think I'm not the only one to believe that Death Angel never quite got the credit they deserve. And I don't even mean the commercial success of Megadeth or Anthrax, but at least the respect that metalheads show to the likes of Testament or Overkill. And I think that these Bay Area thrashers have the right to feel harmed by the metal community, as they have done everything to become a highly recognized metal band, including starting off with a phenomenal debut album.

The Ultra-Violence possesses all features of a thrash metal classic. First of all, it sounds amazingly fresh even though 25 years have passed since its release, and I guess that's the most important thing characterizing music in general. It doesn't age. The album comprises tons of amazing riffs enclosed in eight tracks. They're pretty long, as only three of them are shorter than five minutes. But it doesn't really matter, as Death Angel managed to keep every second of their debut interesting.

The band didn't introduce any forms lighter than usual thrash metal pounding. Right, there are some slower parts, but they are used just to make the heavy parts seem even heavier and more brutal. I wonder what they would say if anyone told them that over twenty years later they would record with artists like Rodrigo Y Gabriela, as it happened on 2010's Relentless Retribution. The thing that might discourage one from listening to the album in full are Mark Osegueda's vocals. I've encountered many opinions that without his participation the album would've turned out better. The reproaches concern his using his high-pitched voice too often and unskillfully. I agree, he sometimes sounds like a teenager with a voice break, but I guess this is just a part of the album's charm. After all, they were all under 20 when they recorded The Ultra-Violence, so it's their right to sound like a bunch of youngsters.

Nevertheless, this album is a great piece of art and it is still an unsolved mystery to me how they never became as popular as they deserved. But at least we have the possibility to enjoy The Ultra-Violence, which I advise you all to do if you're not acquainted with it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 6

Written by s7mon | 09.04.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 86 users
11.04.2012 - 00:32
Au Pays Natal
I admit, I am a Death Angel fan and Act III is one of my favorite albums of all time but I have never listened to this. I suppose now I will give it a try, nice review
11.04.2012 - 19:16
Troy Killjoy
I think it was a mistake for these guys to reform. They released some pretty awesome material back in the day. I'd probably give this a full point lower but it's still some seriously awesome old school thrash.
Prettier than BloodTears.
31.10.2017 - 21:01
Fils du Lys
I like his vocals.
Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....

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