Dark Angel - We Have Arrived review
|Album:||We Have Arrived|
|Release date:||November 1985|
01. We Have Arrived
02. Merciless Death
03. Falling From The Sky
04. Welcome To The Slaughterhouse
05. No Tomorrow
06. Hell's On Its Knees
Dark Angel was just another second-tier thrash metal band from California like Death Angel, Exodus, Testament, and others. After recording three demo tapes in two years (1983-1984), they recorded their first album entitled We Have Arrived in 1985.
Here we have a pretty standard, raw thrash CD of the eighties. The first thing that caught my attention was the vocals, which I really found ridiculous at times. Don Doty, who was the vocalist at the time, tries to combine the regular screaming vocals with high-pitched, sometimes clean singing, which he really doesn't excel in. Actually a very annoying thing is that he would change the style of singing (sometimes very unexpectedly and out of place) for some separate words on songs like "We Have Arrived", "Welcome To The Slaughterhouse", "Falling From The Sky". Besides on "We Have Arrived," the verses are sung in regular clean voice, and it just sounds stupid. The only song on which the voice variations do sound harmonized is "No Tomorrow." In my opinion, Don Doty would sound better without improvising too much because he tries to reach some notes an octave higher with his screaming, but he just hits the wrong note many times, so singing in his regular voice, which very nicely fits the music, would be a better choice.
The music itself doesn't lack creativity. It is good, aggressive thrash metal, with rather varied riffs. I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't stand out, but it's not generic either. The bass intro to "Merciless Death" and the acoustic intro to "Hell's On Its Knees" do make the difference in the discernment of their musical talent. The melodies on "No Tomorrow" and "Vendetta" are really good too. These two along with the aforementioned "Merciless Death" are the highlights of the album. Bass is pretty cool on "Falling From The Sky," especially in the last chorus right at the end of the song. The production is ok for a thrash CD, but at times messy: the drums muffle the guitar sound too much on some songs, and the other times some words are drowned and not heard well.
To sum it up, We Have Arrived is a good album as for the first full-length release made by the band, but with some drawbacks in production and performance. Nevertheless it laid a pretty solid foundation for the band's sound and became a decent starting point to evolve from. You don't get bored listening to it, so if you are a fan of raw thrash, this album is worth listening.
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