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Death Angel - "The Dream Calls for Blood" (CD)

Death Angel - "The Dream Calls for Blood" CD cover image

"The Dream Calls for Blood" track listing:

1. Left For Dead
2. Son Of The Morning
3. Fallen
4. The Dream Calls For Blood
5. Succubus
6. Execution - Don't Save Me
7. Caster Of Shame
8. Detonate
9. Empty
10. Territorial Instinct - Bloodlust

Reviewed by on July 10, 2014

"Death Angel's 'The Dream Calls For Blood' is easily the band's best album since 'Act III.'"

"The Dream Calls For Blood" is the album Death Angel fans have been dreaming of since the band's 21st century reunion got underway. After several albums that failed to live up to the standard set by the likes of "Frolic Through The Park" and "Act III," the band has finally managed to create a disc that recaptures the magical mix of hooks and heaviness that made those earlier albums so great.

The album's opener, "Left For Dead," sets the stage for the mayhem that follows, with a slow, creepy clean guitar intro followed by a leap into warp speed guitars and aggressive vocals from Mark Osegueda that thankfully don't turn into metalcore shouts as they did on some previous releases. It's hard to believe that the rest of the album could meet such a high standard, but it does.

As noted above, Osegueda's in his finest form in years, delivering a scream at the beginning of "Son Of The Morning" that brings vintage Halford to mind. He also delivers the goods especially well on "Detonate" and "Empty."

Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar's guitar work delivers speed and brutality in spades on the aforementioned "Empty" and "Fallen." The solos (including a guest solo by producer Jason Suecof on "Empty") are also uniformly excellent. There's also some sonic diversity here, with the title track slowing a little in the chorus and the closer, "Territorial Instinct - Bloodlust," featuring a nice acoustic intro.

That said, the sense of experimentation that powered "Frolic" and "Act III" has largely been replaced with a singular dedication to old-school thrashing. For some (including this reviewer) that's not such a huge issue, but something like "Room With A View" from "Act III" would have been welcome.

Death Angel's "The Dream Calls For Blood" is easily the band's best album since "Act III." It's a relentless thrasher that will have old-school fans' heads banging for a good long while.

Highs: Superior songwriting and musicianship abound.

Lows: The singular dedication to thrashing squeezes out some of the band's earlier experimental style.

Bottom line: An excellent old-school thrasher and a welcome return to form for Death Angel.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)