Since their reunion over a decade ago, Death Angel has been among the most consistent thrash bands around. All three of their recent albums feature a few particularly killer thrash tracks, along with some more modernisms in the remaining simpler songs. By the time “The Dream Calls For Blood” came around, I was pretty sure of what I was going to get. And though I love recent Death Angel, luckily for me, I was wrong. “The Dream Calls For Blood” truly is the fastest, heaviest, and most insane Death Angel album to date (including “The Ultra-Violence").
The opener, “Left For Dead” sets the tone for the album. It is driven by a speedy thrash riff, and never really lets up. This track is actually a bit of a head-scratcher as an opener. The chorus feels disjointed and doesn’t really click on first listen. Given the strength of the remaining album, I’m still a bit thrown off by this beginning the record, but rest assured that after a few listens, “Left For Dead” will become a favourite. After the opener, the album moves into the three strongest songs. “Son of the Morning” opens with an old-school Mark Osegueda scream that rivals anything he does live or on the first record. These shrieks are no longer few and far between, and compliment Death Angel's regained aggression. Once again, these songs all move at high-speed with no sign of relenting. “The Dream Calls For Blood” is the most potent of the three, with the catchiest of choruses, and a slower galloping riff in the bridge that creates a solid groove. Perhaps what is most impressive is the guitar work Rob Cavestany. He’s always been a respectable shredder, but on “The Dream Calls For Blood”, he rarely restricts himself to a single solo per song. The title track is the best example of this, but it is apparent all over the record. Another surprise is in the quality of the bass playing. Something about thrash in 2013 is really inspiring all of these bass players to turn it up and find a groove. The aforementioned galloping riff in the title track shows Damien Sisson wandering into the listener’s ear with a melody of his own. He generally is not difficult to hear, and makes more than a few satisfying appearances over the course of the record.
After a vicious start to the record, you would expect things to slow down, and they do, but only briefly. “Succubus” is a pummeling assault of heavy riffs in a more mid-tempo fashion, similar to what Death Angel has been doing on a lot of the three prior albums. Side 2 of the album is largely similar to the first side, except it is not quite as strong. The fourth song that was available prior to the release date, “Caster of Shame”, is the highlight of this half of the album. Regardless, there are no duds on the record, and you’ll be enjoying it throughout. It is amazing that Death Angel has managed to reinvent and revitalize themselves at this stage of their career. If you haven’t followed Death Angel since the first album, now is the time to give them another shot!
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"Son of the Morning"
"The Dream Calls For Blood"
4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott