Suicidal Angels is yet another thrash band that it has taken me far too long to get into. For some unknown reason, I always thought they were from the UK. It turns out that they’re actually from Greece, but the association with the UK is perhaps not as inaccurate as it seems, because the leading UK band of the revivalist movement (Evile) is the strongest point of comparison to Suicidal Angels on “Divide and Conquer”. Both bands have mastered the art of adding mid-paced riffs to furious thrashing, as they take cues from Metallica in this art. This is well demonstrated on “Kneel to the Gun”, which masterfully mixes both heavy chugging riffs with lightning fast thrashier riffs. The other song that best shows this sound is “Seed of Evil”, which will take you back to classics like “Harvester of Sorrow”, just because of the sheer heaviness of the sound. The production is so crisp and the guitars are so crunchy that this style of riff really works well for Suicidal Angels.
Of course, “Divide and Conquer” would not be all that interesting if the entire album were mid-paced. The good news is that the vast majority of it is a whiplash-inducing experience. The two songs that bookend “Seed of Evil” both thrash along at high speeds. Again, it is quality of the guitar tone that really improves the experience. The main riff to “Marching Over Blood”, for example, is pretty standard for thrash (as are many riffs on this record), but hearing it played by Suicidal Angels really strengthens the experience compared to other bands that may have written similar riffs. One other area of note on “Divide and Conquer” is the vocal performance. For those unfamiliar with the band, the singer definitely has that Hetfield/Araya/Drake yell words with only hints of melody, but he does a great job with it. Although he may not be the most distinctive voice in thrash, it could not be more fitting.
My lone complaint about this album is the length. There aren’t any bad songs, but at almost 50 minutes, it’s definitely a bit excessive for the style. It does tend to go by pretty quickly, but with the last track being nearly 9 minutes, things have pretty much run their course by the end. Luckily, the last song manages to stand out by having some of the best guitar solos on the record. Regardless of its length, “Divide and Conquer” is a really impressive record. Sonically, it’s just on another level, and that emphasizes the riffs above all else.
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"Marching Over Blood"
"Seed of Evil"
"Divide and Conquer"
"In The Grave"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott