Death Angel Killing Season

As with any band that breaks up and reforms, there are two distinct sides to the Death Angel coin: pre-dissolution and post-reunion. Where the former found the band young and vigorous, chock full of definitive Bay Area thrash influences, the latter sees them streamlining and slightly less enthusiastic, while still able to deliver a solid chug riff. This results in a laidback and steely, subtler attack with latest effort Killing Season. Detuned guitars are set in the background of songs such as "Lord of Hate” and "Dethroned,” allowing thundering bass lines and atomic drum beats to take the forefront, and singer Mark Osegueda’s vocals are still as shrill as ever. While Killing Season is a fine entry into the Death Angel catalogue, its resolute lack of inspiration will never put it in the category of essential albums such as Act III. It will merely be another strong offering that’s turned to on occasion for something when a reasonable hand-drawn facsimile will suffice. (Nuclear Blast)