Review: Death Angel “Humanicide” [Nuclear Blast records]

Review: Death Angel “Humanicide” [Nuclear Blast records]

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Humanicide is the third album of a trilogy that Death Angel have been working on since 2013. As you would expect, there isn’t a great departure or shift from anything the band had recently crafted. Coming from somebody who has always struggled to get into the records that came after Act III, I’ll admit that these Bay Area thrashers pack a lot into the final chapter of this series. It’s a bit on the long side, but almost half of the songs still carry a fairly hot flame.

For starters, the speed metal template works quite well here. “Aggressor” is built on well-rounded speed riffs that incorporate clean licks laid atop that sound wonderful. “I Came For Blood” is super upbeat for this type of release and contains a much more welcoming energy. But the biggest standout is “Immortal Behated” due to the intricate guitar passages that hold tons of melody, backed by their strongest drum-kicks. The classical-esque piano outro is just icing on the cake.

However, with all of this aside, Humanicide suffers mostly just by sticking around longer than I’d have liked. Sure, you’ll find fun proggy tinges in “Revelation Song,” and anyone can appreciate the memorable chorus in the title track. After doing that for so long though, the impact tends to lose its intensity. I also find the vocals in these newer albums to be extremely hard to dig. They fit better with some songs than others, and the delivery is fine, but personally it just doesn’t sit well with me.

The truth is, there isn’t a bad song on the entire disc. Most of my issues with it are more personal than anything. It’s just that even after a few listens, nothing but the mentioned standouts can really hold my attention, and it could stand to be shorter. Without a doubt, I still highly recommend this to all fans of the genre or the band. This is definitely a worthwhile disc, as there’s plenty of room for different takes on it.

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