|Review: Death Angel - Act III|
Year released: 1990
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: January 29, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (36 Votes)
Death Angel were a weird band. They exploded onto the scene with The Ultra Violence which was a damn fine slab of thrash metal and then confused the metal world with Frolic Through the Park – although I've yet to hear that album. Act III was not the return to form most thrashers were hoping for (if they even cared.) What Act III shows is a perfect view of how ridiculous the scene would get. Fortunately the grunge explosion hadn't completely enveloped the mainstream, however it was easy to see times were changing, and Dark Angel set an example of how bad things would get. It's certainly a shame too; the band were still quite young, on a major label and clearly just wanted to please everyone – hell they probably thought they were sitting on a masterpiece.
At least Act III isn't completely devoid of metal. "Seemingly Endless Time" actually kicks ass, and certainly fooled me into thinking I'd made a good purchase the first time around. Similarities can be drawn to Belladonna-era Anthrax. Still it's easy to see they're playing things safe much in the way Metallica would go on to do in 1991. "Stop" keeps things firmly in the metal vein and is another decent track although it still has that aura of feeling safe. It's a factor felt throughout Act III, the guys really played by the book here. "Veil Of Deception" ushers into gay territory, where the album decides to stay – funk, acoustics, and ballads, all intertwined with the tamest kind of metal. It's not until "Ex-TC" that the quality hinted at in the first two tracks is shown again, but even then it still boasts that safe feel.
And ultimately that's where the problem lies with Act III. Whilst a well performed album with some fun moments, overall it is far too safe. Death Angel fans will no doubt find something in Act III, like I said the first two tracks are good slabs of Anthrax-styled Thrash Metal. Whether it was label pressure or flat-out stupidity that spawned this album it shouldn't have happened again – but really this is just the tip of the iceberg because the next 5 years would see all manner of insults to what was once a great scene. Approach with caution if necessary, but ultimately buy a MP3 of "Seemingly Endless Time" and say no more of Act III.
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