So, Greek thrashers SUICIDAL ANGELS are back once again with their new album Division of Blood (out now, NoiseArt Records). To be honest, I liked but didn’t love the last record Divide and Conquer. But the minute I found out that Guitar God Gus Drax was now in the band I was all in and ready to go. I have to say, this band has stepped up their game immensely and are doing Thrash Metal right. Hell, they should teach a class named Thrash 101 after this record! There’s great speed, awesome time changes, moshing grooves then sick transitions back into the speed, all without overkill on the double bass drums.
Once again singer/guitarist Nick Melissourgos barks his words out with authority and once again the SLAYER sound is readily apparent on many of this songs. Now that’s not at all a knock, just an observation. There were actually a couple of moments where I thought to myself, “Wow, this is like SLAYER, only much better!” But at the same time SUICIDAL ANGELS maintain their own identity, and never once rip anyone off. The first three tracks “Capital of War”, “Division of Blood”, and “Eternally to Suffer” are a triumvirate of thrashiness, ready to bang the heads that doesn’t bang.
Groove-wise the rhythm section of Orpheas Tzortzopoulos and Angel Lelikakis hold it all together on drums and bass respectively while steering the ship at several points on the record. These two really work well together and they’re a well-oiled machine. One of the best examples of this is “Set the Cities On Fire”. Yeah, they’re pounding hard, but there’s also a precision involved and knowing just how much to play without overdoing it. Especially when Drax solos his fucking ass off in this one!
“Front Gate” is definitely a headbanger’s paradise, with Orpheas’ double kick drums hitting them right in the chest, while “Bullet In the Chamber” was my absolute runaway favorite from jump. The guitar riff had me ready to break windows and cut people while the groove of the rhythm section made me want to break all the furniture in my house! “Cold Blood Murder” is one of those tunes that you just have to put on a workday/motivational/workout mix. I guarantee your productivity will increase at the former, while the number of reps and your strength at the latter will practically double.
Closing this hellacious disc is “Of Thy Shall Bring the Light” which is another favorite. So many times thrash bands feel the need to put out some bloated, overly-long song at the end that lumbers along at a snail’s pace. That is definitely NOT the case here. If you’re not riveted from start to finish you clearly have no pulse. The same can be said for the album as a whole. Division of Blood is the sound of SUICIDAL ANGELS nailing it on all fronts, and I can only pray that the Metal Gods find it in their hearts to let this band tour the U.S. so I can be front and center. Best thrash album I’ve heard in a looooong time!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Of Thy Shall Bring the Light”, “Bullet In the Chamber”, “Cold Blood Murder”, “Set the Cities On Fire”, “Division of Blood”