Death Angel
Relentless Retribution


3.0
good

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (77 Reviews)
September 11th, 2011 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An inconsistent but occasionally great album by the veteran thrash band that ultimately falls on its face too many times to be an essential album for thrash fans.

Death Angel's 21st century work has been pretty variable in overall quality, with the largely passable thrash n' roll Killing Season being the valley to the solid and modernized The Evil Divide's peak. Relentless Retribution isn't as noteworthy as the latter but manages to indicate at some of the strong material to come later and offers a reasonably decent take on the modern metal infused thrash formula that defined their following works.

Opener Relentless Revolution states the basic blueprint of somewhat more mid paced thrash metal that dominates the album's sound. The somewhat overly tidy production job nevertheless has a degree of girth that helps to provide aptly heavy moments at times, such as on album highlight Death of the Meek. The lack of truly gung-ho thrash moments does hold the album back somewhat, with most of the more noteworthy segments instead being the firm grooves of tracks like the Death of the Meek and Where They Lay and the NWOAHM-esque clean vocals and melodies of Claws In So Deep and I Chose the Sky. Said mid-2000s popular metalcore influences aren't too intrusive or irritating, but unlike a band like Trivium, Death Angel doesn't really go for melodic builds into catchy choruses, making them seem somewhat lacking as a diversion from the repetitive thrash elsewhere. The vocals throughout also don't really do any favours to the more melodic sections of the songs, not quite keeping in key consistently enough.

If there is anything that Relentless Retribution does succeed in, it's building heavy, no nonsense riffs. This Hate opens with a groovy riff that simply bulldozes its way to a relatively catchy and upbeat verse riff that certainly hints at some crossover influences not really found elsewhere in the band's material. The song does unfortunately suffer from some vocal issues, but largely succeeds instrumentally. Some of the more standard thrashers manage to outperform the others as well, such as Truce and River of Rapture, simply through the band's combination of refined musicianship and catchy songwriting. However, tracks like the pretty awful ballad Volcanic do heavily obstruct the listening experience with some cringeworthy lyrics and bad clean vocals. Had the songwriting been more diversified tempo wise, rather than stylistically, it'd likely be a considerably better experience.

Not achieving quite the level of consistency of the following Death Angel efforts, Relentless Retribution nonetheless is a pretty decent effort from the veteran band. The strength of tracks like This Hate would perhaps been better served without the deviations into more NWOAHM-ish territory, but the modern metal influences that seep in aren't so bad that they spoil the experience. Further refinement thankfully clearly occurred with later releases, and as its own piece Relentless Retribution has plenty of great riffs and leads to keep it largely interesting.

*Review re-written 19/09/17*



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Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
bannedwarrior
September 11th 2011


164 Comments


i never gave this one a spin

their first album is amazing though

Attis
September 11th 2011


333 Comments


album is decent which actually exceeded my expectations. band has only 1 truly good album anyway

TheNotrap
September 11th 2011


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Cool TM stuff but first check the previous Killing Season. Great record IMO

bannedwarrior
September 11th 2011


164 Comments


yeah the ultra violence is one of my favorite thrash albums, their other shit is cool but just cant compare

Attis
September 11th 2011


333 Comments


killing season was awful

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011


26735 Comments


The Ultra Violence, Frolic Trough the Park and Act III all rule hard. This is pretty good but doesn't compare to the first three.

bannedwarrior
September 11th 2011


164 Comments


frolic and act III are kickass and all but it's the debut that i actually remember

TheNotrap
September 11th 2011


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"killing season was awful"

Don't agree dude. You can't compare this shit over their classic debut sure, but still has cool songs like Lord of Hate or Soulless.



Frolic and Act III have both good moments. In fact Act III is considered their best by many metalheads.

Attis
September 11th 2011


333 Comments


frolic is alright but act III is really average imo. not very thrashy either

Attis
September 11th 2011


333 Comments


room with a view is cool though

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011


26735 Comments


I love Act III, it was the first album of thiers I heard.

bannedwarrior
September 11th 2011


164 Comments


the ultra violence is the best album ever made niggaz

Attis
September 11th 2011


333 Comments


lets not get ahead of ourselves


second best

TheNotrap
September 11th 2011


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Their debut is my fav but Frolic and Act III also rule hard

bannedwarrior
September 11th 2011


164 Comments


in fact i should order a shirt of their first record

TheNotrap
September 11th 2011


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

in fact i should order a shirt of their first record

Definitely m/

Bay Area classic stuff

dante1991
September 11th 2011


635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ultra Violence is easily their best but this new album is great too. I'd actually probably go as far to say it's their second best. Act III is really overrated to me, not a very thrashy record at all.



Ultra Violence > Relentless Retribution > Frolic Through the Park > Art of Dying > Act III > Killing Season

TheNotrap
September 11th 2011


8580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

you guys underrate Killing Season

Madbutcher3
September 11th 2011


1884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I'm a fan of their debut but I think Frolic is better than this; less cheesy.

BallsToTheWall
September 11th 2011


48089 Comments


Drummer Will Carroll does a good job too, and Damien Sisson does some decent basslines.



uHHH

Digging: Root - The Book



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