Review Summary: Thrash with an old school feel and aggressive sound performed by veterans, this has all the makings of a great album.
Here’s a band you have heard countless times before even if you never heard of them. Scratching your head yet? I say this because this is a band featuring two colossal figures of the 1980’s thrash movement, and they are none other than Chuck Billy of Testament, and Steve Souza of Exodus. Together the two have a combined 54 years of experience performing metal for the masses. Although probably viewed as more of a side-project for the two front-men, Dublin Death Patrol is still very much a complete band, and they take their metal very seriously.
Right off rip you notice the old school sound and feel exerted from the instrumentals, with the exceptional production giving the guitars, drums and bass a retro sound reminiscent of late 80’s and early 90’s thrash and groove metal. Each instrument is audible and clear, yet the guitars still have that crunch you hunger for with this kind of metal. Solos are extremely well crafted and frantic sounding and the riffing is very catchy and memorable. The band succeeds in giving this album a heavy and (when necessary) fast sound and tempo, and at the same time they capture a dark and dreary atmosphere that reminds one of early Testament albums.
With all that said, there are a couple not so great aspects to this album, and that lays in the overall direction the band took with Death Sentence. This is an album that brings absolutely nothing new to the table in terms of progression and style. Big shocker right? Expecting this from when I first heard of Death Sentence, I knew what I was getting into. This is thrash metal with some groove metal elements added and if you come into this album expecting anything else, you will be disappointed. With that said, the vocals fit the music perfectly, but they aren't for everyone. Chuck Billy’s death metal growls and Steve Sousa's raspy shrieks are very unique and work well with this band’s aggressive style, but are an acquired taste that only fans of this type of metal will truly dig. And although I stated that the riffs are memorable and catchy, they are also slightly repetitive after a few listens.
On a more positive note, you get a lot of bang for your buck here. Although the album as a whole is quite short, clocking in at a mere 39 minutes, each song is packed with good vocal performances, several different riffs, and at least two solos. Not one song disappoints me here, as I can find multiple things to like in every track. Still, none really stand too well on their own, so the album is best digested as a whole product instead of in single tracks here and there.
All in all, this is an album that sounds like a mix of Testament and Exodus with some Pantera thrown in for good measure. It’s no holds barred, old school thrash. Needless to say, its good stuff, but certainly not for everyone. Dublin Death Patrol aren't reinventing themselves, nor are they breaking any new ground, they merely want to thrash the best way they know how, with an in your face attitude and lots of talent. Seek this out if you’re a fan of the old school, or can appreciate longevity.