Review Summary: Good solos don’t make up for poor riffs.
Suicidal Angels’ 5th lp release ‘Divide and Conquer’ is quite confusing at times. I say this because there are many moments that have tons of potential with solid clean acoustic openings and solos but then once things get moving along and the songs start to develop we are left with weak rhythm riffing from time to time. I wouldn’t say it’s all the time but it happens enough to be noticeable. This is quite sad because it makes the band come off as just another makeover band trying to do everything that’s already been done before time and time again. One of the better song’s is ‘Control the Twisted Mind’ which is good enough to call an actual song because most of the rhythmic parts hold up to the soloing; which is breath of fresh air. There isn’t much to compare to SA’s past albums because their sound hasn’t really developed or changed much other than maybe a bit more of a progressive approach found on this release.
For people who’ve never heard thrash before this might be the best thing to grace their ears but even if you looked at this album objectively I still find that the music is stale and lacks emotion and drive and passion. When you listen to notable acts like Demolition Hammer or Exhorder you can feel the fire and burn but SA is like a dying-fading death star. The components are strong such as the guitars production drums and vocals but you can have the ingredients you want but if you can’t cook no ones gonna eat your food. I will give props to the soloing as I mentioned earlier which is quite tasty and expressive but this could be tons better if that detail was given to the rhythmic section and the overall albums composition. Fans of Slayer will probably enjoy this since the vocals mirror them but even Slayer could riff better. Even the album name is generic. ‘Divide and Conquer’ was probably the most generic name a band could name their album.
The best part of this album is without a doubt the production. You can hear every element of the guitars and drums perfectly. Even a little bass seeps through from time to time. SA is a perfect example of modern bands that are putting out money to attract fans to ‘make’ money but they’ll only go so far because even scene kids will eventually realize that these guys pale in comparison to the greats and better modern thrash metal acts like Vektor. But I can’t complain over everything because I’d rather have generic thrash metal than generic core pop punk so you do the math.