Get ready for some heavy stuff because here is ¨Dark Angel¨ with their album third album ¨Leave Scars¨! The extreme thrash-metal band ¨Dark Angel¨ released this album with some new things that would change their sound a bit, the line-up is different this time but the songs is basically the same thrashing madness as they played on the album ¨Darkness Descends¨. The new members of the band was a new singer and a new bassist and they will be desrcibed later in this review.
This album shows quite much progression in their music, the guitar work is a bit more variated and advanced and the almighty drummer Gene Hoglan shows some more variation in his drum patterns. The bass is not so special in this album, it is quite audiable and it does not get much room for solos or something like that. The songs has the same speed as the previous albums, the riffing is very fast and chaotic, the drumming of course is also basically the same, powerful and fast beats that almost get your adrenaline flowing.
The bands new vocalist Ron Rinehart is a good vocalist in this genre but he has not the same evil death-metal sound as their former singer Don Doty had. Ron can scream and do harsh semi-growls and he can also sing harmonic stuff too, but I think that this singer was no great replacement. The guitars are played by Jim Durkin and Eric Meyer and they are doing a good job in this album, the new bassist is named Mike Gonzalez and the drum-genius Gene Hoglan is also with us here.
The things that I enjoyed during this album was the bigger variation in the songs, there was more different types of riffing and shredds. The guitar-work was a bit more catchier and a bit thicker in its sound. There was these chuga-chuga riffs in some songs and there was some sweet triplet-riffing also included, otherwise there are most fast and chaotic riffing throughout the whole album Another thing that I enjoyed was the drum patterns, there was not the ¨almost-same¨ drumming all the time, there are more different drumbeats here but they all are pretty fast here also. The drums grabbed my attention at many moments in almost every track and in my opinion this was the best extreme-drumming I've heard yet. This was the things that I enjoyed the most so now its time to move on and see what I didn't liked about this bone-breaking album.
The only major thing that I couldn't get along with so good was the new vocalist Ron Rinehart, he is a good singer but Doty's vocals had more evilness and feeling than Ron's vocals has. While Doty was more evil and devilish in his vocals, Ron is more aggressive and this is the first time I have heard a somewhat skilled vocalist in a extreme- metal band. I thought that this guy was not a great replacement but he does a good job to keep the evil and brutal spirit up in the band. One thing that also bugged me was the lack of melody in the whole package, the songs were pretty catchy but not addictivly catchy so I'm a bit disappointed that the band not uses some more melodic stuff but this is extreme stuff after all.
Now to the songs, the songs was quite enjoyable from my part. The songs were a bit catchier and as I said before, the songs got more variation in them. Some songs that I enjoyed was ¨Cauterization¨, this is an instrumental song. This song has these some of the bands best riffs in my opinion, lots of ultra-fast riffing and brutal shredding. The drumming by the way is almost god-like, I have never heard anything like this, even if you put onehundreds volts of electricity in Gene he would just continue with his monster drumming like it was flawless. Amazing song is other words. Another song that I liked was ¨No One Answers¨, a song with some slower riffs at the beginning and later transforms into a evil mix of thrashing madness, it was not so catchy in the first half of the song but it got better as time goes by. ¨Older Than Time Itself¨ was quite enjoying to me also, the intro was slow and sounded pretty evil and later the drumming began and the guitars got louder and heavier. The main riffs is some of the most disordered riff I have ever heard but the song was great after all, the vocals was very good in this song too. The title track ¨Leave Scars¨ would be my last favorite track, the song is very aggressive but it sounds to be more thrash-directed the the other songs, quite catchy song and the drumming is at its peak in this song included the instrumental song. The songs the I enjoyed the least was a filler track, ¨Worms¨ is just a two minute song with some wierd noises along with eerie guitars and some ekoing speaking. The rest of the songs didn't stuck in my head but they sound pretty similar to the tracks that I have described. ¨Never To Rise¨ bursts out immediately into heavy guitars and drumming but he song-structure just felt to simple or flat to me. ¨The Promise Of Agony¨ also starts with monster drumming along with some strange but slightly catchy riffs, the song becomes more aggressive as times goes by and this song is over eight minutes long so I got bored pretty quick. ¨Immigrant Song¨ reminds of a rock song were the singer shouts two times after eachother at some moments, the vocals is ok in this song but I think that they are bad, the whole song is boring and do not sound like the other songs.
Finally done, I hope this wasen't to boring to read, I tried my best and this is the result. A very good album but it didn't have the same spirit as their second album, but I enjoyed this album very much except for the new singer but I think he pulled off this one just fine. I will recommed this album to all thrashers that dig this kind of extreme-metal and I think that death-metal people would enjoy this a bit also, but this is nothing for the weak. If you don't like any kind of extreme stuff you will not enjoy this but of course I may be totally wrong. Any corrections or criticism is welcome.
+ Gene Hoglan does a incredible work on this album
+ The music shows clear signs of improvement
+ The songs has a bit more variation in them
+ The guitar work is a bit more advanced but still brutal and fast
- The new vocalist does not have the same evil spirit in this vocals as Don Doty had
- A splash of melody wouldn't hurt
-- Leave Scars
-- Older Than Time Itself
-- Never To Rise
The overall album rating will be: 4/5