Suicidal Angels – Divide and Conquer (NoiseArt/Napalm)

Tuesday, 25th February 2014
Rating: 7/10

One of these days, the bands that comprise of thrash’s 43rd (and counting) wave will realize that filling their albums with mid-tempo stompers as opposed to played-out thrash-a-thons will net them more success. It should be called “The Toxic Waltz Effect” or something to that nature, for when Exodus became bogged-down in polka beat-ville, said song about moshing ended up being their most recognizable – and successful – in an odd, roundabout way. The same happening will probably befall Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels, but on their fourth album, Divide and Conquer, they at least got one song out of the batch right.

Most of the cuts that make up Divide and Conquer are of the rote variety. You know, slop down some up-tempo drumming, reign in on the riff patterns frequently employed by the aforementioned Exodus and their Bay Area pals, and there’s the album for you. And this thing is late 80’s Bay Area to a fault with normal lyrical motifs getting the push (see: “Into the Grave,” “Pit of Snakes,” “Kneel to the Gun,” et al) But there is one tune that resonates: “Seed of Evil, “the album’s designated cruncher, a song that peels back on the regular thrash for groove. It’s far and away the most infectious number in the lot, a sure-fire live head-bobber if there was one, too. And it saves the album from CD coaster-land.

There is a dwindling amount of people who can extract something of value and/or new from a band like Suicidal Angels. Simply, they don’t have anything remotely worth a headline-grab or an identity. They’re just a bunch of Greek dudes who love their thrash, wear it on the sleeves (if they even have sleeves), and see fit to keep this whole movement going, when folks a long time ago started to pump the brakes, or bail out altogether.

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