The Black Angels 'Death Song' Album Review

April 20, 2017

 

The Black Angels are back with their first record in four years. The psych-rockers will be releasing their brand new album Death Song tomorrow. Let get into it!

"Currency" is jam-packed with polished vocals and authentic psychedelic riffs. The lyrics have meaning and are reflective of this day and age. The political statement, aside from being important, adds to the authenticity of the music, nostalgic of the 1960’s-1970’s. ‘I’d Kill for Her’ has a lot going on. There are several different melodies that cross over. The different sounds work well together but can be over-powering at times. However, the artistry behind the music is still audible.

 

‘Half Believing’s’ intro starts with echoing keys, much like an organ. This track is much slower than the first two, giving the listener a pleasant break from the heavy electric guitar riffs that fill the other two tracks. The vocals are clear and powerful, making it the first track of the album where all of the lyrics can be understood clearly. The bass guitar riffs in ‘Comanche Moon’ really stand out and lay the foundation for the track. The melody is catchy and cohesive; however, the lyrics aren’t easily understood, which makes it difficult to follow the story.

 

‘Hunt Me Down’ starts off with a bang, going in full force with a catchy melody and electric vocals. Each word and phrase is perfectly enunciated, allowing the listener to get lost in the music, whilst effortlessly following the story-line. All of the little details that have gone in to making this solid track are greatly appreciated. The echo effect used on the vocals in ‘Grab As Much (As You Can)’ gives it a rich tone and adds an overall trippy effect. There appears to be some oriental sounds going on in the break – it’s great to hear a band taking inspiration from a vast number of areas and cultures.

 

‘Estimate’ is one of the bands more mainstream tracks – with catchy lyrics and a memorable melody. The repetitive snare drum and guitar riff really adds to the magic of the song and allows the vocals to take centre stage. It’s most definitely music for the soul. ‘I Dreamt’ sounds like a song that would be featured in a 1960’s spy movie soundtrack. It’s a maze of unique sounds, blended together harmoniously. It’s a track that makes you want to move your body in ways that could no longer be considered ‘dancing’, specifically in this generation.

 

‘Medicine’ has some really nice delicate guitar riffs, however, the other instruments are incredibly over-powering, which makes it hard to understand and hear the vocals clearly.  The transitions from one melody to the next aren’t as strong in this track as the others, which unfortunately makes the arrangement appear messy and erratic. The echo effect used on the vocals in ‘Death March’ is intense and altogether too loud, probably because the effect was used on the majority of the vocals, rather than it being isolated to a few bars.  From a personal perspective, the band missed the mark on this one. ‘Life Song’ has a similar style to Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ – from the guitar intro to the style in which the lyrics are pronounced. It’s a strong way to end the album and it’s refreshing to hear a song that may have been composed with Bowie in mind.

 

The album has continuity and passion. The band have stayed true to their sound throughout the album and have demonstrated a clear understanding of psychedelic rock, as well as communicating their love and appreciation for the genre.

 

8/10

 

 

 

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