Review: Fallen Angels: ‘World In Decay’

Returning with their third full length offering ‘World In Decay’ (via Cyberdyne Records), are Seattle Thrash Metallers Fallen Angel with another dose of their own particular brand of 80’s style, Bay Area Thrash. This time around, the sound is much cleaner and more polished than both 2008’s ‘Rise From Ashes’ and 2010’s ‘Engines Of Oppression’. Much of this, I think, is down to bringing Michael Rosen onboard (who has worked with Bonded By Blood, amongst others) for the production and mixing, along with Ken Lee, who mastered several of Autopsy’s recent offerings. All the guts and energy are still there, but there is a sharper, more defined edge to the sound, which just seems to bring the best out of Fallen Angels music. The two standout elements that really make their sound so good are the clear, attitude-rich vocals, and the superb lead work, that is, at times, an absolute shred fest. So necessary in good Thrash.

Content wise ‘World In Decay’ is an eight track offering, spanning a generous forty one minutes, each with their own individual serious message to deliver, all done in an exciting manner. Opening proceedings is ‘The Hammer’s Blow’, a high tempo offering, that builds quickly, and goes straight to the shred, with a punchy delivery to the lyrics and a generous abundance of lead work from the midpoint onwards, to make an exciting start to the album.

‘Nightmare’ has a slower, more sinister opening, with intense drum work and mid tempo lead work, but ramps up to the breakneck pace of its predecessor very quickly. I like how the direction flips around, from time to time, across this track.

‘Forsaken Existence’ has a superb anthemic opening, then it’s straight back into that manic tempo, which drops back for slower, reflective choruses and a mega-shred just after the midpoint.

I enjoyed ‘Leading the Blind’ because it had such a dark, different feel to its predecessors. Lyrically powerful, slower and more sinister in its delivery, but never fear, the thrashy high speed lead work reappears in abundance midway through the second half, and dominates until the end.

The clean, reflective guitar opening returns for ‘Fire At Eden’s Gate’. It’s quite extended, and doesn’t see the arrival of the punchy (but still slower paced) riffing until a minute in a half into the track, but it’s a six and a half minute opus, broken up further by a generous sized solo, after which the pace ramps up. ‘Slow’ is not really a word that’s in these guys vocabulary.

‘Into The Abyss’ is another up tempo, fast builder, that wastes no time before breaking out the shredding. It has a catchy, addictive, underlying groove, and catchy chorus repeat of “Into the Abyss!………” which, phrased as it is in this song, sounds like so much fun!! The tempo continues to build relentlessly, until just after midway, the whole direction changes for some extended lead work that just builds and builds. Absolutely stunning.

‘The Hour Of The Time’ has an early Metallica feel to it. Gritty, sinister, and protracted. A powerfully delivered offering. In case you hadn’t guessed already, midway it picks up pace, for the arrival of the lead work that shreds, bends, and slides with reckless abandon, leaving just a small amount of time at the end for a brief wind-down and a few vocal chants.

Penultimate offering ‘ Mortis Ex Machina’ takes on a galloping pace from the outset, with bursts of punchy riffing and drum work to match. A tempo and direction change once more signals a huge burst of lead work that by now you both anticipate and crave and never disappoints. It’s an epic-sized chunk, commanding the centre of the track before resuming with the original pace.

The final track ‘Untitled’, is just that. It’s the shortest track of the album, at under two minutes, where reflective guitars play out a hunting instrumental melody that needs no name. Just enjoy it for what it is… a beautiful outro.

Completing this crisp package is the involvement of Dusty Peterson, who has produced cover art for Bloodbath and Six Feet Under, amongst others. His superb depiction of a molten decaying planet with a deathly skull-like face at the core epitomises the album’s title and material on many levels. I think ‘World In Decay’ is an excellent offering, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It should have bags of appeal to fans of Testament, Havok or Exodus. Follow Fallen Angels on Facebook

Review: Jools Green

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