Review by Felix on May 1, 2019.
Promotion pics which seem to show the legitimate successor of early Exciter, a chainsaw guitar sound and the merciless vileness of the most unscrupulous Deströyer 666 tracks - these are just three components of the cosmos where Avenger of Blood set the agenda. The first time I heard a song of them was on the "Speed Kills... Again" compilation and in particular the deadly "Enemy Attack" made me more than curious. Well, Death Brigade holds more lethal weapons, but honestly speaking, they hinder each other. Ten suns probably do not shine brighter than one and here we have the same situation. Each and every song is a celebration of thrashing old school cruelty, but all of them fire in the same direction and so their effect is much smaller than I hoped.
Permanent high speed is not the most promising recipe to create a very dynamic album and the choruses fail to give the listener a point of orientation. The constant nagging of the Mille fanboy behind the microphone is rather monotonous and the riffs are seeking their individuality. No, this is no bad record, don't get me wrong. The level of aggression is impressive, and the authenticity of formation deserves recognition. There are no details that kill the entire work and I do not see any reason to blame them for stereotyped titles such as "Poserslaughter". Nevertheless, those factors that transform a solid thrash album into a murderous experience are missing. Charismatic vocals (Paul Baloff, you are unforgotten), fragile melodies that show up surprisingly (Forbidden managed this art perfectly) or simple parts that combine brutality with catchiness (Slayer's line "Watch as flowers decay" opens the gates to a prime example in this context) - regrettably, Avenger of Blood do not have such elements in their portfolio. Aggravating this situation, their compositional skills leave room for optimization, because they seem to know only one formula.
Death Brigade is a narrow-minded, one-dimensional and pretty hellish full-length that expresses its profound contempt for everything that sounds like more or less commercial music. The pure frenzy marks the biggest (and sometimes only) asset of the quartet from the United States and songs like the title track or "When Will You Die" are, considered in isolation, very effective means to free the ears from dirt. Credit for this successful treatment is also due to the dust-dry production that does not suffer from major flaws. Needless to say, that the saws (read: the guitars) dominate the mix. It's a typical genre sound, no more, no less. Nothing surprising on an album that lacks variety and so Avenger of Blood do not gain a position ahead of the 21st century thrash pack. Guess that "Enemy Attack" is the best track they ever wrote.
Rating: 6.8 out of 10