Review by Brian on December 10, 2014.
Put on your robe, light some candles, fill your chalice, ring the bell, turning clockwise, invoke the Four Crowned Princes of Hell. The soundtrack to this ritual comes in the form of Dreadlords debut LP Death Angel. This is worship music folks, fully equipped with bells, chimes and other ritual instruments. Hailing from Philadelphia, Dreadlords is composed of members of Panther Modern and T.O.M.B., and create some seriously dark, bluesy, Americana with some heavy and noisy moments.
The opening track always sets the tone for an album, "Going to the Well" does that nicely. It's a repetitive dark hymn of murder. The vocals here are hauntingly beautiful. The tracks that follow show the diversity of the album. "Alone" and "I Live In A Cemetery" being almost a black metal songs with some grim vocals and a noisy approach musically. Think Burzum (musically) meets Danzig (vocally). "Born in the Arms" is one of the stand out tracks on the album. It sounds like the devil himself possessed Nick Cave with Johnny Cash's soul. This combination of blues, Americana and black metal works very well. With all the tracks ranging between 3 to 4 minutes and the whole album clocking in at 38 minutes, Death Angel doesn't overstay it's welcome.
It's nice to hear music that isn't rehashing old and tired ideas. There is no worry of that here. Dreadlords have created an original album with Death Angel. The first listen will grab your interest, the second and third will keep you coming back for more, by the time you put this gem on for the fifth time you won't be able to stop singing the more memorable moments in the shower. If there is one drawback to the album it's that at points it falls into stagnation. However, those parts are few and far between. There is far more good here than bad. I recommend this to those metalheads out there with an open mind that are looking for something different. I'm sure Satan is tapping his foot to Dreadlords at this very moment.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10