Review : SUICIDAL ANGELS – "Sanctify the Darkness"

Suicidal AngelsSanctify the Darkness
Release Date: 2010Jun22 (US)
Label: Sonic Unyon / Nuclear Blast
Rating: 3.5/5

English is the voice of Metal. I doubt anyone has done serious research on this; perhaps it has something to do with the fact that many of Metal’s progenitors hail from England. One thing is certain: regional accents factor toward a vocalist’s sound. Frontman Nick Melissourgos has a delivery and timbre similar to Max Cavalera in the 80s, and as a whole, Suicidal Angels are one of the tightest thrash bands I have heard this year. Even Mille from Kreator agrees: “They kill!”.

This is their second full-length album, and maintains their anti-religious stance of past efforts. The mix is clear, punchy and even. No instrument necessarily dominates the proceedings, but the spotlight does shine on Melissourgos and Panos Spanos during their sweet leads. Too bad that Angelos Kritsotakis only gets a brief moment to highlight the low end on “Atheist”––maybe that’s why they have torn through five other bassists in their nine-year existence!

I know that the default cultural joke with Greek folk usually has something to do with anal sex, but I have to tell you, these guys really like Sodom. Coincidence?! Anyway, the influence runs rampant through tracks like “Bloodthirsty” (which is more personally-focused) and “Inquisition” (with direct references to historical figures like Bernard Gui).

Take four minutes and watch their first video for “Apokathilosis”:  a no-frills, high-octane, monochrome account of their live act, that urges against “chasing shadows of the past” and “disturb[ing] the sleep of the dead”. It is a bit more subtle than their attack on “Child Molester”, but who wants to be nice to those people?

More to the point, Suicidal Angels are about to stake a blue-and-white flag in the thrash world. Though I am unclear as to how an angel may be suicidal, nor do I understand why darkness needs sanctification, the album is solid.

FCC: 5, 6, 11
Try 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10

01. Bloodthirsty
02. The Pestilence of Saints
03. Inquisition
04. Apokathilosis
05. Lies
06. No More Than Illusion
07. Atheist
08. Beyond The Laws of Church
09. Mourning of the Cursed
10. Dark Abyss (Your Fate Is Colored Black)
11. Child Molester

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