Album Review: Archangel A.D. – Casus Belli (Self Released)

Formed in 2015, the thrash metallers spent a few years performing live and developing their song writing before releasing the debut EP Warband in the summer of 2018. To date Archangel A.D. have toured and performed with the likes of EYEHATEGOD, Bobaflex, and Adrenaline Mob.

With the pandemic putting a hold on live performances, and any studio recording, Archangel A.D. released a homebrewed acoustic single Priest of the Void in April 2020. Fast forwarded to January 2021 and studio recording for their new album Casus Belli began. Drawing on a wide array of musical and lyrical themes, the album delivers a powerful offering to the world of thrash whilst including Archangel A.D.’s individual sound. On July 23rd, 2021 Archangel A.D. will release “Casus Belli”.

A manic start, Bet on Death is thrash 101 but in the best way possible. Frantic riffing, heavy rhythm, scowling vocals and a screeching guitar solo to boot. Yes please.

It’s more of the frenzied speed and kick-ass head-banging heaviness with the title track, whereas Beacons’ dirtier and chunkier groove is a tad more methodical, even with its short burst of thrashy energy. Lord of the Rings’ fans will surely get a kick out of this track.

After so many heavyweight blows already, Pluto’s Lament is a massive surprise. Being (just short of) 3 minutes and being completely instrumental isn’t the surprise. What is the surprise is just how melodic it is and how good it sounds. Eerie, disembodied and emotive… it’s a brilliant breather.

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If you’re after thrashing madness, fear not. Celestion has exactly what you need and over 5 minutes of it. A chaotic frenzy of wild thrash metal, there can be no complaints from anyone here who enjoys the heavy stuff.

Sangre de las Montañas is a head-scratcher though. A little over two minutes of Spanish-sung music that has a Mariachi feel to it. It’s a bit pointless and really stands out for the wrong reasons when in between the Celestion and the following 7-minute thrash epic that is Demonolith. Which may or may not be a reference to a fiend in Final Fantasy X. Regardless, though it’s a kick-ass track and the guitar riffs sound so damn thick.

Drink the short, simplistic nature of Blasphemer’s speed as what follows is going to take a lot of mental energy. The first of two long tracks; Door to the Moon is a very intimate bluesy style number that sounds like it’s by a completely different band. Or at least it would if we hadn’t had a few oddities already. It should also be noted that the guitars ramp up about ¾ of the way through and stay that way to the end.

The second of two long tracks and the finale; The Coming of the West Wind is solely focused on meaty heaviness for a good few minutes. Then that dissipates and mournful melody rings out and the track feels so much grander because of this. The last few minutes of noise, the guitar solo in particular, does make sure to end things with a heavy metal bang though.

Archangel A.D. – Casus Belli Full Track Listing:

1. Bet on Death
2. Casus Belli
3. Beacons
4. Pluto’s Lament
5. Celestion
6. Sangre de las Montañas
7. Demonolith
8. Blasphemer
9. Door To the Moon
10. The Coming Of The West Wind




Links

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Archangel A.D. - Casus Belli (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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