Released: 2008, Metal On Metal Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Fallen Angels, hailing from the recesses of western Washington, was formed in 2002 by brothers Erik (vocals/guitar) and Brian Hansen (drums). At that time they were influenced by such classic thrash bands as Slayer, Sepultura, Exodus, Megadeth, just to name but a few.
A couple of demos and some intense gigging later, Fallen Angels got snapped up by a rising Italian label that specializes in all kinds of old school metal, Metal On Metal Records. The band records their 8-song debut full-length album, RISE FROM ASHES, at Symbolic Sound studio in 2007, and finally gets it released on September 13th 2008.
That, as a tiny history about them. Back to the album itself though. Musically, the band certainly gives their fair nods toward early Slayer, Possessed and especially early Dark Angel´s direction. The band plays relatively heavy and crunchy thrash metal in which ripping and heavy riffs get an opportunity to dominate the song structures - and in which the band does not waste any chance to sound as old school thrash as possible. Guitar leads sound like the copycats from the same type of leads that you can hear on Slayer´s first 2 albums, riffs are basically heavily done the same way that you can hear on Dark Angel´s WE HAVE ARRIVED and DARKNESS DESCENDS albums. Even Fallen Angels´ vocalist Brad manages to sound a little bit like Don Doty here and there, which makes this album even more fun to listen to. Who of us wouldn´t love Don´s evil and nearly hysteric screams on Dark Angel´s albums?
Apart from the fact I love Fallen Angels´ total old school thrash worship on thus record, they lack catchiness here and there, and cannot make their songs flow as convincingly as - let´s say, some of their forefathers of thrash. In that department they still have some things to learn, but I gotta believe that all good things will come within a certain time. There will undoubtedly be some improvement on Fallen Angels´ next album as far as more catchiness to their song structures is concerned - at least I hope so.
However, RISE FROM ASHES is a somewhat optimal thrash record for all those people who don´t expect anything else but a straight, violent and evil sounding old school thrash from this 5-piece thrash patrol, who doesn´t hesitate to show a cruel side of mankind on the inner sleeve of their debut album either. Check them out.