Released: 2003, Mausoleum Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When I first got this promo CD, I thought, “Geez, these guys look a lot like Death Angel!” Upon looking closer, I saw that I was right. Swarm is three-fourths of Death Angel with the exception being new bass player Michael Isaiah. This is a side-project that the band worked on over the years to come together with BEYOND THE END. The first half of the CD was recorded in 2001 and the second half in 1999. Swarm sounds NOTHING like Death Angel does so don’t go in expecting them to. This is a modern/hard rock CD with touches of LOUDER THAN LOVE-era Soundgarden. They opened for Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains’ guitarist) during his 2001 tour, if that will further scare any thrash maniacs away!
“Heaven’s Cage” is a great song that grabbed me right off the bat. “Karma” is another standout track with a trippy, Soundgarden-esque feel to it. Mark Osegeuda even sounds like Chris Cornell circa 1989 on it! “Dark Western” has a cool riff and a spoken-word vocal track on it. Great chorus, too. “Diamond” features a stomping groove with a chorus that gets heavy. “My Eyes Have Seen You” is a cool cover of The Doors original from their 1967 album, STRANGE DAYS. Osegueda manages to capture the essence of Jim Morrison’s vocals and the band rocks it up a little over the keyboard-heavy original.
The cover of BEYOND THE END really caught my eye, too. It’s a cool computer rendering of a Japanese samurai protecting a temple from an onslaught of chainmail clad soldiers. For a small label release, it’s very eye-catching.
Swarm has been put on ice with the reformation of the legendary Death Angel but if you want to see another side of these thrash legends, check out BEYOND THE END.
KILLER KUTS: “Heaven’s Cage,” “Karma,” “Diamond”