Death Angel-The Enigma Years (1987-1990)

Reviewed: December, 2020

Released:  December 2020,  Hear No Evil/ Cherry Red

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: JP

What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than getting your loved one a Death Angel boxset?   I can’t think of any!

HNE/Cherry Red continue to bring the goodies as they have just issued a new four CD set called THE ENGIMA YEARS.  It is a little bit of a budget presentation with four wallets housed in a slip-case.  It comes with a foldout, two-sided, full colour poster as well with some brief commentary about the bonus disc of rarities.

The quality of reissues lives or dies on the basis of bonus content.   In this case it is a mixed bag.  Technically, there is nothing that has not been released here before. Let’s assume for a moment that you are a pretty solid Death Angel fan. You already own the first two albums and the first semi-legitimate live album FALL FROM GRACE.  The live album does have two extras tracks (‘Confused’ and ‘3rd Floor’) that were not on the basic cassette or vinyl version so that is a bit of a cool treat but those tracks were available elsewhere, on the Japanese pressings for example.  The real treat is Disc Four called RARITIES. Now this in itself has already been issued, twice in fact, both times in 2005.

This is how it works.  When Death Angel signed to a new label, Nuclear Blast, in 2004  they put out their comeback album and there was a renewed interest in the band.  So the people who held the rights to the first Death angel releases said to themselves, “This is a good a time as any to capitalize and issue this stuff we have in the vaults.’  This is not a criticism, it just makes good business sense.  So Enigma (or whatever parent company owned them at the time, WEA I think)  issued RARITIES in two forms; a stand alone disc for the fans who had the early stuff and a reissue all of the material called ARCHIVES AND RARITIES.   Here we are 15 years later and now these albums are due for a reissue.  So if you were one of the few fans who got either of those 2005 versions, , there is not too much to excite you except the alternate art for RARITIES, which is actually very cool and ties in with the art for FALL FROM GRACE and the cover of this box-set itself.  These are public domain images, meaning anyone can use them without paying so it saves money.  I personally like the new art way better.

(Original art from 2005)

 

(2020 box-set art for RARITIES)

All of that is interesting but the bottom line is that you can now get all of this material at a fraction of the price.  The original pressing of RARITES is out of print and now quite expensive, you will pay as much for that one used disc as you will for this entire set, so it is a no-brainer.

For me personally, I never did get RARITIES and I bought THE ULTRA- VIOLENCE, FROLIC THROUGH THE PARK and FALL FROM GRACE on cassette when they came out so for me, there are a total of 20 bonus tracks!    To me that is an incredible value.   We get the three song ‘Kill As One’ demo, ‘Devil’s Metal’ CD only bonus track, three unreleased tracks from the FROLIC sessions, the two aforementioned bonus live tracks and an 11 track CD of rarities. You can’t beat it!   Some of the tracks are merely garage recordings going all the way up to fully fledged unreleased album tracks.

THE ENIGMA YEARS fits the bill for pretty much everyone except perhaps even the most die-hard DA fans but even then, those voracious souls will hunger for collecting this version as well. This set very nicely encapsulates the early years of the band in one sweet set.


TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE

THE ULTRA-VIOLENCE (1987)

1. THRASHERS
2. EVIL PRIEST
3. VORACIOUS SOULS
4. KILL AS ONE
5. THE ULTRA-VIOLENCE
6. MISTRESS OF PAIN
7. FINAL DEATH
8. I.P.F.S.

BONUS TRACKS
KILL AS ONE DEMO
9. THRASHERS
10. KILL AS ONE
11. THE ULTRA-VIOLENCE

DISC TWO

FROLIC THROUGH THE PARK (1988)

1. 3RD FLOOR
2. ROAD MUTANTS
3. WHY YOU DO THIS
4. BORED
5. DEVIL’S METAL (Bonus)
6. CONFUSED
7. GUILTY OF INNOCENCE
8. OPEN UP
9. SHORES OF SIN
10. COLD GIN
11. MIND RAPE

BONUS TRACKS
12. DEHUMANIZATION
13. SILENT KILLER
14. WITCHES OF KNAVE

DISC THREE

FALL FROM GRACE (1990)

1. EVIL PRIEST
2. WHY YOU DO THIS
3. MISTRESS OF PAIN
4. ROAD MUTANTS
5. VORACIOUS SOULS
6. CONFUSED (bonus)
7. BORED
8. KILL AS ONE
9. GUILTY OF INNOCENCE
10. SHORES OF SIN
11. FINAL DEATH
BONUS TRACK
12. 3RD FLOOR

DISC FOUR

RARITIES (2005)

1. VULTURE’S NEST
2. THE HURT
3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
4. A PASSING THOUGHT
5. ELERGY
6. ASPIRATIONS
7. DISMAL
8. THE MORROWS MEMOIRS
9. SAMSON
10. FROLIC THROUGH THE PARK
11. BETRAYED


www.cherryred.co.uk/product/death-angel-the-enigma-years-1987-1990-4cd/

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