Suicidal Angels – Profane Prayer Review

Suicidal Angels Unleash a Decades-Long Thrash Odyssey: A Masterful Blend of Tradition and Innovation in Their Latest Release...

Thrash Metal

Nuclear Blast          

Release Date – March 1st 2024

 

Line Up:

Nick Melissourgos – Vocals/Guitar

Gus Drax – Lead Guitar

Aggelos Lelikakis – Bass

Orpheus Tzortzopoulos – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – When The Lions Die

2 – Crypts Of Madness

3 – Purified By Fire

4 – Deathstalker

5 – Profane Prayer       

6 – The Return Of The Reaper

7 – Guard Of The Insane

8 – Virtues Of Destruction

9 – The Fire Paths Of Fate

 

For inexplicable reasons, I still perceive Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels as a relatively new presence, yet the realization dawned that they have been gracing the metal scene for over two decades. Where has the swift passage of time fled? Throughout these years, they have consistently delivered high-caliber old-school thrash, maintaining an unwavering commitment to their craft.

The incendiary vigor and unyielding spirit of the band remain intact, as evident in the opening track, ‘When The Lions Die.’ However, it is on both ‘Crypts of Madness’ and ‘Purified By Fire’ that they unleash their true prowess, channeling a distinctly Slayer-inspired thrash. The tempo is relentless, adorned with the blistering, white-hot lead guitar work of Gus Drax.

The composition ‘Deathstalker’ commences with a solitary acoustic introduction before transitioning into a razor-sharp riff layered with a dual melody, creating a monumental and rhythmic gallop. Supported by vocal contributions from esteemed friends Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ), Efthimis Karadimas, and Fotis Benerdo (both Nightfall), the Maiden/Priest dual guitar interplay introduces a plethora of traditional metal riffery and melodic lines. While not confined to the thrash genre, it is undeniably impressive, evoking spine-tingling sensations and goosebumps. One can easily envision it becoming a live favorite and a future classic for the band.

The eponymous title track seamlessly returns to thrash, devoid of ostentation, while ‘Return Of The Reaper’ gracefully retreats into a dark melodic line before embarking on a groove metal journey. Bassist Aggelos Lelikakis briefly introduces ‘Guard Of The Insane,’ setting the stage for another colossal headbanging experience. Subsequently, the rapid brutality of ‘Virtues Of Destruction’ assaults the senses for just under three minutes.

The final opus, ‘The Fire Paths Of Fate,’ unfolds over nearly ten minutes. It initiates with a gradual build, featuring the haunting chants of a female voice, reminiscent of an eastern refrain. The guitars intertwine, gradually evolving into a powerful crescendo, accompanied by Melissourgos’ commanding vocals over the ethereal female wails. Drax’s deft fingers shine with brilliant lead guitar work, guiding the composition through various movements seamlessly stitched together—from Maiden-esque melodic metal to Priest-like chug-a-thons. Raise your horns, for this is undeniably quality metal!

Suicidal Angels, while wearing their influences proudly, have evolved into an all-encompassing metal force. No longer confined to thrash, they demonstrate an expansive musical repertoire, showcasing their ability to compete at the highest echelons of the metal realm. It appears that 2024 has commenced much like its predecessor, with the release of a superb album destined to secure a prominent place in year-end top ten lists.

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 9/10

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