Sometimes it’s best to take it back to the good old days of metal, back when long hair was an unwritten law, boomboxes blasted on every street corner, and double denim was considered less of a fashion faux pas. It’s a time that Archangel A.D. may not have been present, but they certainly channel it as part of the newest generation of thrash and heavy metal bands. Their second release Warband is a throwback to a heyday that hasn’t aged a bit, packed full of metal, thrashing mad.
From the off, it’s abundantly clear that Jacob Garcia and Matthew Karr are practitioners of the art, weaving effortlessly around Mustaine-esque technical solos and Testament-inspired meaty riffs. Though there’s an air of familiarity, it never devolves into outright copying from the tomes they’ve studied, and each song takes on its own character. The drumming aids in this with its freneticism, such as on the frenetic title track as it clatters to a close, or the aptly diabolical “Evil Dreams” which harks back to Candlemass at their most bewitched. Leading the pack, Justin Lopez brings a sneer honed from many years of singing along to “Whiplash” – the band’s own “Metal Horde” is no doubt an homage to Metallica and the many other bands who imparted their wisdom to Archangel A.D.
Warband is a speedy statement, clocking in at just over half an hour, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do: remind unbelievers that thrash is still a vibrant style of metal with plenty of raw power, and Archangel A.D. are just getting started in building a force to be reckoned with.
Unto The Evil 4:24 Blightning 6:20 Warband 5:54 Enter The Temple 3:28 Evil Dreams 6:41 Metal Horde 4:39
The album will be released on CD on Jan 11th 2019. The album is already out digitally via Bandcamp.