Head To Head On…. Suicidal Angels – Sanctify The Darkness

If there is one thing that can be said about the criticism on Hellbound.ca it is that we don’t pull punches. The reviews that we print are the ones that are submitted by our writers and the editors just have to suck it up, whether they like it or not. So with that in mind, here are two very different reviews of the Suicidal Angels’ latest album Sanctify The Darkness, which will be released in North America in one week’s time. Take these for what you will and make up your own mind.
Suicidal Angels – Sanctify The Darkness
By Jason Wellwood

Sometimes the phrase ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ pops into my head while listening to new releases. In a lot of cases, that’s a bad thing. In the case of Suicidal Angels’ Sanctify The Darkness, it’s a good thing. For those younger readers, this might just as well BE your Daddy’s thrash. I’m talking white hi-top sneakers, bleached jeans, bullet belts and sleeveless t-shirts. Oh, and hair. That’s important because you are going to want to bang your head to this record.

Apparently the band is already prepping their third record, but honestly, I would have guessed these guys were 20 year veterans. Maybe ‘Bloodthirsty’ seems a little obvious for a thrash metal song title, but it fits and it really does set the tone for this band. They are balls out, straight for your throat thrash which will pull comparisons to all the big names as well as a few of the b-list as well (check out ‘…Lies’ and ‘No More Than Illusion’ for shining examples). This isn’t a bad thing though, because what Suicidal Angels are doing isn’t a blatant rip-off, it’s more of a channelling effect. They’re taking their favourite moments and using them as the impetus for creating new favourite moments. It’s obvious that Suicidal Angels know their stuff and aren’t jumping on a bandwagon trying to catch the new wave of thrash revival. If you need some authentic, neck wrecking, rhythm guitar chugging, riff-tastic thrash, this is your band.

Rating: 8.5


Suicidal Angels – Sanctify the Darkness

By MetalGeorge Pacheco

Yawn. With the retro-thrash trend long since passed its sell-by date, this effort by Greece’s Suicidal Angels seems like a bit of a last-ditch on the part of Nuclear Blast, even though the band itself—having formed in 2001—actually pre-dates all of the day-glo/circle pit/skateboard nonsense currently being perpetrated by the underground.

This is kind of a shame, because Sanctify the Darkness isn’t necessarily bad, per se—it’s just terribly ho-hum. Sure, the band has all of its respective influences firmly in check (Kreator, Sepultura, et al), but they don’t really do anything to stand out from them, nor offer any sort of unique spark of their own. In this game, that special, furious energy is simply essential if a band like this is going to make any headway, and Suicidal Angels are severely lacking identity in that regard.

Riffs and beats fly by at breakneck speed, vocals come quick and guttural….and that’s about it. Nothing about Sanctify…writes home to Mom, Dad or Granny about how pissed off it is about thrash band camp, and what they’re going to do about it. Rather, the album just sort of sits there and sulks, wishing the band with all the GREAT riffs would come over and show them a thing or two.

Your best bet? Pass on Suicidal Angels until they overcome their puberty stage.

Rating: 4.5

Sanctify The Angels will be released in North America on Sonic Unyon Metal on June 22nd.

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.