Scribbles on the back of a green sticky note:
Having never heard of this band before and having instantly forgotten the similar artists, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the Black Angels. The name alone, though, was clearly indicative of rock, and that’s what I was greeted with. Death Song opens up with “Currency.” The vocals are angsty and echo-y and complement the instrumentation. It’s a heavy-hitting song that sets the tone for the rest of the album, a tone that sounds like: “If you don’t like this one, things aren’t getting any better for you.”
If that’s any indication, I didn’t like it.
That being said, this album might not necessarily be a bad rock album. “Half Believing” and “Comanche Moon” showed small influences outside of the generic heavy rock that pervades the album and were refreshing because of that, even with the first of these two songs opening with a line that can kindly be described as “rhyme-less.” The lyrics in general are fitting with the music, with many darker themes.
Overall, the majority of the songs in Death Song can most generously be rated as ones that are good enough to be the backing track of an action sports video part. If you dabble in rock and metal, I imagine that this album is generally inoffensive, and if you’re a professional snowboarder, there might be a song worth using in your next movie. If you don’t find yourself in either of these categories, I’d suggest not finding yourself listening to this album.
Recommended if: You have a serious addiction to psychedelic rock and are in desperate need of a fix — no matter how diluted.
Smells like: Forgotten cigarettes in an old shoebox placed underneath a bed next to a poorly-ridden skateboard so mom doesn’t find them (she will).
Check this: I’m no rock aficionado so I could be entirely off base here, but “I Dreamt” and “Medicine” were pretty much listenable, and “Life Song” was actually not that bad.
Avoid that: “Death March.” Do not make the mistake of listening to this song.