Sepulchral Voice Records (2012)
Having Morbid Angel's development in mind, they do have one album that stands tall completely on its own, way ahead of its time. "Altars Of Madness" was the first mix of death and black metal. The rest of the bunch was at the time divided into death or black metal. And so it went for a few years. Many years and many great albums later, there has still not been any album that has been as reminiscent of this classic as this year's "Death's Striking Wings". I can't help but think "Visions From The Darkside" in a couple of Degial's works. Is this a bad thing? I mean, the inspiration is obvious and the question goes like this: "Is Degial copying Morbid Angel?"
Well, I wouldn't say yes, despite the apparent inspiration. After all, there are parts here and there that are very similar, but it's more that this album is in the vein of said band. I guess you can count in old Slayer and perhaps also Possessed in there somewhere. No matter, the important factor with Degial debut is the music itself. The sound is clear yet far from being clinical, the vocal is harsh and at times surprisingly melodic, such as in the title track. The booklet is one you ought to pay for instead of downloading the album.
Degial's death metal is music that speaks to you in a certain tongue. The songs have hooks, the atmosphere is rusty and unclean, and the drive in the songs is great. Most of the music is fast, yet not blastbeating. Great solos and well arranged changes in the songs. Take the short "Perpetual Fire" as an example. The song is quite monotonous and reminds me of certain songs from "Reign In Blood", but the change in tempo during the first solo is excellent.
Overall "Death's Striking Wings" is a great death metal album that deserves attention. It's varied and it contains some great and, ahem, striking songs. Kudos for the "Altars Of Madness" atmosphere!
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Roy Kristensen