Sound — 5
The latest Death Angel album with a re-vamped line up, a new bassist and drummer Damien Sissom and Will Carrol respectively, is a bit of a mixed bag. Death Angel have put out some solid albums in the past and in my opinion 2008s' Killing Season was one of their strongest efforts to date. Relentless Retribution is of the same formula but lacks the same urgency and power that Killing Season had, and I put that down to lack luster Drum work and at times average riffing. But saying that Relentless Retribution does have it's charms, the acoustic outro to Claws In So Deep is a stunning piece of guitar work from Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriella. And the little bits of flare from bassist Damien Sissom and a stellar vocal performance from Mark Osegueda are saving graces here.
Lyrics — 7
Political themes are abundant here. Aggressive lyrics couple with the harsh vocals of Mark Osegueda give this album an edge which is effective in conveying their feelings of betrayal and anger at higher powers who have taken advantage of their positions. Occasionally Rob Cavestany jumps up and tries his hand at lead vocals too and while its a good effort and the songs where he sings are good, and his performance is better than I would have expected, I fell his style just doesn't suit except on Volcanic which is a great track but kills the flow completely and just doesn't seem to fit in the album. The vocals sometimes can seem a bit far back in the mix though and this album definitely needed them to be further out to give it more bite. The vocals here are my favorite part of this album, they redeem it in my eyes.
Overall Impression — 6
A decent effort from a band capable of so much more. This band has gone through so much in the past and I wanted so badly to love this album, I have the special edition and my interest is such that I haven't even watched the DVD that came with it. Like I said it's not without it's charm, Claws in so Deep and I Chose The Sky are some of the stand out cuts here, but you'll be wondering how many more tracks there are till the end, counting down the minutes from about half way through.