RELEASED FRIDAY 1 MARCH 2024
A new generation of thrash metal youngsters has risen from the ashes of a club of titans like Slayer, Exodus, Kreator and many more. Greek ambassadors supreme Suicidal Angels are one of the most jaw-dropping representatives of the injection of new blood. At the dawning of Spring, this four-piece of these energetic thrashers will release their eight studio album Profane Prayer four years after their previous attack ‘Years Of Aggression’. It marks their return to the Nuclear Blast family. ‘It feels like homecoming’ confirms composer Nick Melissourgos (vocals, guitars) who started the band in 2001 when he was 16 years old.
Suicidal Angels went through a step by step development since their humble start in 2001. Not earlier than in 2007, they entered the studio to record their striking debut album Eternal Domination which caused a stir in the Hellenic scene. They were invited by Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ to do their first EU tour. This was only the beginning of a long era of growing popularity. Another milestone was supporting Kreator, resulting in a long time friendship with Mille Petrozza. In 2010 Suicidal Angels even opened up for the Big thrash 4 in Athens at Sonisphere and at the beginning of 2014 they finally did their first independent headline tour through Europe. Every two years new albums were coming out to support on the road. In the meantime they conquered Asia, South America and Europe and there is more to come.
Profane Prayer has been written mainly before the pandemic and Nick claims: ‘This album was a spontaneous move. It is based on my interest in philosophy. It is all about Plato, Nietzsche and Socrates, regaled with my point of view about philosophy and the way I look at the world. I am a reader. I am a bookworm. I even bought thousands of pages of Edgar Allan Poe to dive into that matter.’ It adds an epic zest to the whole album. As usual Nick was also in charge for the production at the DevasoundZ Studios of ex-Septicflesh drummer Fotis Benardo in Athens. Nick adds: ‘For mix and mastering we went to the Fascination Street Studios in Sweden with Jens Bogren at the helm. This time we wanted it a bit more specialized, with focus on details. So we can deliver something with more character. The album is a bit different than the ones we did in the past. We wanted to go deeper into details, thinking outside the box. Different elements. Experimental stuff. We have to move on, we have to evolve.’
This development leads to a glorious disc. After the brooding guitar intro, ‘When The Lions Die’ bursts out with ultra tight rhythms and euphonious guitar accents. The gravel-throated vocals of Nick are the dominating thrash metal factor. The angry assault of ‘Crypts Of Madness’ leads to the militaristic tight ‘Purified By Fire’. Epic grandness pops up in the lengthy ‘Deathstalker’ (about a specifically breed of scorpions) in which the Greek scene is united with additional vocals of Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ), Efthimis Karadimas (Nightfall) and even Fotis Benardo behind the mic. After this vocal eminence and epic riffs, we return to basic thrash grenades such as ‘The Return Of The Reaper’ and the rebellious ‘Virtues Of Destruction’. Another remarkable proof of Suicidal Angels’ diversity is the closing track ‘The Fire Paths Of Fate’. Within nine minutes we are led through oriental, ethereal female chants and eastern instruments, while the metallic foundation returns to that mighty tightness of the band in the end. All invigorated with charming melodious leads of Gus Drax and the strict rhythm section of Angelos Lelikakis (bass) and Orfeas Tzortzopoulos (drums). There is a stable line-up now for almost a decade and nothing can stop this spirited team. Thrash icon Ed Repka was in charge for the cover artwork.