The Black Angels - Death Song album review

Thumpingly grand psych from Texan longhairs

Cover art for The Black Angels - Death Song album

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

The Black Angels may have been at it for over a decade now, but there’s no let-up in their levels of volume or intensity. If anything, Death Song (their first album in four years and one whose title neatly appends their name to the VU classic that first inspired them) is their heaviest to date, a toxic draught of garage-rock and booming psychedelia that buzzes with echo and reverb.

In keeping with their brief status as Roky Erickson’s live backing band, there are nods to the 13th Floor Elevators on the throbbing Death March, albeit with a very modern sense of sophistication. They truly excel on I’d Kill For Her and Comanche Moon, both of which reach for the void through thickets of stroppy riffs that refuse to let go.

Meanwhile, mini-epic Life Song is a cosmic comedown in the lineage of early Floyd, full of trippy synths and pan-dimensional musings.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.