CLEAN STATE - Dead Angel Factory

Clean State - Dead Angel Factory

13 songs
56:36 minutes
***** ****
(DIY)

Bandpage

Clean State were one of the most crucial local thrash bands from the mid-Nineties to the early millennium. Their sound was raw, brutal and straight in your face. When their vocalist left and continued with Man Made Suicide in a similar direction, it was time for Clean State to reconsider, and that took years. One year ago, they were back with an advance CD, showing a reborn band, and apart from the guitarist and drummer, no original member was left. New vocalist Marcel is rooted in more contemporary metal, and a second guitar player adds more punch to the music. Clean State worked for a long time on this comeback album, and normally I am sceptical when too much time is invested, but it seems as if the guys have made everything correctly on Dead Angel Factory. Packed into a beautiful digipak, around a concept of serial killers, the band offers thirteen songs which are without an exception perfectly arranged and more varied than ever before. The opener Perception is a fierce start into this hour long album, with Marcel screaming like a black metal infested psychopath, to be followed by the six minute long title track that is the exact opposite. Here, Clean State surprise with thoughtful arrangements and enough suspense to make this pure listening pleasure. The three tracks from last year’s advance seem to have been fleshed out even more, which is especially noticeable on Heresy, an exceptional modern take on metal which always manages to stay original.

Although Clean State hardly mention their past on their homepage, they still don’t deny their origins and surprise with revamped versions of their oldies Green River and Eyes Of Rage, where especially the latter produced a nostalgic smile on my face. One hour may be long for a metal album, but again Clean State demonstrate their professionalism. Not only are there no weak moments, but the album gains momentum again toward the end, when it closes with the majestic Hope that comes with a superb chorus, and then the totally unexpected: Gein is an authentic ballad that allows Marcel to show off his vocal dexterity, and instead of drifting into kitsch, they opted for a creepy atmosphere, in keeping with the album’s concept.

Dead Angel Factory is not only a return to form, but one of the best metal albums ever to come from Luxembourg. The production is crisp and powerful, the songwriting very mature, proving that fifteen years of experience allow a band to find their own identity. In a time where many new metal bands get lost in the maelstrom of modern metal, Clean State managed to give the movement a whole new face, all by themselves. Dead Angel Factory is destined to have the band finally reap their deserved reward.

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