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For those who don't know, Dublin Death Patrol are a super group (or, at least, half of one) featuring Chuck Billy and Steve Souza on shared vocals. Beyond that the rest of the cast will probably be unfamiliar to anyone but California natives. It's been quite a while since their debut album hit, most likely due to the busy schedules of Billy and Souza, but I remember liking the honest blue-collar thrash that it presented; not complicated or particularly modern, but definitely well crafted; although it's been some time since I last had a listen. Chuck is also one of my favourite metal singers: melodic when required, but easily at home doing shouts and death growls. Steve Souza I can take or leave; his thrash-metal Bon Scott has never been my thing. I guess it's for that reason that I've always been more of a Testament fan than an Exodus one. So, with that out of the way, how does 'Death Sentence' fare? Chuck and Steve are instantly recognisable of course, and it's hard not to compare this album to the back-catalogue each singer has amassed over the years. But, even by removing this element of comparison, the album suffers a fundamental lack of memorable tunes. And familiarity in sound aside, that's what thrash needs; the classics of the genre remain so because they are instantly memorable. Don't get me wrong, a few of the tracks are pretty cool, which ensures the album isn't a total loss. Despite some decent, honest, performances, I have no doubt this project was treated as a side-project though. And that's pretty sad for the remaining members of the band whom I am sure have put their all into this. But, it's also on their shoulders for this lack of spark as the majority of the songs were penned by Steve Robello (the group's guitarist). Things take a belated upswing by the time 'My Riot' arrives; a bruising late-eighties Exodus-alike that gets the pulse racing. But it really is too late to save this from mediocrity, as the closing two tracks (one a cover of a Plasmatics song) lose their momentum quickly. And what we're left with is a shrugging of shoulders, and the sense that 'Death Sentence' will join a lot of average CDs at the bottom of a very old, and very dusty, drawer.
Mascot Records
Review by Steve Cowan
13th August 2012
1) Mind Sewn Shut
2) Dehumanize
3) Blood Sirens
4) Broken
5) Welcome To Hell
6) Conquer and Divide
7) Death Toll Rising
8) My Riot
9) Macabre Candor
10) Butcher Baby
"...the album suffers a fundamental lack of memorable tunes."