Album of the Week 20-2015: The Organization – The Organization

After Death Angel released their masterpiece ‘Act III’, quite a lot of things happened in a short time. Drummer Andy Galeon got badly injured in a tour bus accident, Geffen Records dropped the band and singer Mark Osegueda moved to New York. The four remaining members formed The Organization and, on this phenomenal debut album, took the melodic leanings and Funk rhythms that popped up on ‘Act III’ further to develop a sound that despite the occasional Thrashy riff is more Rock than Metal. That shouldn’t discourage the fan of well-written songs though; ‘The Organization’ is full of them.

Galeon and lead guitarist Rob Cavestany share lead vocal duties here and while I have always considered them the better singers in Death Angel, Osegueda was infinitely more Metal than them. With this album’s melodic, but still riff-heavy nineties Hard Rock sound comes the perfect opportunity for Cavestany and Galeon to shine vocally, both separately and together. They are also in charge of songwriting here, although the influence of guitarist Gus and bassist Dennis Pepa shouldn’t be understated. The latter is indispensible for the Funky feel of the rhythms. He has an awesome bass sound as well.

Opening track ‘Free Burning’ does give the impression we’re dealing with a band unburdened here. Despite the presence of a few heavy riffs – the chorus riff most prominently – the song has more room to breathe than Death Angel’s music, which automatically gives Cavestany and Galeon all the space they need. This is a formula that is followed on the entire album, although “The O” takes it in every direction possible; from dreamy (‘Bringer’, ‘The Past’) to funky (‘Lift’, which even features a saxophone solo) to heavy (the almost punky closer ‘Been Nice’).

Instrumental track ‘Withdrawal’ is easily the most Metal song on the album, but hardly the most enjoyable. Every song is so good and so discernible that basically each song is an equal delight to listen to. Save for the two absolute highlights, that is. ‘Wonder’ is a Cavestany-led ballad much in the same vein as ‘A Room With A View’ on ‘Act III’ and builds from small and fragile to the Sturm und Drang of the solo section with admirable ease. Cavestany’s heartfelt vocal performance is amazing and that also goes for the mafia tale of ‘Policy’. Its clean guitar intro and outro set the mood perfectly, before upping the intensity to a driving Rock song full of broad chord riffs and pounding rhythms. Simply amazing.

Those of you expecting a vicious Thrash record comparable to Death Angel’s debut or last two albums will probably be disappointed by the more accessible, but still surprisingly eclectic sound of ‘The Organization’, but it’s a fact that this record rivals ‘Act III’ as the magnum opus of all four musicians involved. It’s got all the musical prowess and songwriting brilliance any fan of Rock music could wish for and the only thing left to be desired is simply more work from The Organization. This shouldn’t be treated as an oddity in the musicians’ careers, it’s a masterpiece worthy of anyone’s attention. Even – or rather especially – if you’re not normally into Metal.

Recommended tracks: ‘Policy’, ‘Wonder’, ‘The Past’

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