Clearly influenced by the 80s thrash metal scene, as well as aspects of NWOBHM and a selection of other bands from the era such as Motörhead, Casus Belli contains 52 minutes of old-school thrash metal.
The band make good use of their influences, working them together with characterful skill to produce songs that may have recognisable ingredients, but manage to avoid plagiarism or that done-to-death feeling that much thrash can suffer from.
The music is well-written and shows not only a love for the style, but also an understanding of it. As well as the speed and aggression that thrash is known for, there is also ample evidence of its adventurous spirit on display. Yes, there’s diversity in this thrash assault, including some non-metal elements. Instrumental tracks, acoustic parts, semi-ballads, Spanish influences, and other ideas all spice up the album’s delivery, helping to keep things from becoming stale. The majority of the music is, however, unleashed in the style of classic thrash metal.
A key factor in Archangel A.D.’s appeal is not only the band’s obvious enthusiasm, but also their evident songwriting skill. The songs are catchy and memorable, and they’re filled with hooks, standout moments, killer solos, and earworm choruses. There’s also a large amount of decent riffs here.
Casus Belli is a solid and enjoyable release from a band that know how to play the style. If you’re a fan of thrash, then this is one to keep an eye on.