Black Angels Credit: Sandy Carson Credit: Sandy Carson

With their new album Death Song this heady psychedelic Texas band finally acknowledge in full their inspiration—“The Black Angel’s Death Song” from The Velvet Underground & Nico—which feels like they’re either out of ideas or returning to their roots. Death Song is darker than either of their two previous releases, 2010’s Phosphene Dream and 2013’s Indigo Meadow, which aimed more for a cheerful and bright-colored type of psych rock as opposed to keeping with native gray-scale drones. The anger that fuels the Black Angels has at last boiled over on this record, with the rippling “Currency” and furious “Comanche Moon” each carrying the jagged metallic overtones from a sonic stew that includes the 13th Floor Elevators, Spacemen 3, and a strung-out MC5. But the band’s sense of beauty remains: long closer “Life Song” feels like a soothing space-rock lullaby, though it doesn’t dampen the impact of what precedes it.   v