Artist Profile: Death Angel

DEATH ANGEL 

Death Angel is one of the core bands that brought the 80’s Bay Area Thrash scene to life. The band was required listening for any metal kid in the 80’s. The band recorded their first album “The Ultra Violence” (produced by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett) when drummer Andy Galeon was just 14. They scored MTV with the track “Bored” from their follow-up “Frolic Through the Park”. Their third album, “Act III” is considered a metal staple and looking back, is definitely a thrash classic “must have” for the genre. That album produced “Seemingly Endless Time” and “Room with a view”, both of which saw heavy Headbanger’s Ball rotation. But a near critical van crash in 1991 found the band with a drummer on a year long rehab and then the soon after departure of vocalist Mark Osegueda. The band is originally from the Philippines and all the members of Death Angel are related as cousins. The band fractured forming various projects that never rose to the level of Death Angel. In 2001, the band resurfaced to play “Thrash of the Titans”, a cancer benefit for Testament’s Chuck Billy. Apparently, that reunion and the attention the band received afterward prompted a reconsideration of Death Angel as a band. A couple of years and a handful of secret gigs later, the group has released “The Art of Dying” on Nuclear Blast. And to the headbangin’ joy of metalheads everywhere, the band hasn’t missed a beat. Their newest is accomplished on all fronts. It thrashes with the classic e-string stutter sessions and showcases involved, yet hook-able song structures. Lots of guitar work (naturally) both on the riff and solo. Singer Osegueda has the same snotty tone from previous work, but with some added range that brings the worth of this release up even more. It’s great to see bands from previous decades, playing music that isn’t necessary ‘current’ but still kicking the shit out of their jams. Overkill’s last album ripped. As does the new Exodus. Add to the pile the new Death Angel album.

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