I had the opportunity to interview Death Angel two weeks ago, and sitting talking with Mark Osegueda, I mentioned how I first heard about the band. It was on a Concord, Ca high school radio station, KVHS. In 1987 all they played was Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and mostly Bay Area Thrash Metal. One afternoon they threw on The Ultra-Violence. The 10 minute instrumental title track to Death Angel’s first album. I forget where I was headed, but I do remember it didn’t matter anymore. I drove to Tower Records and picked up The Ultra-Violence immediately. KVHS turned me on to many great bands and albums. They are still around today, still playing great Metal and Hard Rock, and all run by high school kids.
Death Angel is still around today also. They are releasing their sixth studio album Relentless Retribution on September 14th. Yes it’s been 23 years since their first release and they are only on their 6th album now. We all were robbed of a few years of new Death Angel music due to a bus accident in 1990. But thanks to the Chuck Billy Cancer Benefit Thrash Of The Titans in 2001, the band reunited and has released 3 stellar albums in the last 9 years.
The lead off track ‘Relentless Revolution’ heralds Death Angel’s ‘new’ sound of a more straight ahead thrash, than the groovy funkified thrash that they exhibited and became famous for on Frolic Through The Park and Act III.
While ‘Claws In So Deep’ showcases Rob Cavestany’s vocals alongside Mark’s, and some great acoustic guitar playing midway through the song. ‘Claws So Deep’ reminds me more of The Organization (the band minus Mark after the 1991 breakup) than Death Angel, but is a great song none the less.
‘River Of Rapture‘ starts out run of the mill, but soon turns into a guitar orgy of riffs and sounds. The breakdown and solos save this song from mediocrity along with Mark’s vocals on the second half of the song.
Unfortunately not many songs jump out at you, or stick with you through repeated listening. And this is from someone who has been a vocal proponent of theirs since they reunited. I have pushed their previous efforts of The Art Of Dying (amazing album) and Killing Season (also a very strong album) on everyone I can. And while this IS Death Angel, it isn’t quite up to previous efforts. ‘Claws In So Deep’, ‘Volcanic‘ and ‘This Hate’ are the strongest cuts on this disc.
That being said, GO SEE THEM LIVE! They still put on a hell of a show. You won’t be disappointed, and you will thank me later.