Heavy Metal is a funny bitch, and I find this especially true within the thrash genre. Perhaps my reason is because thrash, unlike any other extreme subgenre of metal, actually entered the mainstream. But when it did, the giants who emerged softened and bastardized it. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some of that bastardized, radio-friendly thrash that’s more like hard(well, more from one band than the other). Also, that bastardized thrash could have been the greatest gift to the subgenre, as it hopefully sparked a curiosity and interest in those bands’ earlier work (the real thrash). If the genre newcomer liked what was on offer, hopefully her/she explored what other, lesser-known bands were doing.
The funny bitch is that many of these lesser-known bands are still around, or have reformed, and have remained, more or less, true to their roots. It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of these bands that didn’t “make it” were/are just as good or better than the ones everybody has heard of.
One of these excellent, under-rated bands is the Bay Area thrashers Death Angel. Formed in 1982 by cousins Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Dennis Pepa (vocals, bass), Gus Pepa (rhythm guitar), and Andy Galeon (drums) – all of Filipino descent and under 20 years of age – Death Angel released its first album, The Ultra-Violence in 1987, which was quickly followed up with Frolic Through the Park in 1988. The quality of these two independently released albums led to a Geffen Records contract.
With Act III (1990) out and being promoted by Geffen, Death Angel was about to be thrust into the spotlight. On a worldwide tour supporting the album with many sold-out shows and slated to open the Clash of the Titans tour featuring Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax later in 1990. However, while on tour there was a bus accident that left drummer Andy Galeon seriously injured, which ultimately led to the band’s breakup. Alice in Chains ended up opening the Clash of the Titans tour, and look where that took them.
Thankfully Death Angel reformed in 2001 (although not with all original members), and has since released three more albums with Nuclear Blast.
The concert you’re about to watch, or are watching, took place at The Well in Leeds, UK, on June 26, 2012. Playing it in its entirety, Death Angel celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Ultra-Violence – possibly one of the greatest thrash albums ever.
’s Concert Series brings you kick-ass live shows to get your party started right and to help you vent your Friday frustrations.
Rock Hard \m/