As mentioned yesterday these Bay Area thrashers are opening up for Slayer and Anthrax in a jaunt across America and Canada as I type. It’s a glaring omission that it’s taken this long to post about Death Angel and there are many more bands just as worthy still awaiting their inclusion, but unless I kept it as a pure thrash metal blog it will take me while to include everyone.
The band’s motto when they formed in the early 80’s must have been keep it in the family and start them young. The original quintet are comprised of brothers and their cousins and fronted by a second cousin. When their debut album The Ultra-Violence surfaced in 1987 the drummer, Andy Galeon, was only fourteen years old! He’s 18 months older than I am, he joined the band when he was only ten. I have no idea what I was doing at that age, but it certainly didn’t involve a musical instrument.
After another two albums – Frolic Through the Park and Act III – the band reluctantly split up in 1991 after a bus crash that left Galeon seriously injured. Once he was fit again the remaining members went on to perform as The Organisation without vocalist Mark Osegueda. At one point guitarist Rob Cavestany felt the name Death Angel was a bit too limiting for the musical direction that he wanted to take the band along, hence The Organisation.
A one off performance at the Thrash of the Titans charity event with an altered line up in 2001 soon became a full blown comeback. Spin on 15 years and another five albums in the bag, they are one of the many thrash metal stalwarts that appear to be getting better with age like a fine whiskey. Their latest opus The Evil Divide is a fantastic 45 minutes of thrash metal.
This year has been quite a purple patch for old school thrash metal. Anthrax, Sodom, Megadeth, Exumer, Assassin, Destruction, Artillery, Flotsam & Jetsam and Death Angel have already released strong albums. Even though it’s September we still have records by Metallica, Testament and Overkill still to hit the stores this year. And, for this amateur writer, an eagerly awaited Kreator album due early next year. Has there been a better year for thrash metal since the mid 1980’s?
Hopefully Death Angel will get over to Europe to promote The Evil Divide sooner rather than later. I’ve seen the band on a pretty regular basis since 2008 – once they rediscovered the M1 out of London – but they are a tremendous band with so much energy making it a show not to be missed. Apparently Anthrax are due over in February for their first headline tour in a decade so maybe they’ll drag them along with them?
There are so many great songs I could post up, but as I wasn’t even aware there was a video made for this track until yesterday I’ll go right back to their 1987 album full of youthful exuberance. Apparently it’s a song about cannibals and due to the lyrics MTV refused to air the video – which doesn’t have any cannibals in it!