Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 25/31

Day 25 – A song off a bleak landscape cover. 

It was a toss of the coin between the artwork for Death Angel’s The Ultra-Violence, my instant choice, and the devil sitting astride the crumbling Sydney Opera House by Australian thrashers Mortal Sin on their Mayhemic Destruction album. 

Today the Californian’s slightly edged it. 

Death Angel – Evil Priest

 

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Lost

What better way is there to warm up for two days in a saturated field watching some heavy bands than heading out of the Shire to watch even more heavy bands play?

Bay Area thrashers Death Angel are wrapping up their twenty eight date European trek and are finally bring their Evil Divide tour to British crowds as they play four shows here in the lead up to Bloodstock. There was much speculation (and multiple fingers crossed and luck rabbits feet rubbed) hoping that they would tread the boards at Catton Hall, but alas no. They played there in 2013 at some god forsaken time that wasn’t becoming a band of their stature, so it is time they returned. 

I’ve still got my fingers crossed that they will cross the channel again before the end of the year when they support Testament and Annihilator on the mainland. It’s all political with festivals and tours who share bands. As all of those three are in the UK and two at Bloodstock I’d like an announcement of added dates first thing Monday. It’ll make the pain of missing Testament on Friday after their Dynamo Metal Fest debacle that bit easierto take. Otherwise it’s “Munich here I come!”

I’m already off to Wolverhampton on Tuesday to get my thrash metal fix and I’ve had that ticket in the house for what feels like forever. As I didn’t buy into the whole social media campaign of Bloodstock will “sell out” before the gates open I was too slow buying my tickets – and it “sold out” (of weekend passes anyway.) I currently have a Saturday ticket with my aim of buying a Sunday entry on the day. As I’m off work on Friday anyway I think I might treat myself to a jaunt down to London to see them and Warbringer destroy venues twice in three days. Be a shame to waste a days holiday from work. 

Since The Art of Dying album, their reformation release in 2004, each of the four albums since have got better every time. The Evil Divide was up there in the top ten of last year easily. I’ve only seen them six times up until this week, the first time was in Wolverhampton back in 2008, one of their first English shows outside of London since 1990. 

Lost is the albums most melodic track and slows down the relentless intensity of the rest of the album for five minutes. The most heavy metal track that Mark Osegueda and the band have recorded? 


Voracious Souls

  

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!