1987 - The Ultra-Violence.
1988 - Frolic Through The Park.
1990 - Act III.
way more Helter Skelter.

April 23, 1987 - 2022: 35 years of: The Ultra-Violence.

A new infinite source of energy ...of Filipino descent.

The Second Wave Of US Thrash-Metal. The Bay-Area: Ground Zero for angry youths, blunt power and some of the craftiest metal under the sun. One of these young recruits is the rabid, bored and peace disturbing skaters: DEATH ANGEL. All related cousins, the metal-DNA is strong, this gang is a full family-affair.

During the golden-age of thrashmetal, their 1985 Kill As One demo-tape was produced by a certain guitarist from a certain band ...METALLICA's Kirk Hammett.

Want to hear a 14 year-old drummer ?

The record opens-up with the über fast "Thrashers". This is them, this is the music, some of the fastest thrashmetal under the sun, the year is 1987. The relentless assault attack with the black-widow of "Mistress Of Pain", the destructive "Final Death" and the now signature-cut of "Voracious Souls".

The speedmetal effect of "Kill As One" and the aggressiveness of "Evil Priest" is enough to rethink the other SoCal-classicks Darkness Descends and Reign In Blood's untouchable statuses. A curve-ball from these young hoodlums, an impressive and unlikely 10min+ instrumental showcase. The title-track "The Ultra-Violence" is a fine collage of demented rhythms and ravaging riffs, This type of elaborate metal-mash is usually displayed by bands issuing their second or third full-lengths. Watch out world: these kids play hard.

This is The Ultra-Violence, the dangerous new-school of thrashmetal from the humid San Francisco bay. American bred thrashmetal, the most powerful music available: for those who missed it in 1983, here's your chance.

Their next offerings shall open-up and breed into the then unknown: lite shades of alternative-metal ...with 1988's Frolic Through The Park LP 'bout leap-frogging the scene.

Voracious Souls = video
The Ultra-Violence = full LP
Video profile
Interview in 1987
Live in 1987

July 5, 1988 - 2023: 35 years of: Frolic Through The Park.

The evolution of the Bay-Area starts here.

Following 1987's speedmetal killing of The Ultra Violence LP, the evil priests of DEATH ANGEL would then bend the game into oblivion. From final death thrashmetal, to funky-vibes, this organization is fully set into urban-mode ...welcome to the 3rd floor !

Speed attacks way up there on the "3rd Floor", slaughtering the scene with rage on cue, as also displayed on "Road Mutants" and the rabid "Guilty Of Innocence". The tone gets mid-paced and moodier with the monster SABBATH-ian "Confused", while the rocking KISS "Cold Gin" gets a deserved update.

Hip and street, they "Open Up" with an arrogantly audacious funk-cut, supported by the heavy-rotation trend-changing MTV-single for "Bored". Not only a thrash-track, but a freestyle juggernaut, coming from a band that worshipped the "Mistress Of Pain" a mere year ago. Metal evolution at it's best.

By mid-1988, the speed-factor became less marketable and DEATH ANGEL were one of the first to breakaway from this killing season. Furious, funk and fun, DEATH ANGEL should possibly be considered the very first new-metal act, blasting the doors wide-open for the upcoming 90s.

Still disturbing the peace, the still very young boys would sign with major-label Geffen Records and release 1990's ultra hybrid Act III CD.

Bored = video
Frolic Through The Park = full LP
MTV interview in 1988
Live in Tilburg in 1988

April 10, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: Act III.

1990-91 are the last years of expansion for traditional-metal.

Thrashmetal and heavymetal were at a dead-end crossroad, after a decade of loud guitar-shredding and powerchord-strumming, something had to give. Most kept the status-quo and slowly faded away but a handful of them grew, matured and broke out of the mold ...for a little while.

The Bay-Area boys were bred from the classic 70s metal-mammoths but were also deeply into pop-music, alternative and hiphop ...a unique fusion, that reeks all over their demeanor and throughout the Act III record.

Unlike neighborhood buddies HEATHEN, EXODUS and VIO-LENCE ...DEATH ANGEL were bound for another plateau. Nothing against the aforementioned bands, but the musical openness of the Filipinos-quintet was their ultimate passport for the major leagues. Newly signed to major-label Geffen Records, home of GUNS 'N ROSES, WHITESNAKE and AEROSMITH, the label was deadly serious about this new project ...until their other newly signed project NIRVANA changed the face of music in late-1991.

Still, the trajectory is here, black and white, you can see it from "Act I" with 1987's brutal speedmetal assault in The Ultra-Violence LP, to the lighter "Act II" in 1988's Frolic Through The Park LP featuring funky-pieces like "Open Up" and "Bored" the underrated gem now showcased in this third act.

Experimentation and evolution made them the exception.

The speedmetal intro of "Seemingly Endless Time" bursts like a Tasmanian-devil until the off-set pattern sets-in pre-verse. A fine lite-thrash track, yet this number would be one of the only salute to their aggressive-metal past. "Stop" and "Disturbing The Peace" are new mosh-pit favorites, and starts to open-up even more, to a new vibe and groove. The heavyrock-beat keeps the pace in check on "The Organization" and on the inebriating "Ex-Tc". The background-choirs unashamedly reeks LEPPARD-ness. An arenarock-signature cleverly tapped into thrashmetal, another key elements this band now fully possessed.

The powerless powerballad "A Room With A View" served as single #2 for the record, a beautiful melody-filled song, yet a tangible sign that a major-label was backstage pulling the strings and setting-up this play. Do you think with a name like DEATH ANGEL, that they artificially had a chance of becoming another BON JOVI or NELSON-type of hardrock hit ? The stand-out track is the eclectic "Discontinued" ...the song FAITH NO MORE never wrote. Grooves and alternative flavors and a slap-bass sub-rhythm that would make the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS blush ...all this from the same boys that wrote "Kill As One" and "Final Death" a mere 3 years ago.

On tour in the US, tragedy struck hard with in life-threatening bus crash, putting drummer Andy Galeon out of commotion for nearly a year. As cousins, they patiently waited for him to recover, above heavymetal, this is a full family affair.

In the meantime the metal tour of 1991's summer, the Clash Of The Titans featuring heavy-hitters like MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX was supposed to feature DEATH ANGEL as a supporting-act. Without their drummer they politely declined and the coveted-spot went to some tiny band from up North named ALICE IN CHAINS. Ironically this same ALICE would eventually become one of the trendsetters from this new scene that would ultimately knockdown the metal-scene off the spot-light in late-1991: the Seattle grunge movement.

After being given their walking-papers from Geffen, their unorthodox trajectory continued in 1993 with post-DEATH ANGEL band, minus original screamer Mark Osegueda, the appropriately named THE ORGANIZATION: a complete alternative-funk metal tribe.

Seemingly Endless Time = video
A Room With A View = video
Act III = full CD
Interview in 1990
Live in Detroit in 1990


Bay-Area 87-88

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