Forgotten Album of the Month: Death Angel
When the San Francisco-Philippine thrash band Death Angel released their third and first major-label release, Act III in the spring of 1990, it was just one of a slew of great thrash albums out that year from the likes of, Testament, Slayer, Megadeth, Exodus, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera and others. But one listen to the album blew away any preconceived notions of what this band was capable of and changed the face of thrash forever.
The album kicks off with “Seemingly Endless Time” and the sound of waves crashing on a beach. But then drummer Andy Galeon comes in and blows the roof up with the sheer ferocity and power of his drumming. Speeding along, the rest of the band, guitarists Rob Castevany and Gus Pepa, bassist Dennis Pepa and vocalist Mark Osegueda join in and the shit is going down. One listen to just that one song and any metal head will be instantly hooked. What makes the song and the whole album that much more amazing is the fact the Galeon was only 18 at the time of the recording.
But wait, there’s more. Besides developing crushing anthems like “Stop” and “Falling Asleep,” the band is able bridge the gap between thrash and regular metal by throwing in some softer songs like the Castevany sung “A Room with A View” and the very short “Veil of Deception.” By being able to do all these things within the space of one record, they were able to show how totally different and yet similar they were too many other bands of their ilk.
Released by Geffen Records, the band reached many new fans and were on their way to something big when disaster struck. On tour in Arizona, the band had a bus crash that severely injured Galeon and put him out of commission for months. The band were forced by their label and management to pick up the pieces and continue touring. They tried but found it wasn’t the same so they came back home where they were then dropped by everyone. That just shows you how screwy the music business really is. Upon being dropped, Osegueda left the band and the remaining four changed their name to The Organization, named after another great song on Act III and continued on for a few years.
The band reunited about five years ago and have released two new studio albums since then but the band’s high watermark will always be Act III and the music, over the years, has spoken for itself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEDbJc_c1CI (Seemingly Endless Time)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCxEH0UMW2Q (A Room with a View)