Death Angel Live In San Francisco

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Tuesday, July 23, 2002 @ 12:03 AM

A 'Seemingly Endless Time' Wit

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REVIEW BY: Dan Doyle

This could be properly entitled “the Monday morning Moshpit” if I had a weekly column in which I reviewed concerts on Monday morning after spending the weekend ensuring the quick demise of what’s left of my hearing. I don’t get out as much anymore, so I suppose a weekly column could be stretching it just a bit. This weekend was a particular highlight however. The days when musical events that shook a city to its very soul have gone away, and in their stead is a tidal wave of mediocrity and discord lead by watered down misfits that the press has dubbed “Nu-Metal.” Anyway, it isn’t often when bands that could be called “true originators” can be found re-uniting to shake the scene like it was 1988 once again and all is well in musical America. I digress though; let me start from the beginning…

Once upon a time there were five cousins from a small town called Daly City just a stones throw from San Francisco. These cousins all shared the gift of incredible music talent and it just so happens that they had similar influences as well... These five came together at a time when the music scene was only just hinting at the epic acts that were waiting to come and crush a new generation of headbangers. And so it was that in 1982 Death Angel was born onto a scene that consisted of a few classic punk bands, Exodus, Metallica, and the dying embers of a few ‘70s rock acts that could reinvent themselves long enough to survive a few more breaths... As for DA? It was only the beginning…

Shortly after their formation this band was immediately recognized as much more than El Camino High School’s hottest commodity, as they were much more intense than most local bands. A demo tape was floated around and eventually attracted the interest of a young Kirk Hammett who eventually would produce the now legendary Kill As One demo tape. To make a long story really short, three albums for Geffen Records, a few world tours, a tragic bus accident which would change their lives forever, and hundreds of gigs and fans worldwide before disbanding in the early nineties to form other musical endeavors…

Fast forward to 2002, the band reforms to come to the aid of singer Chuck Billy and perform a short yet powerful set at the aptly titled “Thrash of the Titans” concert in San Francisco. Little did all of us know at the time that this would only be a pre-cursor to what was in store for us this night at the Pound. That’s right, I said the “Pound” You see, in an age where clubs are being closed in every city around America, someone decided to open up a rock and roll club in a giant tin shed down by the docks of San Francisco and call it “The Pound.” A nice name for what you find when you walk in.. But hey! Who’s complaining? Not me.. Not after what I witnessed…

Opening acts Depressor and the powerful Skinlab were nice additions to the bill. I was particularly impressed with Skinlab and was surprised to hear that they were a local band. The hometown crowd reacted well to them as they played a short set to an overfilled, sweaty tool shed full of hungry metalheads. I even noticed that local demigod himself Chuck Billy bobbing his head along with the grooves of Skinlab, delivering an air of approval of the proceedings. Good to see you around, Chuck. This was all irrelevant anyway, for the mighty Death Angel was waiting in the wings to hit the stage with a fury not seen in the Bay Area these days.

Firing off into the night with the opening strains of “The Ultra-Violence” the title track of their debut album, the band tore into such firebrand staples as “Voracious Souls” and “Mistress of Pain” like it was 1987 all over again. Only four of the cousins still carry on as Death Angel (or Kill as One, depending on how soon you got your tickets for this gig…) Guitarist Gus Pepa now rules as king of a small island somewhere in the South Pacific I hear.. (I shit you not.) The other four... Vocalist Mark Osegueda, was in excellent form, spouting off obscenities at the crowd, complaining about how there no “Real Metal” around anymore… the usual crap. He did manage to hit all his high notes like he was still in his ‘20s. Guitarist Rob Cavestany was flawless as usual, firing off licks that showcased his years of playing --tThe quicks of Vinnie Vincent with the chops of Ace Frehley, playing music that speeds and stomps past you like a monster truck on nitro. Bassist Dennis Pepa in his blond locks and crushing grooves stalking the opposite stage with newcomer guitarist Ted on loan from another local band. Bringing up the rear was drummer Andy Galleon proving to the stunned crowd that Neil Peart was actually a young Philipino kid from the bay area. Damn… This was the real thing.

Set highlights included “Seemingly Endless Time,” “Thrashers,” (with Dennis handling lead vocals) and the already mentioned “Kill as One,” which literally brought the house and a large cross section of the S.F.P.D. down on the place to see what the fuck was going on.. Oh, a few more things… how bout a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild” as an encore, followed by a medley of some of their earliest numbers to really ensure that the crowd got their $18 worth. When the lights came on and Rob was tossing picks to the crowd, I managed to catch one in my hand by bouncing it off my face? Nice one Rob. ‘The easiest pick I ever got,’ was what I thought as I was herded out like so many other sheep.

As I squeezed out of that shed, I reflected back on all the stuff that Mark was drunkenly spewing about being “Real Metal”… Real Metal indeed! And I was there to witness it! If I had some extra flow, I’d make the jaunt over to Holland to catch them at the Open Air festival this weekend. You know, when you see a band like this that has been gone for a long time get back together and kick your ass like they were still 20 years old it makes you wonder why they ever left in the first place? Oh well, I guess if I could be king somewhere I’d probably quit wondering about it really fucking quick. Good to see you guys again. We sure missed you.

The Set List (thanx Blabbermouth.net for writing it down for me!!)

01. Ultra-Violence (intro)
02. Seemingly Endless Time
03. Evil Priest
04. Voracious Souls
05. Mistress of Pain
06. Veil of Deception
07. Stagnant
08. Bored
09. Thrashers
10. I.P.F.S
11. Kill As One

12. Wrathchild (Iron Maiden cover)
13. Room With A View
14. The Drought (Organization song off Savor the Flavor)
15. Discontinued/Stop/Road Mutants/Ultra-Violence (outro) (medley)

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