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On disc: Death Angel

- Frolic Through The Park - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- Act III - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Act 3

(Geffen - 1990)

It's been 2 years and now Death Angel is back. Starting Act III with the sound of surge. Fast guitar riffing leads into the first track - Seemingly Endless Time. This is an up-tempo track with some mid-tempo parts and a great hook. This track combines the fast guitar riffing from Speed Metal with traditional guitar riffs, power, melody and unusual drum beats. Again the band from San Francisco changed their sound. The redefine themselves with every album. Always surprising the fans. This time the songs are shorter, only up to 5 minutes. Straighter then on the previous album. Veil Of Deception is the shortest track and starts with acoustic guitar and Mark Osegueda's vocals. Later when the band joined in the guitar is influenced by classical Spanish guitar. This one sneaks into your ear and will spin in your head for days! A song nobody would expect from Death Angel! With the following The Organization they speed up again. A more typical one for Death Angel. With A Room With A View the San Francisco guys recorded an acoustic ballad! Guitars and vocals are what enchants you. Btw, there shall be a video clip for this one.... Might give viewers a wrong image of the Bay Area band... Even if after 2 ½ minutes the band joins in and a screaming guitar adds some aggressiveness - for a moment at least. And with Stagnant they start slowly just to come over you a moment later with hammering drums, pounding bass and screaming guitars. A groovy rocker - at the beginning mid-tempo, then a up-tempo part, then... Well, just listen to this one. It has a funky touch as well... So, make up your mind.
As on the previous album - Frolic Through The Park - the quintet defines the range of their music on their own. Accepting no limits. So e.g. Discontinued is starting with a kind of drum solo! After a break some bass guitar picking which I know from funk and jazz acts, but combined with heavy guitars. Unusual. Outstanding.
The album is produced by Max Norman and engineered by Norman, guitarist Rob Cavestany and drummer Andy Galeon. The production is powerful and crystal clear. Well done.
Well, I can recommend this album, no doubt, but I can't give a hint who should give it a try... Perhaps everybody who isn't just into AOR and Hard Rock... From Heavy Metal to Speed Metal to.... I don't know. I can only say that this one is one of my favorites at the moment and is spinning every day.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Frolic Through The Park

Frolic Through The Park
(Restless Records - 1988)

The Bay Area thrashers Death Angel are back with their 2nd album - Frolic Through The Park - and so it starts with some chirping and sounds of playing children, then the bands starts straight ahead into 3rd Floor. An up-tempo number with a catchy hookline. The quintet from San Francisco presenting fast guitar riffing, during the solo some staccato riffs, based on fast double-bass drumming and hammering bass. Singer Mark Osegueda's voice is above all and will soon be a trademark for Death Angel. Songs are between 3 ½ minutes and more then 7 minutes long, the majority is about 5 minutes long - unusual for a thrash resp. speed metal band. One of the shortest songs is Road Mutants where Osegueda partly is more speaking then singing, breaks lead into progressive parts. The Death Angel has created it's own sound. Guitarist Rob Cavestany is playing fast riffs together with Gus Pepa and is also responsible for the screaming guitar solos. The longest track on the album is Confused. The songs starts in mid-tempo range... A little doomy.... The vocals are more up-front and the unusual vocal lines of Mark Osegueda soon drag you into the world of Death Angel. Here they - at least partly - leave the speed metal behind. This is more traditional heavy metal, even if they included untypical elements. Later a break lead into a very fast part, just to slow down a second later. Here they combine everything from doomy parts to fast guitar blasts to heavy progressive - almost ELP-ish sounds - parts. The West Coast band cover on this album the Kiss tune Cold Gin. Their version is heavier, but doesn't rock like the original. Not a bad version, just different. Another interesting track is Open Up. Here you hear a choir a cappella, remind me a little of some punk stuff... Then the band joins in and it has a touch of Overkill for a second... Hard to find words to describe them.... Listen to the album its the best you can do to find out, if you like them.
Btw, the album is produced by Davy Vain in cooperation with guitarist Rob Cavestany and drummer Andy Galeon.
The San Francisco five-some isn't accepting the limitations of a genre. They push the limits and redefine their sound - so it seems - new with every song... Album. Interesting for fans of bands like Agent Steel, Anthrax as well as for fans of traditional metal who can deal with fast guitar lines.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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