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On stage: Death Angel

- No Mercy Festival - Apr. 2003 - Munich (D) -
- Death Angel, Darkane & Mystic Prophecy - Nov. 2003 - Essen (D) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2004 - Balingen (D) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2004 - Wacken (D) -
- RockHard Festival - May 2007 - Gelsenkirchen (D) -
- Death Angel & Mercenary - Apr. 2008 - Essen (D) -

Death Angel, Mercenary, Demolition & Extrema
- April 19th 2008 - Essen (D), Turock -

Yesterday Exodus played at the same place and today Death Angel should sell out the Turock again. A few tickets were left to sell, but who cares. Another night of thrash to come!
To be honest I haven't heard of Extrema and Demolition before, let's see what they have to offer!
Extrema from Milan come to serve the audience with brutal death'n'thash - but with a dash of Nu metal. At this time not too many people had arrived and so it wasn't an easy task to move the people. But at least some fans were in front of the stage and enjoyed the half hour of Extrema.
The Austrian band Demolition faced some more thrashers and tried to steamroll them with more death'n'thrash. Straight forward! No modern elements or grooves, something the majority welcomed. They reminded me a bit of Dew-Scented... But Demolition's shouter wasn't moving much and so the show was a bit static... During the change over more and more fans arrived, seems last night has taken its toll...
After the Megadeth show in Dortmund Mercenary bassist René Pedersen told me that they will be back in April. And even without knowing which band they will tour with, I decided to see them - even if I was a bit disappointed from their Dortmund performance. But I saw them several times and it was always fun!
Meanwhile the space in front of the stage was filled with metal heads. Then Mercenary entered the stage and kicked off with New Desire and Bloodsong of their new album Architect Of Lies. It was followed by My Secret Window. For some old school thrashers they are too modern, especially since they head into the direction of In Flames... Singer Mikkel Sandager added some high screams while counter part René Pedersen did the deep vocal parts. Mikkel explained that they were glad to be back in continental Europe and announced a song for the people to sing along - and René added that it's a new one. They played Black And Hollow. The fans turned loose and after the song René spoke again: "Thank you! We fucking missed you guys!" One more from their latest piece of work - Isolation (The Loneliness In December) which is partly sung by bassist Renè - and it was time for them to come to an end. As their last song they chose 11 Dreams and the fans sang along loudly. The song is still one of my favorites! And it seemed to me that the set was quite short... And with only 50 minutes I think it was too short! I would have preferred to have only 3 bands and there for give them opening ones a bit more time... Anyway, this one was way better then their performance at the Megadeth show!
About 20 minutes after Mercenary left the stage I was on my way out to meet Mikkel Sandanger for an interview - and so missed partly Death Angel's show. A pity I missed part of the Death Angel set, but it was great to meet the Danish singer for a little chit-chat.
I saw Death Angel live before and they are a killer live band! They are out to promote their last album Killing Season, but also played a lot of The Ultra Violence. For my disappointment they played only 3rd Floor and Seemingly Endless Time from Frolic Through The Part resp. Act III. The San Francisco thrashers know how to rock the house! Singer Mark Osegueda is a great frontman and entertainer. But also the rest of the gang was always in motion. They enjoyed being on tour and playing small clubs. There were stage divers, crowd surfers and fans head banging. The whole club turned into a moshpit - and so I couldn't take notes... And can't remember all songs, but I remember they played When Worlds Collide, Buried Alive and Voracious Souls. The place was on fire! And Death Angel pushed it to the limit with Kill As One. Beside that I missed some classics, they did an excellent show and I hope it won't take too long til the boys from San Francisco return to Europe!

Claudia Ehrhardt


Death Angel, Darkane & Mystic Prophecy
- Nov., 11th 2003 - Essen (D), Zeche Carl -

The Belgium tour promoter Metalyssee presented another package. This time Death Angel from San Francisco came on a headlining tour and were on the road with Disbelief, Darkane, Mystic Prophecy and Mnemic. Tonight they stopped at the Zeche Carl in Essen and about 450 fans found their way to the venue.
I can't tell much about Mnemic, cause I missed part of their show due to the interview with Death Angel. Also I don't know their album. The Danish quintet released their debut Mechanical Spin Phenomena and made it to the level of bands like Soilwork, Children Of Bodom, Nevermore and Arch Enemy as Germany's RockHard wrote. From what I heard during their sound check the Danish quintet offered a mixture of thrashy guitars, pounding bass, hammering drums and aggressive vocals, but they add some samples and so create a more modern sound. More about them next time.
After a short change over the multinational band Mystic Prophecy entered the stage. Singer R.D. Liapakis (Valley's Eve) and bassist Martin Albrecht (Valley's Eve) are back with a new band - Mystic Prophecy. Musically the band is more straight ahead, more based in the power metal genre and less progressive. Their 2nd album is called Regressus - the debut Vengeance is just re-released - and is released through Nuclear Blast. The band got completed by Greek guitarist Gus who is mainly known for his latest work with Dream Evil. Actually the fans at the Zeche Carl were a little reserved, I guess they are more into thrash and melodic death metal...
Then it was time for the Swedish Darkane! In April they did the No Mercy festivals with Death Angel, Testament and Pro-Pain. In June they played at the RockHard festival and now they are back with Death Angel. The Swedish quintet opened with an older track called Third of their album Insanity. The band concentrated on their latest release Expending Senses. In comparison with their performance at the RockHard festival they looked a little stiff... Perhaps it was the small stage... Or was the reason that guitarist Klas Ideberg hadn't totally recovered from his back surgery... During the 45 min. long set they played tracks like Violence From Within, Innocence Gone, Chaos vs. Order - all from their latest release - and old ones like Convicted and Emanation Of Fear. Drummer Peter Wildoer and bassist Jörgen Löfberg build the sound base for the guitars of Klas Ideberg and Christofer Malmström. The hard edge was add by the growls of singer Andreas Sydow. The technical thrash metal combined with Andreas' vocals make them build a bridge between thrash metal and death metal. It seems that beside the headliner Death Angel fans mainly came to see the Swedish guys. Well done!
Afterwards it was time for the German death metal heads of Disbelief. Due to my interview with Darkane I missed them. But when I returned to the foyer it seemed that there are quite a few fans who weren't here to see Disbelief... I just saw the last minutes of their set and so I can't tell anything about them.
Long awaited by thrash metal fans, the return of Death Angel! Now they are back on stage and after 13 years without an album they came back last April and were the hidden headliner. Singer Mark Osegueda and his mates started with Seemingly Endless Time, a track from their last release Act III. Immediately the fans opened up a mosh pit. The band took the fans by storm. The Bay Area guys recorded 3 albums back in the 80's and so they traveled back in time to present songs from their past which incl. Bored from their 2nd album Frolic Through The Park as well as Room With A View - of Act III - and Disturbing The Peace. The finished their set with another Act III track, with Kill As One. It was obvious how much the band enjoyed being back on stage, back on the road. The rhythm section laid down the perfect playground for the outstanding guitar work of Rob Cavestany - who also has a good voice - and his counterpart. They presented the songs powerful and fresh. The songs didn't sound like they are more then 10 years old. There are newcomers around with are less energetic. It's good that the Bay Area thrashers are back and I can't wait to hear their new material! The album shall be in the stores in late April 2004 and festivals - Bang-Your-Head is already confirmed - and another tour shall follow. Looking forward to see them again! Thanks for a great show!

Claudia Ehrhardt

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