BW&BK Interview: DEATH ANGEL – Sing For The Day, Thrash For A Lifetime

By Carl Begai

Released in 2004, The Art Of Dying marked the return of one of the most exciting thrash bands to claw its way out of the Bay Area in the ’80s. Death Angel became a cult favourite from the moment the unwashed metal legions got wind of them in ’86 via the Kill As One demo, releasing three critically acclaimed albums (The Ultra-Violence, Frolic Through The Park, Act III) in only four years. Their rise to fame came to an abrupt halt in 1990, however, following an accident that left drummer Andy Galeon sidelined for over a year. Death Angel inevitably fell apart and the members pursued other projects, reuniting in 2001 in support of a cancer benefit show for Testament frontman Chuck Billy which started the climb a second time. Three albums and thousands of kilometers/miles travelled to support them, Death Angel are going loud and proud into their 10th year since The Art Of Dying with a record that sounds like a band just as hungry as they were a decade ago.

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Time flies when you’re having fun. Nobody knows that better than founding guitarist Rob Cavestany, although he’ll readily admit is hasn’t all been fun and games.

“Oh man, it’s weird,” says Cavestany. “We’ve been around longer since our comeback than we were the first time around. When I stop and think about it, it’s pretty wild. That said, things are moving so fast that I try not to think about the passing of time, otherwise it’ll freak me out (laughs). I already have issues with time and deadlines and feeling like the world is breathing down my neck, so I just try to keep moving forward.”

The Dream Calls For Blood is an awkward album title perhaps better suited for a prog band with anger management problems, but the music behind it is most certainly Death Angel as they’re known and loved. Much of the material is reminiscent of The Art Of Dying’s full-on bullet train approach, leaving fans little room to catch more than a breath between songs. Continue reading BW&BK Interview: DEATH ANGEL – Sing For The Day, Thrash For A Lifetime

TENET – Sovereign (Century Media – 2009)

tenetHaving spent well over a decade as a member of Strapping Young Lad’s indestructible line-up, the fans are justified in expecting guitarist Jed Simon’s first solo outing to be a continuation of the SYL legacy. And that would be a big fat “nope.” Sure, there are moments on Sovereign that recall Simon’s days of sonic devastation circa the City record (‘Take A Long Line’, ‘Hail Hail’), particularly with drummer Gene Hoglan behind the kit and Byron Stroud ripping up the bass, but this is flat-out mean rather than trademark SYL aggressive. Tenet is about old school so-raw-it’s-bleeding thrash, and minus the big Devin Townsend production values the band has still turned in an unexpectedly brutal debut. A mere nine songs, Sovereign is a frantic beating within the realms of Death Angel’s heaviest Bay Area thrash punk moments and old, old, old Metallica; all shred and no brakes save for the half-speed rest during ‘Going Down’. Continue reading TENET – Sovereign (Century Media – 2009)