There are so many "old school" thrash bands doing the rounds again these days, and here at the revival we've covered quite a few of them this year. Many of these bands who disbanded back in the day have reformed and seem to be going through the motions; doing enough to draw a crowd and make a few dollars. This is absolutely NOT the case with Death Angel! Their reformation has seen the band go from strength to strength, each new album released has been as good, if not better, than their early work.
So in the middle of the European festival season, Death Angel have embarked on a short tour of the UK clubs and tonight they hit Wolverhampton with US thrashers Warbringer in toe and two local supports in the form of Eradikator and Reign of Fury.
The evening is started with a bang; younglings Reign of Fury kick off proceedings. The last time I saw these boys
was two and a half years ago and I'm keen to see how they've progressed in that time. Musically they are very much in the vein of old school Metallica, but vocally front man Bison is no whiny-teenage James Hetfield! A strong delivery of thrash metal goodness to kick off an evening focusing on the genre. Reign of Fury do themselves proud a big progression from the last time I caught them and they can only get bigger and better from here.
Eradikator should be a band all our readers are familiar with having reported on them twice previously this year (and they also feature in our Bloodstock review). This is the final warm up show for the Brummie lads prior to stepping up to the big stage at Bloodstock and they are going all out to put on a show. At this point this is by far their best show of the year and the effort they are putting in preparing for the festival appearance really shows. Together the four piece are completely in sync. Liam on lead guitar showing just how good he is with his very technical guitar work. If your a fan of the thrash genre Eradikator are the band you need to check out on the UK scene, the real up and comers wont be filling the lower support slots much longer!
The main support for the whole tour are California's Warbringer, touring in support of their fifth album Woe to the Vanquished, and play a set featuring their new tracks heavily. Obviously a performance eagerly anticipated by the crowd as the small Slade rooms venue is packed early for their set. The five piece look a little crowded on the stage, but that does not take away from the intensity of their performance. Gritty vocals from John Kevill on-top of riff wizardry of Adam Carroll and Chase Becker conspire to concoct a potent mix ideally suited to the evenings frivolities.
With little over an hour before the Wolverhampton curfew kicks in, Death Angel take to the stage and lets be honest, its these chaps that everyone has been waiting for. Mark Osegueda, trade mark Bombay Sapphire in hand, steering us through the shortened set which opens with the classics The Ultra Violence and Evil Priest. Songs written back when the band were mere young teenagers have stood the test of time, classics now and very much a crowd pleaser.
Osegueda is great with the fans, on stage banter a plenty as we are greeted by mainly newer material; Claws in So Deep, Father of Shame, Castor of Shame and Thrown to the Wolves. Ted Aguilar a master of his guitar but the show is really stolen by Rob Cavestany and his axe wielding masterclass.
Seemingly Endless Time gets a raputrous reception from the crowd all waiting with baited breath to hear some classics from their own childhoods. Kill As One from 1987's Ultra Violence album helps close out the show which is ultimately rounded out with The Moth from their latest release.
Death Angel really are on top form, over the past decade, since their reformation I have seen them a dozen times, each show out doing the previous in intensity and showmanship. This evening in Wolverhampton the band were truly at their very best showing why they should be standing alongside their contemporaries in the likes of Slayer and Megadeth as leaders in this melting pot of aggressive fast paced heavy metal.