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Death Angel | February 26, 2011

Death Angel wrapped up their North American Retribution Tour with a sold out hometown show at Slim’s in San Francisco. I arrived early to catch openers Bonded By Blood and Lazarus A.D. to find the venue already near capacity. If you’ve never been to a sold out Slim’s show, imagine riding a Tokyo subway where you’re physically pushed in just so the doors can be closed and left with little chance of moving. Throw in the band’s family, friends (including Testament’s Chuck Billy) and an enthusiastic crowd welcoming their local heroes back, and the windows were literally dripping from the steaming mess. Personally, I wouldn’t want to see Death Angel any other way.

Taking the stage at a relatively civil 10 pm, frontman Mark Osegueda arrived with a jumbo-sized bottle of Bombay Sapphire in-hand as the band ripped into I Chose The Sky, a beautifully crafted thrasher with an epic sing-along chorus from their 2010 release, Relentless Retribution. If you don’t own Relentless Retribution, stop reading this and go buy it now.  Seriously, go do it.  This record is without a doubt one of the best metal records of 2010 and proves that, despite some line-up changes over the last few years (including the departures of original members Dennis Pepa and Andy Galeon), Death Angel isn’t going anywhere.

I would have been perfectly happy to have had Relentless Retribution played in its entirety but the seven songs that we did get was still a healthy dose of awesome. Often times you see a band looking worse for wear by the end of the tour, but not these guys … after road-testing these songs throughout North America, the band sounded nothing short of amazing. I could chalk it up to the energy of their homecoming but that would be selling Death Angel short. It sounded all kinds of awesome. How Mark nails his vocals while jumping, fist-bumping and throwing that enormous mane of dreads I cannot comprehend. Throw in flawless guitars and pummeling drums and you got what makes Death Angel one of the best thrash bands out there. Period.

If you’re a long-time fan of Death Angel and dig the new disc, you would have gone home with a smile on your face and no doubt wanting more. I know that if I wasn’t going to be at the Big 4 in Indio, I must certainly would be at their April 23 show at the Avalon Nightclub in Santa Clara.

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  • I Chose The Sky
  • Evil Priest
  • Buried Alive
  • Mistress Of Pain
  • Claws In So Deep
  • Seemingly Endless Time
  • This Hate
  • Relentless Revolution
  • Truce
  • Purgatory/Veil of Deception
  • Opponents At Sides
  • Bored/Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath cover)
  • Thrashers
  • –Encore–

  • Lord Of Hate
  • River Of Rapture
  • Thrown to the Wolves

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