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Concerts80's Thrash Legends Death Angel Hit NYC 6/11/2008

Posted on Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 08:55:16 CDT by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

The interesting thing about tonight's show outside of the healthy dose of Metal we were definately in store for was all of the changes that occured before it actually happened. The original plan was that God Forbid and Death Angel would be doing this co-headlining thing and direct support would come from both Light This City and Soilent Green. Yet as the date closed in on us it seemed as though Light This City would cancel for unknown reasons and Soilent Green had gone out on tour with Dethklok. In the place of these acts would be Arsis and that in the end worked out very well for me since I am enjoying what they do for the Metal masses. An unsigned opening act called Martryd would kick things off very early in the evening but we would not be present for the majority of their set.

Sea of Tranquility's Ken Pierce, Pete Pardo, and Hayley Brooke were on hand for the evening's metal festivities!

Arsis: Some big changes had happened since the last time I saw Arsis only a couple of months previous to this show and that was in terms of the drum chair. The band recorded their stellar Nuclear Blast Records debut with drummer Darren Cesca, a blistering player who had an enormous kit and the technical skill to back it up as well. They toured with Exodus on their own "Atrocity Exhibition" tour with Goatwhore and were quite a hit as a part of the package. However, it was only recently that I read that Darren had left the lineup and been replaced by Shawn Priest. Priest keeps the drum kit to basic Metal essentials but surely was handling the bands material commendably. The set list for the band tonight went by rather fast and of course featured mainly material from "We Are The Nightmare" and found the band once again very well received. This is the perfect bill for this kind of band for while they are labeled as Technical Death Metal there is a deep rooted Thrash Metal vibe to them. Singer/guitarist James Malone was doing an excellent job and bassist Noah Martin is one of the most energetic and loaded with showmanship players I have seen in the role in a long time. He is acrobatic on the bass and really loves to get in the face of the audience to drive them wild. Of course Ryan Knight was working his magic on second guitar as well, but he keeps himself rather chill during the show outside of conventional head banging. I am sure bigger things await the band and its great to see them climbing higher and higher with each and every performance.

God Forbid: Since this was a co-headlining situation, the main bands had been switching off the top billing as the tour went along and as result sometimes God Forbid headlined while on others it would be Death Angel. Since tonight was the very last night for Death Angel to perform the guys in God Forbid would let them close out the Metal mayhem and they would go on before them. God Forbid is always an aggressive band in the live sense and their set was launched by the lovely Metal Nurse who came onstage with the guys to toss the ravenous fans copies of the bands newest DVD. It's available care of their label Century Media Records and is called "Beneath The Scars Of Glory and Progression". This thrilling live video, documentary and promotional clips had its live portion filmed across the Harbor at New Jersey's Starland Ballroom. The band called the area home and they would be closing up their own tour with a show there in a couple of days so tonight their brand of Metal would be a teaser to what they were going to stomp you with in a couple of days. I've seen God Forbid a few times now and I always enjoy their set since it is always straight to the point Metal. There are touches of the Death Metal vibe to them but I hardly consider them a band of this type even though a lot of their stuff moves with blistering speeds. To me its kind of Groove meets Thrash Metal and with the brothers Doc and Dallas Coyle handling the guitars there is a connection in the music that finds them almost knowing each others next move. Doc is always intense on stage and seems totally lost in the moment for the sake of Metal and of course their singer Byron is equally so. He is a giant of a dude with long dreads that thrash wildly as he gets into the music and drives the point home. They had the crowd in the palm of their hand tonight and this comes from the experience that they have as a unit. I also like the fact that you always see them in the crowd getting into the other bands during a show. I can't tell you how many times I have run into Doc at shows when he is not touring and he never hesitates to raise the horns with the rest of us. Great job guys, good luck with the DVD and bringing more and more people over to your side with it. The bands set tonight featured a number of their staple tunes and one I didn't recognize called "Black Metal" so perhaps this is coming from a new release in the future. I don't recall Byron mentioning anything about it during the set but one cannot truly capture every single second of a band's banter. They played what seemed to be about an hour and really had the room smoking.

Death Angel: Despite enjoying much of what the band did during their heyday I never actually caught Death Angel before this evenings show and that was because they had broken up for a number of years back in 1991. They reformed to join in on a Chuck Billy cancer benefit in 2001 and have been at it since but to the best of my knowledge had not been back to New York. I could be wrong on this fact but that no longer matters as they were here tonight and ready to deliver some of the crushing material that we found on the bands latest Nuclear Blast Records release "The Killing Season". If you don't have this album yet then you need to snare a copy as it is an amazing trip back to the Old School Thrash Metal that once ruled the scene. The band was at 80% of their original lineup from the old days as their guitarist Gus Pepa would not return for the 2001 reunion. In his place we found a long time band friend Ted Aguilar who would continue with the group with Gus' blessing. I had to say that lead singer Mark Osegueda looked to be having the time of his life as he performed once again in the Big Apple. His voice still sounds great and has a lot of power and the band didn't seem to lose any chops with the no longer new guitarist in place. Their set list surprised me as it managed to fit in every single song from "The Killing Season" and then interspersed would be a couple of the bands older numbers. The crowd tonight was not a complete sell out yet it managed to be loaded with people who were dying to see Death Angel again and were insane for their performance in terms of stage diving and crowd surfing. Based on the expressions of the band and lead singer Mark, you could tell that they felt this was the perfect way to close out the tour for their album. They stressed that they would return as soon as possible and based on how lively this show seemed to be I am hoping that some of the other stops on the tour found its way to film since it could make a solid DVD release.

When it all finished I had to say that the three signed acts worked very well together and could safely tour again without anyone complaining about it. I also felt that three acts of this level of Metal were more than enough and left exhausted. Outside of the club the fans crowded around the backstage doors in the hopes that the guys would come out of them, and while I am sure they would, I was also sure that the party would not end for some time and carry on long into the night as Death Angel celebrated their return to the streets of NYC. See you next time guys.

Ken Pierce

It was basically a night of thrash here at BB Kings on this hot and sweaty evening in early June, with classic 80's thrashers Death Angel making their triumphant return to coincide with their new CD The Killing Season. Along for the ride were one of the new breed, the always solid God Forbid, as well as blackened thrash act Arsis. The latter took to the stage amidst quite a bit of crowd support, not surprising considering how much positive feedback the band have gotten on their latest platter of technical black/death metal & thrash titled We Are the Nightmare. Constantly shifting time signatures and insane guitar histrionics are the name of the game in Arsis' music, as their complex wall of sound hits you like a hammer with the power of brutal death metal and vocals that draw from the Norwegian black metal community. Playing mostly tunes from their latest CD, the band tore through a short set that got the crowd worked up into a frenzy that set the stage for God Forbid, who as always did not fail to impress and ignite the crowd.

If you attend a lot of metal shows in the NY area, no doubt you've caught God Forbid numerous times, as they are a regular on the circuit around here. Their brand of metalcore, death metal, thrash, and groove always sounds fresh, led by the solid guitar work of the Coyle brothers and the commanding vocal presense of Byron. Though the band doesn't have a new release out at this time, they played roughly an hour long set that drew on many classics from their discography, and tore the house down with their metallic thunder. By the time headliners Death Angel came on, BB Kings was a swirling, sweaty mealstrom, and the San Francisco horde only added to the mayhem. Their new CD The Killing Season is a strong return to form, and shows that some of the heavyweights from the 80's still have what it takes (along with Exodus, Megadeth, Testament) to be more than relevant in todays metal scene. Vocalist Mark Osegueda is one hell of a frontman, running around the stage like a wildman, his vocals were excellent throughout and the band ripped it up behind him with plenty of slashing guitars and frenetic rhythms, perfectly duplicating songs from their 80's releases as well as the new one. At the end of the show members of God Forbid came out and joined Death Angel for a fun rendition of Thrown to the Wolves, and celebrated with some Jack Daniels for everyone. As a last night of the tour, you could see that the band's were enjoying themselves and the crowd was left exhausted and in anticpation for the next time that these behemoths were to return once again.

Pete Pardo

Photographs By Hayley Brooke

(Click here to View the Rest of Hayley's Photos From this Concert)

God Forbid Set List:
1. Anti Hero
2. Wicked
3. Chains of Humanity
4. The Lonely Dead
5. Force Fed
6. Black Metal
7. Living Nightmare
8. Broken Promise
9. To The Fallen Hero
10. The End of the World

Death Angel Set List:
01. Lord of Hate
02. Evil Priest
03. Sonic Beatdown
04. Dethroned
05. Voracious Souls
06. Carnival Justice
07. Buried Alive
08. Soulless
09. The Noose
10. When Worlds Collide
11. Seemingly Endless Time
12. God vs. God
13. Steal The Crown
14. Devil Incarnate
15. 3rd Floor
16. Kill As One
17. Resurrection Machine
18. Thrown to The Wolves

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