I’ve been saying this for many years – if a band catches Portland on the right night after we’ve smoked plenty of high grade Oregon weed, the scene can be electric. That’s exactly what headliners – Death Angel signed with Nuclear Blast Records found out Thursday night at the packed Hawthorne Theatre after a blazing night of family and speed metal. In support of their highly successful 2013 release “The Dream Calls for Blood” the San Francisco Bay area thrashers with direct support from Viking Metal stewards TYR, and Kingdom Under Fire, Revolution Overdue, and Gladius, landed in Portland for an unforgettable night of memories.
Before Death Angel was to take control of the ship and shred us all to death, TYR signed with Metal Blade Records and fresh off 2013 release “Valkyria”, hit the stage with a rowdy and ruckus crowd of metal warriors ready for battle and horns. From the far away Faroe islands, basically of German decent, blending traditional Heavy Metal structures with Viking ship band folk music, TYR and others have created their own brand of melodic heavy and continues to grow each day. Casting tunes like “Blood of Heroes“, “Another Fallen Brother”, and “Flames of Freedom” the triumphant spirit of TYR reaches your inner core and by sets end, I was ready to grab a sword and sail the winds in search of far away – weed. But I can’t sail anywhere, we still have Thrash Metal commander’s, Death Angel to go.
Well past 4:20 and stage fog machines spewing smoke like a Saturday night at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe, Death Angel consisting of Mark Oseguada, Rob Cavestany, Ted Aguilar, Damien Sission, and SF Bay area club legend Will Carroll hit the stage. Opening the show with “Left For Dead” and “Son Of a Morning” and a classic with “Evil Priest”, the band came out energized and poised for another night of Metal dominance. Starting off in the early 80’s in a time when Thrash metal was basically known as Heavy Metal, Death Angel has emerged as a front line act of elaborate talented artists who can blend the old-school Thrash vibes with today’s freshness. Blending the old and new has always seemed to come easy for the band demonstrating this by blasting tunes like “Claws In so Deep”, “Seemingly Endless Time“, “Sonic Beatdown” and the title track from one of our top 2013 releases “”The Dream Calls for Blood”!
One thing always consistent with Death Angel besides Mark Oseguada’s screaming clean vocals, is the guitar shred work of Rob Cavestany, and now Ted Aguilar. Closing out the night with tunes like “Succubus”, “Execution – (Don’t Save Me), and one of the all time great guitar riff tunes ever written, “Bored“, this couldn’t be more evident and still important for Death Angel even today. In today’s music world, one thing that isn’t so obscure anymore is bands recording and playing cover songs. On this night, even the greatest Heavy Metal song ever written and recorded “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath would get the Death Angel stage treatment and I couldn’t think of a better way to end this great night. Well, actually because Portland rocked so hard the band decided to sneak in “Thrown to the Wolves” for one more added moment of glory!
Death Angel has emerged in Heavy and Thrash Metal as a front tier band always in need to stay true to the blueprint of their success while exploring the fast and steady. Actually one of the more colorful nights I’ve seen in the usually somewhat darker, Hawthorne Theatre in a while. Cheers to Tito and all the Death Angel guys, job well done gents. There is still time to support Death Angel and support the “The Dream Calls for Blood” tour, we give it a solid 420! See you next time.
More Death Angel and Tyr photos here: http://urbthrasher.com/photography/death-angel-hawthorne-theatre-2014/
You can see where Death Angel and other great bands placed on our top 10 albums for 2013 here: http://420radio.org/2013/12/17/urb-thrasher-top-ten-favorites-of-2013/