The moment I saw this show on the calendar at Riverside Warehouse in Shreveport, LA I knew I was going to be there. As it turns out, this was an off day on their current tour supporting Children of Bodom and they would be playing a headlining set. Now I don't know about you - but a headlining set from Bay Area thrash legends like Death Angel makes me a happy metalhead!
Opening the show were locals BombBreeder and Our Precious Demise. They both played well received sets to a steadily increasing crowd, as people slowly filtered into the venue in anticipation of the headliners and Faroese metal band Tyr, who were direct support. When Tyr hit the stage the energy in the crowd kicked up a notch as they worked their way through a strong set filled with Norse themes and imagery. Before they were through, the audience was totally sold on their sound.
As the house lights dimmed and the first strains of the intro to "Left For Dead" came over the PA, the crowd let out a roar. Death Angel took the stage and hit warp speed immediately, with Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar not wasting any time throwing down some serious licks. Not to be outdone, Will Carroll and Damien Sisson provided a hammering beat on the low end, and singer Mark Osegueda brought it all together with his signature vocals. After following the opener up with "Son of the Morning" and "Evil Priest" - also at breakneck speed, everyone got a chance to catch their breath while guitars were swapped and Osegueda pointed out that this was the first time they had ever played Shreveport.
With fresh axes slung, they put the pedal to the metal again with a couple of tracks from their last studio release Relentless Retribution - "Claws in So Deep" and "Relentless Revolution." Next up was another hard driving new track off of TDCFB titled "Fallen." As the echoes from "Fallen" faded, fands grew excited as I started hearing the intro to "The Ultra Violence". Unfortunately, it was a cruel trick, as they went right into "Seemingly Endless Time" instead.
While they regrouped in preparation for the next song, Osegueda provided a little background on what it meant to them as a band to have a dream and strive to accomplish it. He said it is hard work and sacrifice, and sometimes "The Dream Calls For Blood." With that, they ripped into the title track from their latest release. When I say ripped, they pretty much tore the roof off of the place! Everyone in the audience went crazy whether they were a longtime fan or had just discovered them recently. Up next was "Caster of Shame," and the always brutal "Sonic Beatdown."
With a brief pause to introduce all of the band members, they launched at another frenzied pace into "Succubus." Wasting no time, they went straight into "Execution - Don't Save Me," before closing the show out with "Thrown to the Wolves."
They were incredibly tight, as you would expect from guys that have been working at it for so long, and the sound was great. The only issue I had with the show (and I know they probably hear this all the time) was that I wished their set was longer. As it is, they didn't play anything off of Frolic Through The Park, and only one each off of The Ultra Violence and Act III. However, with a catalog spanning seven studio releases and 26 years, it is probably impossible to come up with a setlist that will make everyone happy. Overall, it was an awesome show from one of the truly legendary bands in thrash, and if you have a chance to see them live you should go and get thrashed!