Death Angel

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Death Angel
Death Angel Metal Frenzy 2018 50.jpg
Death Angel at Metal Frenzy 2018
Background information
Origin San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1982–1991
  • 2001–present
Associated acts
Website Official site
MembersRob Cavestany
Mark Osegueda
Ted Aguilar
Will Carroll
Damien Sisson
Past membersDennis Pepa
Gus Pepa
Andy Galeon
Chris Kontos
Sammy Diosdado

Death Angel is an American thrash metal band from Daly City, California, initially active from 1982 to 1991 and again since 2001. Death Angel has released nine studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set and two live albums. The band has gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Rob Cavestany as the only constant member; he and vocalist Mark Osegueda (who joined the group in 1984) are the only members of Death Angel to appear on all of their studio albums.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Daly City, California City in California, United States

Daly City is the largest city in San Mateo County, California, United States, with an estimated 2014 population of 106,094. Located immediately south of San Francisco, it is named in honor of businessman and landowner John Donald Daly.

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, producers, or other artists.


Death Angel is often referred to as one of the key bands in the Bay Area thrash metal movement of the 1980s, [2] [3] and secured opening slots at club venues that decade, including opening for their peers Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Overkill, D.R.I., Mercyful Fate and Possessed. [4] They are also often credited as one of the leaders of the second wave of thrash metal movement from the 1980s, [5] and considered to be one of the "big eight" of the genre (along with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus and Overkill). [6] [7] [8] Following the underground success of their first two studio albums, The Ultra-Violence (1987) and Frolic Through the Park (1988), Death Angel signed to Geffen Records in 1989, and released their only album for the label, Act III , the following year. While they were touring in support of Act III, then-drummer Andy Galeon was injured in a tour bus accident and needed more than a year to fully recover. This resulted in the band's break up in 1991. However, Death Angel reformed in 2001 (without original guitarist Gus Pepa) at the Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for Testament singer Chuck Billy. The band has since continued to record and perform, and their recent studio album, Humanicide , was released on May 31, 2019.

Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Along with South Florida, the scene was widely regarded as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal.

Megadeth Im gonna kill.myself

Megameth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megameth is one of the "big four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.


Early years (1982–1986)

Death Angel was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, in 1982 by cousins Rob Cavestany (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dennis Pepa (lead vocals, bass), Gus Pepa (rhythm guitar), and Andy Galeon (drums) -- all of Filipino descent. After considering a number of different names for the band, including Dark Fury, Cavestany and D. Pepa settled on the name Death Angel after coming across a book by that title in a book store. [9] In 1983, the band released their first demo, Heavy Metal Insanity, with Matt Wallace serving as producer. According to Mark Osegueda, the group was then "more like a metal band, more like Iron Maiden, Tygers of Pan Tang and stuff like that", as the so-called Bay Area thrash movement was only just beginning to rise to prominence at the time and make its influence felt. [10] Osegueda, a second cousin of the other four members who had been working as their roadie, became the group's lead vocalist in 1984 and performed his first show with the band on a bill with Megadeth in April of that year (at one of the four Megadeth gigs to feature Kerry King on guitars). [10]

San Francisco Bay Area Conurbation in California, United States

The San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz.

Matt Wallace is an American record producer. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has been producing professionally since the early 1980s. He is best known for his work with David Baerwald, Faith No More, Maroon 5, O.A.R., The Replacements, and Train.

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.

Death Angel continued to play club gigs in and around the San Francisco Bay area for nearly two years, writing songs and refining their stage show. In 1985, the band recorded the Kill as One demo produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett, whom they had met at a record store signing in 1983. The underground tape trading wave of the 1980s led to extensive distribution of the demo, bringing the band wide attention. Osegueda later recalled that prior to the release of the band's first album, "We were playing in L.A. and New York, and the crowd was singing our songs, because there was this underground tape trading .... That's what keeps it alive, and I think that's absolutely wonderful." [10] In 1986, Death Angel performed at their Concord California high school, Clayton Valley High School (now known as Clayton Valley Charter High School), at lunchtime. They famously dedicated the song "Mistress of Pain" to a Vice Principal.

Kirk Hammett American musician

Kirk Lee Hammett is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.

Tape trading is an unofficial method of distribution of musical or video content through the postal system, which was prominent in the 1980s and 1990s. Although most commonly used to distribute and publicize limited-release musical demo tapes in underground musical genres such as punk, hardcore, and extreme metal, the system has also been used to distribute bootleg recordings of live concerts, recordings of radio broadcasts, original radio-style programming by amateur broadcasters, and videotapes of underground films.

Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS) is a comprehensive charter high school located in Concord, California, United States, just under two miles from Clayton. Most of the school's students live in Clayton and the nearby Concord neighborhoods.

The Ultra-Violence and Frolic Through The Park (1987–1989)

The success of Kill as One led to a record deal with Enigma Records, who released Death Angel's debut album, The Ultra-Violence , in 1987. The band recorded the album when all the members were still under 20 years old, and subsequently embarked on its first tour, supporting such bands as Exodus, Destruction, Voivod, Sacrifice and Whiplash. [4] A video was filmed for "Voracious Souls", a song about a band of cannibals, but it never aired on MTV due to the nature of the lyrics. The group released their follow-up album Frolic Through the Park in 1988. It featured more diverse material than the straightforward thrash of the first album. It included a cover version of the Kiss song "Cold Gin". The band released a video for the single "Bored" (which was also used in the 1990 movie Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III ) which received regular airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball . The song was written under the seemingly unlikely influence of U2, and the guitar playing of The Edge in particular. [9] The band toured worldwide for the first time (with the likes of Motörhead, Testament, Flotsam and Jetsam, Overkill, Rigor Mortis, Sacred Reich, Forbidden, Vio-lence and Death) [4] and found notable success in Japan, selling out two full Japanese tours.

Enigma Records rock and alternative American record label in the 1980s

Enigma Records was a popular rock and alternative American record label in the 1980s.

<i>The Ultra-Violence</i> 1987 studio album by Death Angel

The Ultra-Violence is the debut studio album by the Bay Area thrash band Death Angel, released in 1987. The album was recorded while all members were under 20, with drummer Andy Galeon just 14 years old. A snippet of the title track "The Ultra Violence" can be heard on a Carl's Jr. commercial for their Jalapeño Turkey Burger.

Exodus (American band) American thrash metal band

Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. They have gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.

Act III and breakup (1989–1991)

Geffen Records bought out the band's contract with Enigma Records in 1989 and released the third Death Angel album, Act III , in 1990. Produced by Max Norman (who had previously worked with Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Savatage, Fates Warning and Loudness), the album showcased the band's newfound use of full-band backing vocals, while fusing elements of funk, thrash, and heavy metal with the use of acoustic guitars to give the album a varied feel, while staying true to the group's heavy roots. The album featured the singles "Seemingly Endless Time" and "A Room with a View" (a ballad sung mostly by guitarist Rob Cavestany), and both songs also received airplay on Headbangers Ball , but a mainstream breakthrough still proved elusive. The band released the "A Room with a View" video and single under the name "D.A." and Cavestany explained to a reporter at the time that he now found the band's original name "Restricting. The name Death Angel seems to imply hardcore thrash gloom-and-doom death metal, and we're not like that at all. If I were presented with 10 records, and one of them was by a band called Death Angel, and I'd never heard of them, I'd stick that one on the bottom!" [11]

Geffen Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M Records imprint.

<i>Act III</i> (Death Angel album) 1990 studio album by Death Angel

Act III is the third studio album by the thrash metal band Death Angel, released in 1990 on Geffen Records. Regarded by many critics and fans as the band's finest effort, the album was produced by famed metal producer Max Norman, and marked the first major label release by Death Angel. The album spawned the singles "Seemingly Endless Time" and "A Room with a View", with both songs receiving music videos and airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball. Songs like "Discontinued" incorporate elements of funk.

Max Norman is a record producer and recording engineer active from 1973 through to present. He produced many acclaimed heavy metal releases. While Norman was resident engineer at Ridge Farm Studios in London, England, Ozzy Osbourne was recording his debut solo album Blizzard of Ozz with producer/engineer Chris Tsangarides, after Osbourne and Tsangarides parted ways Norman was asked to carry on.

Also in 1990, Enigma Records, already having sold its interest in the band to the Geffen label, illegally released and distributed Fall from Grace , an unauthorized bootleg live album featuring songs from their first two releases and recorded at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The album was released without any input from the band members with regard to its songs, contents, credits, concepts, or artwork. The band learned of its existence when they stumbled upon it in a record store in Tucson, Arizona, on the night prior to suffering a near-fatal auto accident. Enigma Records folded after the release, cashing in on the sales. The album was picked up, manufactured and distributed by Capitol Records, also possibly illegally.

Death Angel had embarked on what was scheduled to be a worldwide tour in support of Act III in 1990, selling out shows at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, The Ritz in New York, and England's Hammersmith Odeon, and touring, or playing selected shows, with the likes of Forbidden, Vicious Rumors, Sanctuary, Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Morbid Angel, Atheist, Forced Entry, Dead Horse and former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland. [4] While driving in Arizona en route to a show in Las Vegas, the group's tour bus crashed, and drummer Andy Galeon was critically injured, needing more than a year to recover. Cavestany said at the time that "[i]n a way, it made perfect sense to have a major accident right now, it really fit the story line. We've been pushing so hard for 8 years and just not getting that far, and getting so frustrated with not being where we should be after so long, it was time for something climactic to happen!" [11] The band was also slated to be the opening act for the Clash of the Titans tour featuring Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax in the summer of 1991, but were ultimately replaced by Alice in Chains since they were unable to perform. Additionally, Death Angel and Geffen were planning to release a live album recorded at shows in the Bay Area, and the band was intending to tour a number of other countries it had not previously visited. According to Cavestany, they were invited to tour Europe with Annihilator and Judas Priest, supporting the latter on their Painkiller tour; [12] however, due to the bus accident, Death Angel cancelled the offer and was replaced by Pantera.

Following the accident, Geffen Records and the band's manager pressured the group to hire another drummer and immediately go back to work. The band performed a few shows in Japan with drummer Chris Kontos, but when they declined to hire a long-term replacement, Geffen Records dropped them.

Osegueda left the group and moved to New York to pursue a life outside of music, and Cavestany later explained that "[w]e weren't going to try to replace him and with all that stuff happening we were just totally disgusted at how things had turned out and we felt that this was a sign that the band was not going to go on." [13] The remaining members performed a few acoustic-only shows in the Bay Area, appearing as "The Past."

Post-breakup (1991–2001)

In the summer of 1991, with Galeon fully recovered, Death Angel's remaining members, minus Osegueda, reformed under the name The Organization (which was the title of a song on Act III), with Cavestany taking over lead vocal duties. The band focused more on funk and alternative rock than traditional metal. The Organization's first demo was recorded and produced at City College of San Francisco's multitrack studios by Eric Kauschen and Dana Galloway.

The Organization toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including two appearances at the Dynamo Open Air Festival in the Netherlands, a support slot on Rob Halford's "Fight" tour, and as the main support act for Motörhead in Europe. However, both 1993's The Organization and 1995's Savor the Flavor albums, which were distributed by Metal Blade Records, failed to make waves with the record-buying public, and Cavestany and Galeon decided to disband.

Around 1992, Osegueda was invited to audition for Anthrax after the departure of Joey Belladonna. The band eventually hired John Bush of Armored Saint, and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian later wrote that Osegueda "had a great voice but was strangely too metal for us." [14]

In 1998, Cavestany and Galeon reunited with Osegueda for the first time since 1990. Along with bassist Michael Isaiah, they formed Swarm and released a four-track self-titled EP in 1999, and the five-song Devour EP in 2000. Swarm toured with Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains in 2000, and released the compilation album Beyond the End, which combined the contents of the two EPs with a cover of The Doors' "My Eyes Have Seen You", in 2003. Although Swarm did not become a commercial success, it did bring the core members of Death Angel back together, setting up an official reunion.

Reunion and The Art of Dying (2001–2007)

Death Angel officially reunited in August 2001 for Thrash of the Titans , a cancer benefit show for Testament frontman Chuck Billy. Original guitarist Gus Pepa could not participate in the reunion since he was out of the country. At Cavestany's suggestion, and with Pepa's blessing, the band enlisted longtime friend and fan, Ted Aguilar, to handle rhythm guitar duties. Originally planned as a one-off show, the band received such a positive response that they played a string of other well-received gigs around the San Francisco area and a pair of European tours, despite the band not having issued an album in over a decade. They also participated in Wacken Open Air and the Bang your Head 2004.

In 2004, 14 years after their last album, the band released The Art of Dying on Nuclear Blast records. Archives and Artifacts , a box set with remastered versions of the long out-of-print The Ultra-Violence and Frolic Through The Park, along with a bonus Rarities CD and DVD, followed in 2005.

Osegueda has since announced his involvement in the band All Time Highs, but has emphasized that he intends to remain a member of Death Angel. [15] In August 2007, Cavestany released a solo CD of acoustic songs, Lines on the Road, the material on which was written in collaboration with Gus Pepa, and performed by Cavestany (vocals, bass, guitar) Gus Pepa (guitar) and Galeon (drums).

Killing Season (2007–2009)

In April 2007, they headlined the seventh Pulp Summer Slam in the Philippines. Killing Season , recorded at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in Northridge, California, was released on February 26, 2008. Death Angel's video for "Dethroned", a track off Killing Season, debuted online on Thursday, April 17, 2008, on Headbangers Blog.

At the October 28 show at the Grand in San Francisco, Death Angel announced that founding member Dennis Pepa would be leaving the band and the show would be his final live performance with the band. [16]

On January 10, 2009, Death Angel announced the addition of bassist Sammy Diosdado to the group's ranks. Diosdado is a Bay Area native who previously played with the San Francisco hardcore band The Sick and is a member of the rock and roll outfit All Time Highs, which is fronted by Osegueda. [17]

Relentless Retribution (2009–2012)

Death Angel headlining in Toronto, 2013 Death-Angel-Toronto-11.jpg
Death Angel headlining in Toronto, 2013

On May 28, 2009, Death Angel announced founding member Andy Galeon had quit the band, leaving Cavestany as the only founding member left in the band. He was replaced by Will Carroll (formerly of Scarecrow, Old Grandad and Vicious Rumors). [18] In November, Diosdado was replaced by Scarecrow / Potential Threat bassist Damien Sisson.

Relentless Retribution was released on September 3, 2010 in Europe. The album was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (Trivium, August Burns Red, The Black Dahlia Murder, All That Remains, Whitechapel, DevilDriver), [19] and was the first Death Angel album done without longtime drummer Andy Galeon as well as its first done without either of the Pepa cousins. Death Angel toured in support of Relentless Retribution for two-and-a-half years; the band embarked on the European Thrashfest tour in late 2010 with Kreator, Exodus and Suicidal Angels, and supported Anthrax and Testament on the Worship Music tour in North America three times (in October–November 2011, January–February 2012 and September–October 2012). [20] [21] [22]

The Dream Calls for Blood, The Evil Divide and Humanicide (2013–present)

Death Angel released The Dream Calls for Blood on 11 October 2013. The album landed at 72 on the Billboard 200, [23] making it the band's first chart entry since 1988's Frolic Through the Park , and their first to crack the Top 100 on the American charts. [24]

In a May 2015 interview on Groovey.TV, rhythm guitarist Ted Aguilar revealed that Death Angel had been writing new material for their follow-up to The Dream Calls for Blood . The band entered the studio on October 1, 2015 to begin recording the album, which was due for release in April 2016. [25] On February 16, 2016, it was announced that the album would be called The Evil Divide ; it was released on May 27, 2016 [26] and peaked at number 98 on the Billboard 200, giving the band their second highest chart position. [24] Death Angel toured for two-and-a-half years in support of The Evil Divide, opening for Slayer on their Repentless tour in North America, [27] Testament on their Brotherhood of the Snake tour in Europe, [28] and Sepultura on their Machine Messiah tour in Australia, [29] as well as taking part in the 2018 edition of the MTV Headbangers Ball European tour, also featuring Exodus, Sodom and Suicidal Angels. [30] [31]

In a February 2017 interview with The Void Report, Aguilar revealed that Death Angel would begin working on new material in the fall. [32] In December of that year, guitarist Rob Cavestany stated that, instead of touring extensively, they would spend much of 2018 focusing on writing and recording their ninth studio album. [33] On June 30, 2018, the band issued this statement on Facebook: "Now it's time to head home, lock ourselves in the studio and finish writing this new album." [34] It was reported in September 2018 that Death Angel had been in the studio recording their new album, again teaming up with Jason Suecof (who has worked with the band since Relentless Retribution ) as the producer. [35]

On March 22, 2019, Death Angel announced that their ninth album Humanicide would be released on May 31 via Nuclear Blast. [36] Prior to the album's release, they (along with Mothership) toured North America in the spring of 2019 by supporting Overkill on their Wings of War tour. [37] [38] The band will also tour through Europe in that summer, opening for bands like Arch Enemy, Testament and Anthrax on selected dates as well as headlining their own shows. [36]

Band members


Current members
Former members


Death Angel lineups
  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Dennis Pepa – lead vocals, bass
  • Gus Pepa – rhythm guitar
  • Andy Galeon – drums
  • First lineup of Death Angel.
  • This lineup recorded one demo together in 1983.
  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Dennis Pepa – bass, backing vocals
  • Gus Pepa – rhythm guitar
  • Andy Galeon – drums
  • Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Dennis Pepa – bass, backing vocals
  • Gus Pepa – rhythm guitar
  • Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
  • Chris Kontos – drums
  • On tour, Kontos briefly filled in for Galeon on drums when he was critically injured in an accident.


  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Dennis Pepa – bass, backing vocals
  • Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
  • Andy Galeon – drums
  • Ted Aguilar – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
  • Andy Galeon – drums
  • Ted Aguilar – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Sammy Diosdado – bass, backing vocals
  • Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
  • Ted Aguilar – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Will Carroll – drums
  • Damien Sisson – bass


Death Angel


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Death Angel discography An american thrash metal band

The discography of Death Angel, an American thrash metal band, consists of nine studio albums, two live albums, two compilation albums, seven singles, ten music videos and two demo cassettes. Death Angel was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1982 by guitarists Rob Cavestany and Gus Pepa, bassist Dennis Pepa and drummer Andy Galeon. The vocalist position was originally filled by Cavestany, until Mark Osegueda became the band's permanent singer in 1984.

Metal Allegiance is an American heavy metal supergroup, formed on Long Island, New York in 2014 by Mark Menghi while recruiting David Ellefson (bass), Alex Skolnick (guitar) and Mike Portnoy (drums) shortly after. Though the group does not have an official lead singer, they usually hire guest musicians to contribute vocals to their studio and live activities. To date, Metal Allegiance has released two studio albums and one EP.

<i>Humanicide</i> 2019 studio album by Death Angel

Humanicide is the ninth studio album by the American thrash metal band Death Angel, released on May 31, 2019. Like their previous three studio albums, Humanicide was produced by Jason Suecof, while its release marks the first time the band had recorded more than three albums with the same lineup.


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