Death Angel Biography
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 eight 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 in 1984) are the only members of Death Angel to appear on all their releases (except for their 1983 demo Heavy Metal Insanity, which featured Cavestany on both guitar and vocals).
Death Angel is often referred to as one of the key bands in the Bay Area thrash metal movement of the 1980s, and secured opening slots at club venues that decade, including opening for their peers Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament (then-known as Legacy) and Possessed. The underground success of their first two studio albums, The Ultra-Violence (1987) and Frolic Through the Park (1988), attracted the attention of Geffen Records, who signed the quintet in 1989. Their 1990 follow-up album, Act III, was also successful. While Death Angel was touring in support of that album, 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, The Evil Divide, was released in 2016.
Death Angel was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, in 1982 by cousins Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Dennis Pepa (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. 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. Osegueda, a second cousin of the other four members who had been working as their roadie, became the group’s 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 guitar).
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