HNE Recordings Ltd
Hailing from the same Bay Area thrash metal scene that gave us Metallica, Exodus and Testament, San Francisco's Death Angel were originally formed in 1982 by lead guitarist Rob Cavestany with cousins Dennis Pepa (bass), Gus Pepa (guitar), and Andy Galeon (drums). Joined by singer Mark Osegueda, their self-explanatory 1983 tape, "Heavy Metal Insanity" demonstrated the influence of the NWOBHM movement in the UK, such as Iron Maiden and Tygers Of Pan Tang, common with many of their American thrash metal peers. Building up a loyal cult following, their "Kill As One" demo was produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett, and is included here as a bonus on CD One. "Kill As One" led to a record deal with Enigma Records, who released their debut album, "The Ultra-Violence", in 1987. Produced by the band along with Vain's Davy Vain, Kerrang! magazine's Geoff Barton was of the opinion that "The Ultra-Violence" was, "quite possibly the finest Thrash album ever made", and he could be right! Kerrang!'s KKKK1/2 review rightly reckoned that they, "play so Goddamn fast, yet with a touch of Metallica style subtlety thrown in". The Kerrang! review of their second Enigma album, 1988's "Frolic Through The Park", stated that it was, "an album of depth and colour, with a variety of moods and textures unheard of among nearly all Thrash and certainly not expected of a band on their second effort," and the album, "Showcases a Death Angel that's not afraid to experiment or change what was a winning formula". That's not to say that '3rd Floor' and 'Guilty Of Innocence' don't thrash along at a suitably demonic pace, but also finding room to slow down for 'Confused' or enter Maiden-esque epic territory with 'Shores Of Sin'. They even made space for a cover of KISS classic, 'Cold Gin'. Bonus tracks are 'Dehumanization', 'Silent Killer' and 'Witches Of Knave'.