Wednesday 29 July 2015

Death Angel - 'A Thrashumentary' DVD (Review)

Media Type: DVD
Date Released: 24/7//2015
Label: Nuclear Blast

Death Angel is:

Mark Osegueda | (vocals)
Rob Cavestany | (guitar)
Ted Aguilar | (guitar)
Damien Sisson | (bass)
Will Carroll | (drums)


Being an avid appreciator of all things “making of” and “history of”, I jumped at the chance to review this- over two and a half hours of footage combining both those docu-genres. The first half of this engaging film covers Death Angel's history. Yes, they were very young when they started out and yes, the band was part of the second wave of Bay Area thrash so of course you get lots of their contemporaries as talking heads or cropping up in photos from the time. Each band member (as is now) are interviewed extensively and contribute interesting comments to their history and path through the somewhat murky and ever changing waters of the music industry. The spectre of This is Spinal Tap is never too far away but things never get all the way there as the band members come across as hard working and dedicated pros who often laugh at themselves and the business. Certainly, the band has overcome a lot, for example a horrendous bus crash which effectively curtailed their rise to the top- line up changes, industry changes and even complete dissolution. 

It is noted that it took Chuck Billy having cancer to bring them back together, but once reformed things were better than ever. At the heart of all this is the music, of course. Death Angel have made some cracking records (The Ultra Violence and Frolic through the Park are considered early classics) both early on and recently in their career (The Dream Calls For Blood is superb). The process of how they made ‘Relentless Retribution’ is the focus of the final part of the doc. Jason Suecof is the studio maestro capturing the musical magic while the band roll the songs out with new found enthusiasm due in part to a hungry new rhythm section.

For those with an interest in Death Angel, Bay Area thrash or musical history generally, then this is a must watch. You will be pleased to know that it's nothing like Some Kind of Monster, in that those involved come across well and as likeable down to earth guys. There is not a therapist or a sweater in sight. Much like the band's records, this is no frills; a metal documentary that does what is says on the tin. 

Words by: Richard Maw

‘A Thrashumentary’ is available here

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