A single, solitary tout trying to ply his tradeoutside a eerily silent Garage doesn’t fill one withconfidence for a band who are making their “triumphalreturn to form” with their first world tour in over adecade on the back of latest release The Art OfDying.
Despite the morose aura that permeates from the boxoffice, one band with everything to prove are Londonbased thrashers Descent. They’re off to a good startif the bouncers’ reaction is anything to go by, barelya bar into their set and he is furiously unwrappinghis disposable earplugs amidst a barrage of somewhatless than affectionate expletives.Providing some high class grindcore that is all toorare these days, stopping only to interject “If you’renot drinking beer or headbanging; you’re rubbish!”,Descent are pedigree metallers. Finale number Revealis undoubtedly the highlight of their set, anddisplays the kind of original thrash groove that’nu-old-skool’ bands like Killswitch Engage arebuilt upon.Many a balding, stud clad Death Angel fan can be seenyawning and hoping they make it in on time to the IToffice in the morning as a lengthy set change putssomewhat of a dampener in the air. All isforgiven, however, as the classical symphony pumps through thePA, and amidst red smoke and many a raised fist, theBay Area metal legends take to the stagedreadlocks-a-flailing, to “Revel and Celebrate in ourpast, present and future!”.
They certainly don’t disappoint: The opening trackcaptures the fans a treat, drawing them to the stagelike flies to a flame. Freedom quickly follows andproves to any critic that, despite being passed it, theseboys care about this mid week gig, and work the crowdlike they only just got signed.
Lead single from their first album in 14 years,Thicker Than Blood goes down even better than the band expect, with Mark Osegueda slipping in asuprised “Thank you!” as he is deafeningly rewardedafter holding out the mic for audience vocals in thechorus.
Classics like Ultra Violence‘s Veracious Souls and Disturbing The Peace from their seminal 1990release Act III go down an absolute storm, beltedout with passion and joy by band and fans alike. For aband who are such veterans of much bigger venues,Death Angel sound and look amazing, and moreimportantly, genuinely care about the half full Garageon this overcast summer night.
They may be ebbing ever closer to being labelledold farts, (despite the fact that colleaguesMetallica and Slayer are still playingfrom strength to strength) but tonight Death Angel areakin to a fine malt whisky; with age only serving to improve and enrich their flavour.