Death Angel has come to be known as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the thriving Bay Area Thrash Metal Scene in the early 1980s, an era when one could catch Cliff Burton (Metallica) at the front of the stage at Ruthie's Inn banging his head to Death Angel's inventive style, and speedy, complex arrangements.Among the youngest bands ever to storm the metal genre,
In 1986, a Death Angel demo produced by Kirk Hammett (Metallica) titled "Kill as One" sparked the interest of Enigma Records. Then, in 1987, Death Angel's debut, "The Ultra Violence," was released. Drummer Andy Galeon was just 14 years old at the time. The album was a full-frontal assault on the ears, buzzing with the group's youthful energy, and "The Ultra Violence" sold 40,000 copies in just four months. Another innovative recording, "Frolic Through The Park," followed, marking Death Angel's evolution both lyrically and musically. "Bored," another track from the band's second release, highlighted the cutting-edge band's inventive dynamics, and won a spot on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball."
Geffen Records was impressed enough with Death Angel's television premier to offer the band a deal, and Death Angel became the first band of their breed to appear on the major label's roster. At Geffen, the band released what is widely regarded as one of the most original and accomplished thrash metal albums ever recorded, "Act III." The record pushed the limits of the genre to create something truly unique, a definitive work that is essential to any metal fan's music collection. Death Angel's masterful songwriting ability was once again on display nationwide in 1990, as the videos for "Seemingly Endless Time' and 'Room With A View' saw heavy rotation on MTV.
Death Angel's world tour between 1986 and 1990 included two sold-out tours of Japan. in fact, nearly every date on the Act III World Tour, which included storied venues such as The Warfield Theater in San Francisco, The Ritz in New York, and England's Hammersmith Odeon, were sold out to capacity, a remarkable achievement for any band, but particularly stunning for such a young group, not to mention one comprised of cousins.
Death Angel's trajectory to fame was tragically cut short in 1990, when the band's tour bus crashed in the Arizona desert. Drummer Andy Galeon was critically injured, and would need more than a year to recover. During this downtime, vocalist Mark Osegueda left the band and moved to New York to pursue a life outside of music. The remaining members went on to form The Organization, and released two full-length albums under that name. The "O," as they came to be known, toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including two appearances at Holland's famed Dynamo Open Air Festival, a support slot on Rob Halford's "Fight" tour, and as the main support for the Motorhead tour in Europe.
After the "O" disbanded in 1995, the band members went on to pursue other musical projects, including "The Past," (Rob, Andy, Dennis, Gus), Big Shrimp (Dennis, Andy), Smokestack (Rob, Andy), Silver Circus (Mark), and Swarm (Rob, Andy, Mark). The latter incarnation toured the United States for three months in 2001, supporting Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains).
Death Angel resurfaced in 2001 to perform at a cancer benefit for frontman Chuck Billy (Testament) called "Thrash of the Titans." The response was so great that many offers came quickly in 2002, beginning with a "secret" gig in San Francisco, and sold it out under the psuedo name, "Kill as One."
The show was a warm up for 2 dates in Holland including the famed Dynamo Open Air Festival and a pre-event show at the Efenaar club in Eindhoven which sold out before the band even arrived in Europe.