Local Wire

Death Angel @ The Clubhouse Music Venue

Historically, Arizona hasn't been terribly hospitable to the veteran Filipino-American thrash-metal band known as Death Angel. Is it a "papers, please" thing? Naw. It's our remote, carnage-strewn highways. In 1990, the band was riding high after signing with Geffen and releasing its first major label album, Act III, when the Death Angel tour bus veered into a ditch off I-17 en route to a show in Las Vegas. Drummer Andy Galeon was critically injured in the wreck, forcing the band to enlist a replacement drummer for a tour of Japan. Unfortunately, the new guy never really clicked, the band balked at finding an alternate, and Geffen unceremoniously severed ties with Death Angel, forcing the band to dissolve shortly thereafter. Tragic? Not really. A classic '80s-style heavy metal band could do worse things than sit out the '90s, which is what Death Angel essentially did before reuniting in 2001 for a special show benefiting cancer-stricken Testament frontman Chuck Billy. Ten years and three albums later, Death Angel is still churning out its brand of concussive thrash-theater, albeit with only two remaining members — vocalist Mark Osegueda and guitarist Rob Cavestany — from the old crew. We'll try not to flip their bus this time.

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Craig Outhier