Five days on from the glorious Marduk/Grave show, I am back in The Underworld in Camden to see San Francisco Thrashers Death Angel, who are back in town, supporting their sensational latest offering “The Dream Calls For Blood”. With them they bring German Thrash/Death Metal combo Dew Scented – a band whose passion, commitment and honesty has won them quite a few fans in the UK’s capital over the last few years.
The evening started well, with a very enjoyable interview with Dew-Scented front man Leif Jensen (during which I insisted on practicing my basic German with the man!), and a twenty minute catch-up with Death Angel’s guitarist and founding member Rob Cavestany (a man whose youthful enthusiasm and contagious positivity makes him, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the top interviewees on my list).
The interviews over, I hoped to catch Dew-Scented’s performance from a decent spot – something which proved far easier than originally expected as the attendance during the band’s forty or so minute set was fairly poor, even for this venue’s standards. Dew-Scented have experienced quite a few line-up changes over the years which have undoubtedly affected their momentum, however, when they stormed the Underworld’s fairly small stage, they did so with the intention of inflicting serious damage.
Poor sound and partial indifference on the part of the sparse crowd did not deter the quartet from providing quality performances of “Sworn to Obey”, “Cities Of The Dead” and “Storm Within”, all working perfectly in a live environment, and it was not long before fists were in the air and screams of approval were heard around the mosh pit.
The funniest moment of the show was when a largish roadie landed a pie in the face of the unsuspecting bassist Joost van der Graaf, following an announcement that ‘Tonight the Dutch muso is celebrating his 40th birthday’, and the duet “Thrown to the Lions” / “Acts Of Rage” concluded another decent Dew-Scented performance on UK soil.
It is rather an unfortunate thing for a band’s London show to be on at the same time as a band of the magnitude of Black Sabbath, who were headlining the O2 Arena only a few miles away. However, that did not stop Mark Osegueda (vocals) and his comrades from performing another high energy show on UK soil.
Eager to present their London fans with material from their latest album, “The Dream Calls For Blood”, Death Angel kick-started the proceedings with “Left For Dead” and “Son Of The Morning”, both of which were received well by the by now much larger crowd – which, incidentally, went ballistic when the first few notes of the all-time classic “Mistress Of Pain” filled the walls of the diminutive venue.
Rousing in spirit and with disarming humility, the band’s charismatic front man thanked what he described as Death Angel’s ‘core fans’ for choosing to spend the evening with them and promised to rewards us with many killer songs – a promise that was fulfilled with amazing renditions of “Relentless Retribution”, “The Dream Calls For Blood” and my personal favourite, “Seemingly Endless Time”.
The last time I saw this band, it was in the very same venue, when they performed “The Ultra-Violence” in its entirety, but this night the focus was on the latest album – which is why “Succubus” and “Execution – Don’t Save Me” were included on the set list. A short break ensued, during which Mark presented the band’s current line up providing, in the process, the second most memorable moment of the night: following the introduction of guitarist Rob Cavestany, he led the band into a shortened version of Kiss’ opus “Love Gun”, much to our surprise and delight.
“Thicker Than Blood” is one of the songs I was really hoping to listen to and was thoroughly impressed by its energy and relevance, while the duet “Sonic Beatdown” / “Caster Of Hate” concluded the band’s main set.
Moments after leaving the stage, and to the sounds of clapping hands and massive screams, the band returned with quality performances of “Lord Of Hate”, “Truce” and a stupendously brilliant version of “Thrown To The Wolves”, which found the youngest of the attendees having a go at the art of stage diving.
It is a real shame that the person on sound duty did not do the bands justice at all, but both Dew-Scented and Death Angel did their utmost to provide an entertaining evening for those of us who chose to attend a real live show.
What tonight’s performance clearly proved is that Death Angel anno 2013 is a true force of nature that equals any of the band’s past incarnations; that it is a band which truly deserves our support and a much bigger venue to perform in next time they are in London! Thrash lives!
Dew-Scented Set List:
Death Angel Set List: