Playing at Sauna Open Air Metal Festival 2010
Past members :Dennis Pepa
Death Angel is a thrash metal band from Concord, California, initially active from 1982 to 1991 and again since 2001. Death Angel has released six studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set and two live albums.
Two independent releases, The Ultra-Violence (1987) and Frolic Through the Park (1988), attracted the attention of Geffen Records, which signed the quintet in 1989 and released their next album, Act III, one year later. While Death Angel was touring in support of Act III, drummer Andy Galeon was injured in a tour bus accident and needed more than a year to fully recover. This resulted in the band's break up in 1991. However, Death Angel reformed in 2001 (without original guitarist Gus Pepa) at the Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for Testament singer Chuck Billy. The band continues to record and perform today.
Early years (1982–1986)
Death Angel was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, in 1982 by cousins Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Dennis Pepa (vocals, bass), Gus Pepa (rhythm guitar), and Andy Galeon (drums) -- all of Filipino descent. After considering a number of different names for the band, including Dark Fury, Cavestany and D. Pepa settled on the name Death Angel after coming across a book by that title in a book store. In 1983, the band released their first demo, Heavy Metal Insanity, with Matt Wallace serving as producer. According to Mark Osegueda, the group was then "more like a metal band, more like Iron Maiden, Tygers Of Pan Tang and stuff like that," as the so-called Bay Area thrash movement was only just beginning to rise to prominence at the time and make its influence felt. Osegueda, a second cousin of the other four members who had been working as their roadie, became the group's vocalist in 1984 and performed his first show with the band on a bill with Megadeth in April of that year (at one of the four Megadeth gigs to feature Kerry King on guitar).
Death Angel continued to play club gigs in and around the San Francisco Bay area for nearly two years, writing songs and refining their stage show. In 1986, the band recorded the Kill As One demo with Metallica's Kirk Hammett (whom they had met at a record store signing in 1983) as producer. The underground tape trading wave of the early 1980s led to extensive distribution of the demo, bringing the band wide attention. Osegueda later recalled that prior to the release of the band's first album, "We were playing in L.A. and New York, and the crowd was singing our songs, because there was this underground tape trading .... That's what keeps it alive, and I think that's absolutely wonderful."