Death Angel


Sunday, April 20, 2014

It may have been Easter Sunday, but Perth metal fans were here for two things – to thrash and party. There could not have been a better setting than the pairing of German Teutonic masters Kreator and longstanding speed titans Death Angel.

Both had not been on Australian shores since 2009 and it was obvious they were both intent on bringing their A-game. With the WA slot signalling the end of their tour down under, these two bands were performing as well-oiled machines – injecting the fist-pumping, good time vibes of the genre in a blaze of glory.

With no local supports scheduled, both outfits were given the chance for extended sets – and Death Angel were the first to step-up to the challenge. Holy shit, these guys have changed since they played their first show in Perth five years ago. Previously, with frontman John Bush (ex-Anthrax) at their helm, they came to the Amplifier stage limping like a wounded dog, with their well-known vocalist suffering from throat issues and unable to sing on the night. Sure, the charisma was still there – but the band were in a transition phase at the time and initial impressions left a lot to be desired.

Now, with a solidified line-up and two more albums under their belts, the shift was monumental. Death Angel were on fire. Their sound was impeccable and they took punters by the balls and made them sing. Always the ones to focus on the positive associations of thrash, the aural assault was absolutely blistering. And what was surprising was the sheer amount of new material this five-piece delivered. Their seventh LP, This Dream Calls For Blood, is a hard slab of aggression – with songs like Left For Dead, Succubus, Son Of The Mourning and the title track whipping the crowd into a wild frenzy. Giving a nod to the holiday with Evil Priest off their 1987 release, The Ultra-Violence, frontman Mark Osegueda dominated the stage – offering fans advice about following their dreams, in true posi-fashion. Ending off on classic Thrown To The Wolves – it was great to experience these guys at their best.

After a much needed drink’n’ciggie break, Kreator took to the stage – their presence undeniable as always. It was refreshing to see these trash titans up-close and personal, after watching them slay Metropolis Fremantle at their last performance. With the Mars Mantra introduction, the air of Capitol was absolutely flooded with smoke – with the blue lights streaming through – signalling the epic opening for these German greats as iconic frontman Mille Petrozza emerged to the sounds of Phantom Antichrist.

Taking a darker path than their touring buddies, the crowd lost their shit as this quartet worked their way through Flood Into Fire and War Curse. But the atmosphere kept building as Petrozza asked fans to part the pit – calling for displays of violence and brutality – and began counting down in German. What erupted next was total destruction. As Kreator launched into Pleasure To Kill punters ran head-first into each other, with shoes, sweat and beer flying in all directions. Calls of “…Kreator! Kreator! Kreator!” rang through the venue, as the outfit worked through tracks like Violent Revolution, Enemy Of God and People Of The Lie – never holding back. Ending off with Flag Of Hate, Petrozza held a Kreator flag high – leading the crowd to raise a sea of horns to meet their idol. I’ve never been one to find solace in religion, but for thrash fans – this night was definitely a holy experience.