LIVE: Death Angel + Dew-Scented @ Camden Underworld [10/12/2013]

By Tom Aylott

Sometimes at Punktastic, we do just like to go all out metal. Tonight is one of those nights.

A jammed bill at the legendary Camden Underworld is topped by metal legends Death Angel, and though main support Dew-Scented are playing to a slowly growing crowd, they’re putting in a good shift. The German thrash metallers are signed to Metal Blade in Europe, and tracks from their latest effort ‘Insurgent’ sound particularly brutal this evening. It’s a bit of a shame that they’re not getting a response or sound that does their performance justice, but that’s the breaks with The Underworld sometimes, especially with some big gig clashes in London this evening. Yhe first few beers go down rather well while we watch the band’s set though, and we’re feeling pretty ready for the headliners by the time they finish.

After a short break to check out the merch (The Death Angel shirts in particular are incredible), Death Angel get themselves started. It’s been over a year since we’ve seen the California metaller – the last time was at Hellfest in front of a very different size of audience to tonight, but the band are great up close and personal as well as in front of tens of thousands of people. Black Sabbath play just down the road tonight, which has left the venue a little less full than the band may have liked, but they really don’t seem to give a shit, and they throw themselves into a very, very strong set.

It’d be a stretch to say that we’re thrash experts here at Punktastic, but we can’t help but love Death Angel for their unashamed commitment to The Horns and just being as over the top as you could hope. Vocalist Mark Osegueda is fantastic at whipping up headbanging, and the whole set is a joy to watch. At Hellfest, the band were playing through their ‘Ultra-Violence’ album in full, but tonight it’s a mix of tracks from their 1000000* albums since then and weighted towards their latest effort, ‘The Dream Calls For Blood’. Osegueda and guitarist Rob Cavestany undoubtably run the show, and they’re both incredible to watch perform, so we end up topping the beers up and few times and enjoying the stage show for everything it is.

We’re gonna pick out the latest album’s title track, ‘Echoes From The Past’ and ‘Fallen’ as our favourites from tonight’s setlist, but the whole show was magnificent fun to watch, and we’d forgotten just how little people give a shit about having fun at metal shows compared to punk shows. Death Angel have had personnel problems over the years (as noted halfway through the set by Osegueda), but this line up is tight as fuck, and all beer, all horns, all hangbanging all the time tonight in the Underworld. We’re pretty sure Death Angel would have gone on all night without the curfew, and pretty sure we would have kept watching. A great night despite slightly ropey sound, and we can’t recommend you get down and see the next tour enough. Viva Death Angel!

*might be an exaggeration