Concert Review: Death Angel, 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, Revocation, Diamond Plate

087It’s been a very long time since I had the opportunity to catch Death Angel in the splendor of a live setting.  If my memory serves me, it was August 19, 1990. Seven of us piled into some type of small white hatchback never meant for seven people and made our way an hour down the road to Boston, MA to this little dive called The Channel.  I am not sure if this place it still exists and there was nothing particularly exciting about the joint other than Death Angel was playing there.  They were in support of their Act III album and in tow were Forbidden along with two local bands called Cardinal Sin and Candy Striper Death Orgy…the latter was as entertaining as their name, I promise you that.  I believe this may have been the place where I got my first taste of the pit…because, well there wasn’t anywhere else to go; the entire place was a pit.  I also bought my favorite concert tee from that show and had that thing until it fell apart 10 years later.  The only things that remain from that evening are fond memories and a ticket stub which was hand-written from a local music store called Strawberries Records and Tapes.  Yeah, they are out of business now.  All in all, it was highly memorable for many reasons.  So, to see them again after more than two decades was highly anticipated to say the least.  To make the evening even better were some quality opening acts; 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, Revocation, Diamond Plate, and local band Artemesis.  Here is my story.

First, I am beginning to really appreciate shows at The Summit Music Hall in Denver.  It’s small and more importantly easy to get to.  The highway exit I use is usually right before the typical big city traffic starts.  I can wrap my way around Coors Field to the parking lot and walk a block to the venue.  Convenience is key especially when I have to drive home 99 miles when the show is over.  As I was waiting outside, Ted (guitar) and Will (drums) from Death Angel walked by and they seemed surprised when I said “hi” to them…as if a hoodie with the hood up is an adequate disguise.  They seemed like they were on a mission, so it was not my intent to stop them for a fan pic, but they did seem happy to return the greeting.  No one else except the other “old” guy standing in line next to me noticed who they were.  Kids these days…

Diamond Plate

Diamond Plate

I will cover local band Artemesis and Chicago’s Diamond Plate at the same time because I have pretty much the same thing to say about both of them.  I never heard either of them before, but overall their sets were pretty cool, short but cool.  I didn’t know the local band was going to be there, so that was a bonus.  I never found the time to sample Diamond Plate before the show, but they shredded with that classic old-school thrash feel.  There was a lot of sound coming out of that 3 piece.  You can sample their entire latest album below courtesy of Earache Records.

061Revocation was up next and with the exception of Death Angel were the big draw for me to pass on seeing Kreator/Overkill which played the day after this show.  Going to Denver two days in a row like that would have probably not been wise.  Besides, I saw Overkill several times over the last few years.  It was time to see some new blood.  Boston’s Revocation played a solid set of tracks mostly from their latest album self-titled.  They got the crowd moving especially with Invidious and Fracked.  Their set was short which, as far as I am concerned is a crime, but it was a pleasure to see their short-lived 30 minute set.  If I am not mistaken they also played The Hive, No Funeral, and Teratogenesis, but don’t quote me on that I am still new to Revocation and didn’t take the time to write down the songs.

Battlecross

Battlecross

Battlecross barely made it in on time.  When I got into the venue it is a habit for me to go straight to the merchandise booth.  Everything was all lined up nice and pretty except for a gaping hole where Battlecross was supposed to be selling their stuff.  A quick question led to an answer something like “they had trailer problems and are trying to get here on time.”  This disappointed several of the kiddies standing next to me.  They literally showed up in the middle of Revocation’s set and still hit the stage on time after 10 hours of straight driving.  The Detroit quintet have quite the stage presence and really got the crowd moving even more.   Again, another short set list of 30 minutes was over before it really began.  I didn’t know what to expect from them, but they never let up on stage and put on a cool performance of non-stop headbanging and hair whipping.  Also, not sure what happened to their drummer, but we were informed that All Shall Perish’s drummer was filling in and they thanked him for that.

3 Inches of Blood

3 Inches of Blood

This was my second time seeing Vancouver’s 3 Inches of Blood in the same venue this year.  I like their classic approach to metal and they are fun to watch…simple, no frills metal.  They seem like they have a good time doing what they do.  Their 40-minute set consisted of opening with Metal Woman and Deadly Sinners.  They also played Leather Lord and Look Out…the only songs I know so the rest must have been from previous albums. Overall, they were fun to see and because of their live set from earlier this year I picked up their latest CD and became a fan of their music.

This is going to make me sound old, but Death Angel didn’t take the stage until 10:30 pm.  I guess the benefit of seeing 6 bands in one night is seeing 6 bands in one night, but there is a price to pay and that is…the headliner hits the stage late.  This was of great concern for me as every show I attended in or near Denver ended by 11:00 pm which allowed me to make the lonely and tiring drive back to Wyoming in a reasonable time.  Time was ticking away, but before I had to make a decision to leave early, Death Angel came out kicking and screaming with their new songs Left For Dead and Son of the Morning.  They then went right to The Ultra-Violence with Mistress of Pain.  This was shaping up to be a blissful evening.

092Death Angel were definitely supporting the new album playing bout 7 of the 10 tracks.  This is something I remember from seeing them on the Act III tour.  They played damn near the entire album probably more so than most bands do in support of a new album.  The brunt of the rest of the set list really didn’t go that far back.  Other than Seemingly Endless Time, there was nothing else played off Act III and Frolic Through The Park was left for dead…nothing.  They did go back to The Ultra-Violence only twice.  It was almost as if the early part of their career was (mostly) forgotten.

Ultimately, I had to make the tough decision (as others did) to leave early.  It had nothing to do with Death Angel’s set choice or quality of musicianship, but the fact that I just can’t stay up as late as I used to be able to combined with a 99 mile drive home led me to do something I have very rarely ever done in all my years of seeing shows…bail early.  I gave them a full hour, but based on set lists from other shows it looks like I might have missed out on 5 or 6 more songs with the encore being Truce, Lord of Hate, Thrown to the Wolves, and a partial playing of The Ultra-Violence instrumental which is probably my favorite instrumental of all-time.  So, missing that is definitely disappointing.  But, I am alive and not bleeding in a ditch.  So, there’s always that.

Overall, it was a night of some truly quality (thrash) metal.  I got to see four new bands that all played great.  30 minute set lists are a bit short, but with 6 bands traveling from city to city every day, I guess I couldn’t have expected more.  Death Angel played great and it was a pleasure to see them again after way too many years.

One thing I noticed as I was chatting up another (old) fan like me…was how accessible some of the band members are.  I remember going to shows when I was a teenager; you would be considered a God if you had the chance to meet the band.  I got to meet Nuclear Assault once by chance…the first band I ever met and thought it was “totally cool man!”  These days, as was during this show, the dudes went to hang out at their merch booth and made themselves available for discussion and photo opportunities.  Maybe I never noticed when I was younger, but metal bands are much more accessible than they used to be.  I had a chance to chat up Revocation vocalist David Davidson and Battlecross vocalist Kyle Gunther; both cool dudes seemingly happy to give up five minutes of their time talking music and baseball.

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on November 12, 2013, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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