Absence Of Light (live)
Death Angel backstory
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the ‘babies’ of the Bay Area scene and Death Angel continue to push the metal boundaries.
The band’s first three albums remain essential picks for any self-respecting fan of the fast-evolving thrash scene.
Stunning debut The Ultra-Violence — 35 years old in 2022 — introduced the world to Death Angel in relentless style.
And follow-ups Frolic Through The Park and Act III cemented a legacy that snapped at the heels of the so-called Big Four.
A near 15-year hiatus didn’t dampen Death Angel’s enthusiasm for creating cerebral metal and 2019’s Humanicide became the band’s first Top 20 European record.
Absence Of Light, from retrospective live album The Bastard Tracks, first made its presence felt on 2010’s Relentless Retribution.
The Bastard Tracks, released earlier this month, is a collection of rarely or never performed Death Angel deep cuts spanning the band’s catalogue.
In frontman Mark Osegueda’s own words:
“Absence of Light is a song that I have been championing since the album that it’s on — Relentless Retribution — was released in 2010.
“It’s an extremely dark song lyrically that sits on top of this thunderous and driving riff and beat.
“It’s not a fast song by any means. But it’s heavy! Dark and heavy!
“We finally took the time to re-familiarise ourselves with it and we were all surprised at how heavy it sounded when we all played it together in the room!
“I’m pretty confident it will rear it’s dark and heavy head in some future live sets.
“And in front of an actual audience!”
The verdict on Absence Of Light (live)
Core members Mark Osegueda and Rob Cavestany have been helming Death Angel since 1984.
And their prolific partnership has rarely sounded so powerful and punishing.
The reworked version of Absence of Light is as dark as they come.
Cavestany always boasted the dexterity and drive to reinvent the thrash wheel.
But during the last decade Death Angel’s lead shredder has added so many more strings his fret-melting bow.
And his ability to switch seamlessly from heavy riffing to lighter touches of metal melody needs to be heard to be believed.
Osegueda, of course, is that rare breed of metal singer who’s improved with age.
Even as a kid his control was impressive.
But as a veteran of the thrash scene Osegueda knows when to put the pedal to the metal for maximum effect…
…and when to save himself for the screams to come.
Absence Of Light was tucked away as a mid-set bridge when Relentless Retribution reared its fearsome head in 2010.
More than a decade down the line and it’s been unleashed as a furious blast of Death Angel doing what they do best.
What’s next for Death Angel
The band joins Testament and Exodus on The Bay Strikes Back Tour across the US next spring.
The sole 2021 date of the rescheduled trek took place on Saturday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California.
Death Angel are planning to release a new studio album in 2022 with guitarist Ted Aguilar suggesting writing could be completed before The Bay Strikes Back Tour.