When things are bad and only get worse, maybe it's time to pull the plug and move on. Thrash Metal band Death Angel did just that. And then, came back.
The Concord, CA group, whose original members were of Filipino descent, released two albums, "The Ultra-Violence" ('87) and "Frolic Through The Park" ('88), on the Enigma imprint before attracting the attention of Geffen Records.
The appropriately titled "Act III," fused elements of Funk, Thrash, Heavy Metal and acoustic guitars. But the group's first major label release failed to generate much excitement even though the band was selling out shows.
What was a problem? Lead guitarist Rob Cavestany thought the band's moniker was 'restricting'.
"The name Death Angel seems to imply Hardcore Thrash gloom-and-doom Death Metal, and we're not like that at all," stated Cavestany. "If I were presented with 10 records, and one of them was by a band called Death Angel, and I'd never heard of them, I'd stick that one on the bottom!" That was one issue, but another, bigger one, loomed.
In late '90, while driving in Arizona on the way to a show in Las Vegas, the group's tour bus crashed, and drummer Andy Galeon was seriously injured, needing more than a year to recover.
The lack of success, combined with the accident, put the group in a deep hole. Geffen Records and the band's manager pressured the group to hire a drummer and immediately go back to work. But when Death Angel declined to name a long-term replacement, Geffen dropped the band.
Vocalist Mark Osegueda moved to New York to pursue a career outside of music, and in the summer of '91, with Galeon fully recovered, Death Angel's remaining members reformed as The Organization (which was the title of a song on "Act III"). Unfortunately, The Organization did no better than Death Angel and disbanded in '95.
But nothing is ever really over in the music business. Death Angel reunited in '01 to perform at a cancer benefit show for Testament frontman Chuck Billy. Original guitarist Gus Pepa was unable to make the show so the rhythm guitar duties fell to Ted Aguilar (with Pepa's blessing).
Death Angel was back in business though they lost original members Dennis Pepa in '08 and Galeon, a year later. Dennis Pepa was replaced by bassist Sammy Diosdado with Will Carroll taking over on drums.
1987 The Ultra-Violence
1988 Frolic Through The Park
1990 Act III
2004 The Art Of Dying
2008 Killing Season
2010 Relentless Retribution
2013 The Dream Calls For Blood