• Short and sweet - A review of Death Angel's "The Bay Calls for Blood - Live in San Francisco"

    Death Angel - The Bay Calls for Blood - Live in San Francisco (2015)

    The Bay Calls for Blood - Live in San Francisco is a short but solid live record by Bay Area thrash metal veterans Death Angel. It was released both individually and along with A Thrashumentary which is an extensive documentation about Death Angel's career that I would only recommend to faithful fans and those who are particularly interested in the history of thrash metal. This live album might be more interesting for a larger target audience and features ten tracks which are mostly taken from the previous studio record which I liked quite a lot.

    On the positive side, the band sounds really energizing during this show. Mark Osegueda nails the melodic parts, the meaner passages and the few high screams alike and proves what an underrated singer he is. The gang shouts add even more energy in the right spots. The guitar play is outstanding and the rhythm section sounds technical and tight. The sound is as authentic, clear and powerful as if you were standing right next to the speakers during a live show. The production is unpolished and suits this type of release perfectly. There are only a few short interactions between Mark Osegueda and the crowd but they add an authentic live atmosphere to this record. The set list doesn't include any fillers and the new tracks work particularly well in concert. ''Left for Dead'' is an excellent opener that starts on a gloomy note before it evolves into a dynamic classic thrash metal track. ''Execution / Don't Save Me'' and ''Territorial Instinct / Bloodlust'' have similar strengths and offer calmer transitions, melodic passages and ferocious parts which adds some entertaining diversity to the live record. The best track among the new tunes is though the dynamic and focused ''The Dream Calls for Blood'' with its dystopian guitar sound and powerful chorus that should become a live favorite. The greatest interactions with the crowd that enhance the authentic live atmosphere take place during ''Buried Alive'' and ''Bored''.

    On the negative side, this live release is obviously very short with a running time of only forty-five minutes. Quality is obviously better than quantity but knowing what a convincing live band the quintet is, this record should have been longer. In addition to this, the band seems to have played twenty songs the night the show was recorded and the songs on this release don't even seem to be in the exact order of the set list. It would have been a better idea to release the entire show on DVD or BluRay instead of offering ten excerpts on CD. 

    Still, The Bay Calls for Blood - Live in San Francisco is a great live record that convinces with an authentic production, underlines the band's great chemistry and focuses on outstanding live versions of songs that weren't included on previous live albums. This release is both interesting for fans of long date as well as for those who want to get a proper introduction to the band.

    Final rating: 80%

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