DEATH ANGEL: 'The Enigma Years 1987-1990' Four-CD Box Set Due In October

July 27, 2020

An October 2 release date has been set for "The Enigma Years 1987-1990" CD box set from San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL, featuring the albums "The Ultra-Violence" (including the Kirk Hammett-produced "Kill As One" demo) , "Frolic Through The Park", "Fall From Grace" and "Rarities" in a four-CD wallet.

Hailing from the same Bay Area thrash metal scene that gave us METALLICA, EXODUS and TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL was originally formed in 1982 by lead guitarist Rob Cavestany with cousins Dennis Pepa (bass),Gus Pepa (guitar) and Andy Galeon (drums). Joined by singer Mark Osegueda, their self-explanatory 1983 tape "Heavy Metal Insanity" demonstrated the influence of the NWOBHM movement in the U.K., such as IRON MAIDEN and TYGERS OF PAN TANG, common with many of their American thrash metal peers.

Building up a loyal cult following, their "Kill As One" demo was produced by METALLICA's Kirk Hammett, and is included here as a bonus on CD One. "Kill As One" led to a record deal with Enigma Records, who released their debut album, "The Ultra-Violence", in 1987. Produced by the band along with VAIN's Davy Vain, it was called "quite possibly the finest thrash album ever made" by Kerrang! magazine's Geoff Barton. Kerrang!'s KKKK1/2 review rightly reckoned that they "play so goddamn fast, yet with a touch of METALLICA-style subtlety thrown in."

The Kerrang! review of DEATH ANGEL's second Enigma album, 1988's "Frolic Through The Park", stated that it was "an album of depth and color, with a variety of moods and textures unheard of among nearly all thrash and certainly not expected of a band on their second effort," and the album, "showcases a DEATH ANGEL that's not afraid to experiment or change what was a winning formula." That's not to say that "3rd Floor" and "Guilty Of Innocence" don't thrash along at a suitably demonic pace, but also finding room to slow down for "Confused" or enter IRON MAIDEN-esque epic territory with "Shores Of Sin". They even made space for a cover of KISS classic "Cold Gin". Bonus tracks are "Dehumanization", "Silent Killer" and "Witches Of Knave".

Jumping ship to Geffen in 1990, Enigma released the unsanctioned live show "Fall From Grace" in 1990, recorded on stage at the famed Paradiso venue in Amsterdam in 1988. A set based around DEATH ANGEL's first two albums, including "Evil Priest", "Mistress Of Pain", "Final Death" and "3rd Floor" — previously only available as a rare, Japan-only bonus track — has been included here.

In 2005, DEATH ANGEL allowed their personal archive of master tapes, and even cassettes to be raided for a collection of unreleased demos and rehearsals that go right back to their earliest recordings; collected here on CD 4 as "Rarities".

The success of "Frolic Through The Park" led to a more lucrative offer from Geffen, then enjoying huge commercial success with WHITESNAKE and GUNS N' ROSES, soon to be followed by NIRVANA. But a near-fatal crash while on tour leaving Galeon seriously injured, directly led to the band's split in 1991. They reformed ten years later in 2001, touring and recording new albums from thereon to the present day.

CD 1:

"The Ultra-Violence" (1987)

01. Thrashers
02. Evil Priest
03. Voracious Souls
04. Kill As One
05. The Ultra-Violence
06. Mistress Of Pain
07. Final Death
08. I.P.F.S.

Bonus tracks

"Kill As One" demo

09. Thrashers
10. Kill As One
11. The Ultra-Violence

CD 2:

"Frolic Through The Park" (1988)

01. 3rd Floor
02. Road Mutants
03. Why You Do This
04. Bored
05. Devil’s Metal
06. Confused
07. Guilty Of Innocence
08. Open Up
09. Shores Of Sin
10. Cold Gin
11. Mind Rape

Bonus tracks

12. Dehumanization
13. Silent Killer
14. Witches Of Knave

CD 3:

"Fall From Grace" (1990)

01. Evil Priest
02. Why You Do This
03. Mistress Of Pain
04. Road Mutants
05. Voracious Souls
06. Confused
07. Bored
08. Kill As One
09. Guilty Of Innocence
10. Shores Of Sin
11. Final Death

Bonus track

12. 3rd Floor

CD 4:

"Rarities" (2005)

01. Vulture's Nest
02. The Hurt
03. Conflict Of Interest
04. A Passing Thought
05. Elergy
06. Aspirations
07. Dismal
08. The Morrows Memoirs
09. Samson
10. Frolic Through The Park
11. Betrayed

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