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Death Angel, Mercenary, Demolition, Extrema - Killing Season World Tour

After The Art of Dying in 2004, Death Angel now present us Killing Season, their second full-length since their initial split 18 years ago. A big world tour to promote the record has been planned, and the European trek kicked off here in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where old school thrash addicts Carn, Sledgehammer and myself were of course present.

I do not often criticize band names, but Extrema... come guys, you’ve got to be able to come up with a band name that’s not that lame. In both looks and music wise the resemblances with Pantera were abundantly clear, they looked like guys who barbeque all summer long and they had this raw southern sound. Throw in some more melodic elements, very much like Drowning Pool, and you’ve got a pretty good idea what Extrema is about. Unfortunately for them you’ve got to offer something more than this; I guess no one is waiting for this style without any refreshing elements. Apart from this, they gave a tight show and they were a good entertainer while drinking the first beers. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

If I’m correct, it was the first time that Demolition from Austria played in The Netherlands since their establishment in 1996. This from origin thrash metal band made me feel like witnessing some kind of blackened death/thrash act, probably due to the mediocre sound and also because their latest effort Relict IV is a bit more heavier and faster than their older works. It was at least brought to us with a lot of brutality, which did work really well for me tonight, but for the rest nothing special... (Mindsaver)

The main support of the evening then: from Denmark we were presented with Mercenary. Most people have gotten acquainted with them when they released the great record The Hours that Remain in 2006. For a while they were among the most promising and popular bands from Denmark, until Volbeat came across. Mercenary is power metal with the usual high vocals, but with much more balls. The instrumental base of the songs is way stronger than the average power metal band. Instrumentally it comes closer to melodic death metal, so that also non-power metal fans like me can enjoy a show of them. And although I’m not too fond of the just released record Architect of Lies, this was exactly what I did again. Their mix of strong, heavy riffs, provided with a good sound, with those over the top vocals just really work well. A welcome variety to those high vocals is the grunts of the guitar player, because after a while I do get a little tired of those high notes. That’s why I’m not too disappointed when they leave the stage to make room for Death Angel, but they did a good job again. (Sledgehammer Messiah)

Death Angel simply rocks. These San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans started their European tour tonight, and it showed that the guys were looking forward to it. These guys have been around since 1982 (so the band is as old as I am!), but even after 25 years these guys just live to THRASH!

The setlist was dominated by material of the band's new album, Killing Season (they played 10 of the 11 tracks!). The old-school crowd didn't really seem to get wild with the new material, but I guess that's somewhat to be expected these days. Classics like 'Kill as One', 'The Evil Priest' and '3rd Floor' didn't go unnoticed though, with quite some moshpit-action happening.

The band closed with 'Thrown to the Wolves', the badass opener of 2004's The Art of Dying. Heads banged a lot this night due to the excellent form of the band, but I think that a more mixed setlist would have made a bigger impact with the crowd. (Carn)

Setlist Death Angel:
01. Lord of Hate
02. Evil Priest
03. Sonic Beatdown
04. Dethroned
05. Voracious Souls
06. Carnival Justice
07. Buried Alive
08. Soulless
09. When Worlds Collide
10. Seemingly Endless Time
11. God vs. God
12. Steal the Crown
13. Devil Incarnate
14. 3rd Floor
15. Kill as One
16. Resurrection Machine
17. Thrown to the Wolves

Pictures by Bert of