By Ola Mazzuca
Germany is famous for its beer drinking, festival loving rabid heavy metal fans. This is where Bay Area thrash giants Death Angel filmed their very first live DVD showcasing two energetic sets in which the band perform their most mosh-worthy classics.
The first performance was filmed at Rock Hard festival in Gelsenkirchen to a fairly large crowd. Act III’s “Seemingly Endless Time” gets the audience going while tracks from their comeback album The Art of Dying are highly favoured. The quality of concert footage is well done as the band play a strong set where everything is heard loud and clear.
Live Factory in Adelsheim houses the second performance, where the crowd is just as responsive and intense as the one prior though the contrast between a small venue and a festival is apparent in every way. There may be many varied camera shots and angles incorporated, but sound quality is poor, and at times it is hard to hear Mark Osegueda’s vocals over the rest of the band members. Tracks from The Art of Dying, Act III and Frolic Through the Park are honored throughout while some newer material from Killing Season (such as “Sonic Beatdown” and “Dethroned”) receive much enthusiasm.
Overall, the band give an impression of exhaustion at the Adelsheim show compared to their set at Rock Hard festival. It should also be considered that small venues always have that more intimate and in your face feel compared to the free atmosphere of a festival.
Not only do two shows span much viewing time, but two bonus video clips are generously added making the DVD 189 minutes.
Death Angel has been involved in the thrash scene since youth. Sonic German Beatdown is not necessarily a memoir of their career, but a reflection of the impact they have on their fans.
Sonic German Beatdown is recommended for anyone who has followed the band over time and for people who genuinely love thrash. Even though launching a DVD is a first for Death Angel, the film definitely displays their most notable work that is cherished worldwide.