Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

Bay Area thrashers, Death Angel, have been proudly inducing neck trauma and countless trips to the chiropractor for decades and this tour is no different.  Bringing their ferocious legacy to Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, in support of their latest album, Humanicide, Death Angel has brought along Neo-Classical shredders, Exmortus as well as the Classic Thrash outfit, Hell Fire, to decimate cities all across North America.

The first time I stumbled upon Hell Fire’s latest album, Mania, I honestly thought I was hearing a band that I might have mistakenly skipped over in the 80’s speed metal at the local record store.  When Jake Nunn, vocalist and guitarist of Hell Fire, hit that first pummeling riff from “Warpath” at Hawthorne Theatre I was transported to the heydays of thrash.  Screaming dual-guitars, soaring vocals, and leather were the order of the day.  They finished off their blistering set with the catchy sing-a-long anthem, “Conquerers” and I was overtaken with the same chills of hearing Kill Em’ All for the first time all over again.

Prepared for battle, the Neo-Classical Extreme Metal outfit, Exmortus, led by guitar virtuoso and vocalist, Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez, have never been one to follow convention.  Being equally influenced by Extreme Metal as much as the Classical composers of the past, the band is widely respected throughout the metal world for the technical mastery of their instruments and brutality of their delivery, meanwhile keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground, unlike their frilly-sleeved contemporaries of the 80’s.  Exmortus’ flawlessly executed an epic curated selection of their most aggressive sword-wielding favorites, including songs off their 2014 release, Slave to the Sword as well as their monumental, The Sound of Steel. Exmortus’ fearless leader was prepared to teach a lesson to the audience from the Classical masters of old.  Conan called out to the audience, “Are you ready for some Beethoven!”  And an unworldly flurry of notes blasted forth, unveiling a modern metal interpretation of the Classical master’s “Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)”.  Exmortus’ love of instrumental re-imaginings didn’t end there.  They continued with their own version of the theme from Beetlejuice, the beloved cult classic from the late 80’s as heard on their latest EP, Legions of the Undead.

The words Death Angel are synonymous with speed, intensity and unrestrained power.  Their fan-base are relentless, dedicated and are unabashingly proud of their Bay Area Thrash heroes for all they have achieved.  The band wasted no time getting straight to the point, like a runaway bulldozer pulverizing everything in its path, they opened with the song “Humanicide”, the crushing opening track off their latest album of the same name.  Fans reminisced about the many times they’ve seen their heroes perform in the past and proudly showed their hero’s logo not just on their chest but permanently branded on their forearms.  Veteran vocalist, Mark Osegueda, is still as fierce a front-man as ever.  The smile on his face as he sang with his arm around founding member and lead guitarist, Rob Cavestany made it plain to see that this was not just a band, it was a brotherhood.  Rhythm guitarist, Ted Aguilar, drummer Will Carroll, and bassist Damien Sisson headbanged relentlessly, rounding out the Death Angel lineup for the last decade.  The opening of the band’s epic 10min instrumental gift to Thrash, “The Ultra-Violence” was played was such intensity, I put my camera to the side and was sent into a possessed frenzy, running in circles and slamming into the wall of fans that made up the exterior of the circle pit until I could barely stand.  They played songs from every era of their prestigious career including 2016’s, The Evil Divide all the way back to their first groundbreaking album, The Ultra-Violence.

The Humanicide Tour is every hesher’s dream.  An in-genius display of technicality and aggression that has come full circle with thrash veterans, Death Angel at the forefront, Exmortus pushing the boundaries, and Hell Fire guiding us to a new future that also echoes the past.  Grab your leather jacket, and sign yourself up for a massage in advance because you’re not walking away without some serious neck trauma by the end of this tour.



Raul Soria Jr.

Photojournalist - Portland

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Twitter