Death Angel has a scary name and about 20 feet of black hair among the five members, but despite song titles like "Kill as One," the brand of metal it played at WUST Radio Hall Wednesday night wasn't too terrifying. Inspired equally by Black Flag and Black Sabbath, the group lacks the punk anarchy of the former and the theatrical extremes of the latter, though singer Mark Osegueda did a good Sabbath-era Ozzy Osbourne imitation.
For visuals the band members swing their hair wildly rather than rely on any "death rock" props common to the genre. The music is overly ambitious, with too many songs becoming a heavy metal suite of sorts, whose multiple parts diffused the impact that the jet engine guitars definitely had. "Room With a View," sung by guitarist Robert Cavestany, was an attempt at breaking up the set, but the singing fell flat and the minor-key mid-tempo number could have been any number of Guns N' Roses wannabes. The sound mix was surprisingly good, letting the voices come through with intelligible lyrics, and the playing was very tight, especially Andrew Galeon's drumming. The two guitarists tried to stay away from too many cliches, but inevitably succumbed. With time they could develop a style and sound of their own, along the lines of the songs "Confused" and "Disturbing the Peace," but their stylistic exercises sounded too much like those of a band in transition.