Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 83: Rob Cavestany

Rob Cavestany is the founding member, main songwriter and lead guitarist for Bay Area thrash metal band Death Angel. Rob founded the band in 1982 in San Francisco, California and is now the only remaining original member in the band. Death Angel’s latest album “Humanicide” was released in 2019. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Rob to learn about the five albums that shaped him.

Elton John “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973)

“One of the first records I can remember loving from my dad’s vinyl collection. I was fortunate to get a great introduction to music through my dad’s albums. I would stare at the artwork, reading the lyrics and being transported to other places in time. Made me fall in love with music.”

KISS “Alive II” (1977)

“This double live album sent me down the path of hard rock music. It also led to me and my cousins learning to play instruments so we could rock and roll all night and party every day. This plan was solidified after seeing them live in concert in 1979!”

Black Sabbath “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” (1973)

“I wore this tape out delving into the dark sounds of Sabbath. This was one of many classic albums I was discovering at the time that took me in the direction of heavy metal music.”

Ozzy Osbourne “Diary of a Madman” (1981)

“Incredibly important record for me! I credit this album and Randy Rhoads for the life I live today. Randy Rhoads was my first true guitar hero and I really got serious about learning how to play guitar and write songs inspired by him and this record. I found the motivation it took to work hard enough to make dreams become reality.”

Metallica “Kill ‘Em All” (1983)

“This album and band were pivotal in our band’s musical direction. Listening to this record then experiencing them live at The Keystone Berkeley for the first time changed my life. The energy and musicianship mixed with angst and attitude was bar none. After absorbing this new sound and scene, Death Angel evolved from a heavy metal band to a turbocharged, faster-paced, much more aggressive thrash metal band. I would normally list ‘Ride the Lightning’ as my favourite Metallica record but ‘Kill ‘Em All’ was more of a life-changing record.”

“This was an interesting list to compile because obviously tons of important records were left out. This assignment made me think about those moments in time. Interesting how music can literally change your life.”