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Dark Angel: Discography (1984-1991)
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Dark Angel: Discography (1984-1991)

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- 4 Studio and 1 Live Albums. Reissues 1999-2008. Bonus Tracks -

Dark Angel es un grupo de thrash metal de Los Angeles, California. Fundado en 1981, ha sufrido varios cambios de integrantes y separaciones en varias ocasiones. Publicaron álbumes de 1985 a 1991, hasta cuando se separaron en 1992. Su estilo over-the-top (canciones muy rápidas, pesadas y largas con muchos cambios de ritmo, letras de canciones y piezas instrumentales extendidos) les valió el apodo de "la cafeína de la máquina de Los Ángeles".

El grupo se volvió a reunir en 2002, sin embargo, los problemas vocales de Ron Rinehart después de un accidente los obligó a cancelar planes para viajar más lejos. Desde entonces, el grupo estuvo disuelto una vez más. Después de meses de especulación, Dark Angel anunció oficialmente su segunda reunión en octubre de 2013.


Dark Angel: Discography (1984-1991):

Dark Angel - We Have Arrived (1984)
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Thrash Metal
Dark Angel’s first effort is a bit different from the following, violent Darkness
Descends. Here we don’t have Gene Hoglan at the drums so the speed is a
bit lower and the violence is more focused on speed metal patterns with
some interesting thrash influences. Looking at the period the influences
can be seen in early Slayer period and all the speed movements.

The opener, the title track is a fist in the stomach for intensity and
speed. Surely it's one of the most thrashy ones here. It features quite
fast bass drum and vocals that still have a speed metal style with high
tonalities, followed by long parts in up tempo. The following Merciless
Death is the hit here along with the hyper violent Welcome To The
Slaughterhouse. These are two examples of early violent thrash. The
Slayer influences are heavier in these songs and the bass parts in
Merciless Death are memorable for their obscurity.

Here the vocals become more harsh and violent, as the guitars. A prelude
to the awesome Darkness Descends. Falling From The Sky is characterized
by a fast drums and catchy-obscure chorus during the refrains. It’s
good to notice how the solos maintain always a melodic component typical
of the speed genre, even if the drum tempos are faster. No Tomorrow
during the beginning riffs reminded me early Exodus, also concerning the
dark lead guitar lines, then the fast double kicks enter and the speed

The melodic, clean guitar intro to Hell’s On Its Knees reminds me
Overkill with The Years Of Decay song or Flots and Jets with Escaper
From Within. This is really great and excellent to break the heavy wall
of sound. Then the violence starts again and we have good refrains,
quite melodic guitars and screams from hell. To close this album we have
the mid paced Vendetta song, quite good with excellent lead guitar
breaks in the middle.

An album recommended to any thrash fan but also to those who prefer
speed metal instead of the Darkness Descends violence. Anyway this is a
fucking great debut. Thrash on!!!

by CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, metal-archives

1. We Have Arrived
2. Merciless Death
3. Falling From The Sky
4. Welcome To The Slaughter House
5. No Tomorrow
6. Hells On Its Knees
7. Vendetta


Don Doty - Vocals
Jack Schwartz - Drums
Rob Yahn - Bass
Jim Durkin - Guitars
Eric Meyer - Guitars


Dark Angel - Darkness Descends (1986)
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Thrash Metal
The year was 1986. Thrash was just coming into shape. Albums like Ride The Lightning,
Kill 'Em All, Feel The Fire had all defined thrash. At that time heavy
metal wasn't too much aquainted with speed and brutality at the same
time. Few bands like Venom, Kreator, Bathory had tried it befoe with
their respecrtive outputs, but none were as convincing as this one. On
17th November 1986, the world was struck down with this heavy, dark,
fast, brutal piece of music. At it's release there was practically no
album on the planet which could beat this album in terms of extremity
and brutality.

As in any thrash metal album, the guitars are the real standouts. The
guitarists are technically superb, and the riffs that they churn out are
even better. The riffs are heavy, fast, and brutal. The lead work takes
a bit of backseat on this album ( compared to the riffs of course ).
The drums are lethal (well it's Gene Hoglan what else can you expect ?).
This album features the first introduction of Gene Hoglan as a drummer
and on this album he makes full utilization of drumming skills. The bass
is burried in the drum and guitar fury so we can't hear much of it. The
vocals are violent and brutal and in short great for such an album.

The main highlight in this album is the songwriting. The songs are
straight-forward, simple and not too complex, but performed with an
energy which is never seen before. The songs stick in your head at most
by the second listen. Among the songs, the opener title track is the
best song off the album. It is straight forward and aggressive track.
Lars Ulrich ripped off the machine gun drum fills and the riffs from it
for the Metallica song One ( unsuccesfully of course!!! ). Black
Prophecies is a slower, and more doomier track. It is almost 9 minutes
long and it singlehandedly contains almost 70 riffs. The Burning Of
Sodom is a superfast song, almost 280 bmp. Merciless Death is also an
enjoyable track, with an excellent catchy chorus. The rest of the songs
are also equally good.

This album is highly recomended for anyone listening to thrash metal
music. The energy with which this album is performed is just superb. The
construction of songs and the way the riffs built upon each other is
just outstanding. Further there is the dark and dirty atmosphere brought
down by the production. The production assists the song in every
possible way. Concluding this is one of the most essential pieces of
thrash metal music, so please get it without further delay of time.

by extremesymphony, metal-archives

1. Darkness Descends
2. The Burning Of Sodom
3. Hunger Of The Undead
4. Merciless Death
5. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)
6. Black Prophecies
7. Perish In Flames

Bonus tracks:

Live at the Trocadero, Philadelphia, October 23, 1988
8. The Burning of Sodom
9. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)
10. Merciless Death
11. Perish In Flames
12. Darkness Descends

Live at the Country Club, Reseda, CA, April 22, 1989
13. We Have Arrived
14. The Burning Of Sodom
15. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)


Don Dotyb - Vocals
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Rob Yahn - Bass
Jim Durkin - Guitars
Eric Meyer - Guitars


Dark Angel - Leave Scars (1989)
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Thrash Metal
Though Darkness Descends was the audio incendiary equivalent of a wing of fighter jets
attacking a hot dog stand (aka you, the listener), creating ripples
throughout an underground starved for increasing extremity in metal
music; the band experienced a period of unrest and a nearly 3-year gap
before they could channel its followup. Bass player Rob Yahn and cult
screamer Don Doty would exit the lineup, to be replaced respectively by
Eric Gonzalez and tattooed man-beast Ron Rinehart, one of the last guys
you'd probably want to meet in a dark alley or anywhere else you'd
exchange interpersonal violence. Dark Angel had 'arrived' in its most
enduring configuration, signed with Combat Records and given further
exposure through their live performance on the Ultimate Revenge 2

Rinehart is probably the most obvious difference between this album and
Darkness Descends, with a more down to earth, shouted tone rifling
through the myriad, verbose lyrics that Gene Hoglan drafted up for this
album. Seriously, they scroll onward and onward, and not through mere
repetition, but plausible, nightmarish revelations of the psycho and
sadistic concepts being strewn over the instrumental violation. Let's
just say Dark Angel had crafted one thorough epic of mental and musical
distortion. The riffing is not unfamiliar to the previous album, but
more complex still, almost as if you took other Californian thrashers
Vio-Lence and ramped up the volatility levels of their 1988 classic
Eternal Nightmare (especially "The Death of Innocence"). Yet, where that
album provokes a fresh, bright brawl that leers at you from a street
corner or a pile of junked automobiles, Leave Scars is more dark and
personal, a Nightmare on Elm Street of technical thrash sans the shitty
plot and acting. The stuff of broken homes and bedrooms. Drug addled
depressions. Paranoid schizophrenia.

I've often complained about the production on this album, and its my
least favorite aspect. Sure, it's workmanlike, fairly balanced and
audible, but not entirely adequate for the level of riffs being wrought.
As atmosphere, it functions like an overture to dementia, and you'll be
so stunned by the constant hustle of the guitars and Gene Hoglan's
storming, almost unparalleled battering that you are unlikely to notice
so much. The album opens with a three hit onslaught, "The Death of
Innocence" a symphony of fists beating an asylum wall before the grimy
assailant that is "Never to Rise Again". Rinehart shines here, his
vocals creating a manic percussion that perfectly flows astride the sore
joints of the guitarists' digits. But as great a momentum as these
tracks create, it is the stunning floor work of "No One Answers" and its
incredibly evil opening riff that inform us that true greatness has
occurred. The ensuing breakdown is one of the finest in all of metal
history, with Slayer-like descending melodies that provide more than
just a mosh pit, but a one way ticket to personal hell.

"Cauterization" is rather lengthy for an instrumental, and it might
damned well have been given lyrics, but then the word count of Leave
Scars would have likely surpassed the King James bible. However, the
chugging, multi-tiered complex is convincing enough to level you
straight in the face, before the unexpected deviation into a cover of
Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". Now, it arguably doesn't mesh well with its
environment of psycho-sadistic emotional bombardments, but outside of a
video with Viking cat stills set to the original, it's one of the most
entertaining renditions I've heard, Rinehart proving he could scream
just like Doty if he so chose. "Older Than Time Itself" is another
favorite, its intro bearing a stark similarity to "For Whom the Bell
Tolls", but the comparison ending there as dire melodies erupt and
another intense, early breakdown sequence. "The Promise of Agony" is
another classic, the bass pedal so condensed and percussive that it
feels like there are 3-4 separate drum kits performing simultaneously in
the studio; and neither do the freakish "Worms" 'narrated instrumental,
nor the monstrous title track disappoint in the slightest.

Darkness Descends probably frightened a lot of people, and Leave Scars
honored the tradition. It honestly would not get a lot more 'extreme'
than this album in 80s thrash, without delving into the harrowing and
inevitable mutations that were death and black. The combination of
poignant, intelligent and violent imagery conjured through the lyrics is
a tight fit with the labyrinthine, constant riffing. Despite its scale,
there is no real excess here. Like Slayer, when this band wrote a
breakdown, you could feel it, and while these aren't necessarily as
potent as "Angel of Death" or "Raining Blood", they're both mighty and
appropriate to offset the dominant, faster paced surge. The one hurdle I
cannot get past is the production, it is simply not good enough for the
writing, nor as resonant as Darkness Descends or the cleaner swansong
Time Does Not Heal. But the songs themselves, barring the cover, are
pregnant with hostility, riven with ideas and in the end I prefer it
even to its highly lauded predecessor: it's marginally more interesting,
with more consistently memorable riffs and psychological, multi
perspective lyrics.

by autothrall, metal-archives

1. The Death Of Innocence
2. Never To Rise Again
3. No One Answers
4. Cauterization
5. Immigrant Song
6. Older Than Time Itself
7. Worms
8. The Promise Of Agony
9. Leave Scars

Bonus tracks:

10. The Death Of Innocence (Live)
11. No One Answers (Live)
12. Leave Scars (Live)
13. Never To Rise Again (Live)


Ron Rinehart - Vocals
Jim Durkin - Guitars (rhythm, lead), Violin Bow, Assorted Instruments, Vocals (backing)
Eric Meyer - Guitars (rhythm, lead), Vocals (backing)
Mike Gonzalez - Bass, Vocals (backing)
Gene Hoglan - Drums, Guitars (rhythm), Assorted Instruments, Vocals (backing)


Dark Angel - Live Scars (1990)
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Thrash Metal
Thrash metal was born in the live arena. Too few live recordings of thrash bands were
released. Fortunately, the live tempest of the blackened lords of
thrash Dark Angel was preserved for eternity in this all too brief, but
essential mini live album.

Just five songs, recorded at the peak of the band's powers in 1989, is
an amazing document of the sheer intensity and sonic violence this
legendary band could produce. You can literally feel the sweat dripping
from the walls and smell the bloodlust of the frenzied crowd of
bemulleted thrashers.

Strangely, this recording had the best production job of any Dark Angel
release up to that point. The riffs will start rabid thrashers drooling,
as they cut through crystal clear, as do the leads. Gene Hoglan's
drumming is incredibly precise, but also complex and brutal. Ron
Rinehart's vocals also surpass his studio efforts.

A nice inclusion on this album is the title track from Dark Angel's
first, and now nigh on impossible to find, first album "We Have
Arrived". It holds up very well against the later material.

A short, sharp blast of thrash fury. This is the near perfect live mini album.

by Vim_Fuego, metal-archives

1. Leave Scars
2. The Burning Of Sodom
3. Never To Rise Again
4. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)
5. The Promise Of Agony
6. We Have Arrived
7. The Death Of Innocence
8. I Don't Care About You


Ron Rinehart - Vocals
Eric Meyer - Guitars
Brett Eriksen - Guitars
Mike Gonzalez - Bass
Gene Hoglan - Drums


Dark Angel - Time Does Not Heal (1991)
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Thrash Metal
Much like their cover model had transformed from a frightened girl to some hunted
street walker in pink, Dark Angel spent the two years between their
Leave Scars and Time Does Not Heal in the throes of maturation. Whether
or not this is welcome would really depend on who you asked, but seeing
as the Californian brutes had already released the raw, forceful cult
classic (Darkness Descends) and the sloppily produced, yet punishing
viper's nest of unforgettable ideas (Leave Scars), it would have been
destitute to merely repeat either experience. Time Does Not Heal goes
the distance, expanding on the lyrical elements of its predecessor while
sporting the most professional refinement of any album in their career.

I, for one, am thankful for the modifications. I won't claim that this
record is ultimately superior to Leave Scars, but it's nice to finally
be able to hear each of the band's talented instrumentalists in equal
measure, from the muted fervor of Eric Meyer and (Jim Durkin's
replacement) Brett Eriksen, to the intense control of Gene Hoglan, to
the bass, thick and pluggy here but favorable to its presence on the
prior outing. Another metamorphosis has transpired in the vocal region,
as Ron Rinehart has decided to splay his meter out in a broader path of
almost operatic chagrin. He still hacks and barks when necessary, but in
general he gives more breath to the lines, creating an unnerving sense
of melody above the rather blunt brutality of the guitars.
Semi-technical, rich in hostility and not unlike Heathen's Victims of
Deception with its mildly processed edge of modernity.

There are some incredibly well composed pieces here, beginning with the
title track and its opening salvo of acoustic guitars that attract the
frenzied swagger of the electrics in a clash that better resembles the
Leave Scars material. "Pain's Invention, Madness" is hands down one of
the best pieces in Dark Angel's career, a bombastic juggernaut of
atmospheric chords that glide over the muted substrate, simple and
catchy chorus riff, and an impressive, schizoid climax with repressed
Rinehart screaming at around 7:00. Note that the general length of the
tracks has not changed from the previous output, all of these are
between 6-9 minutes in length and offer some substantial variation
throughout. "Act of Contrition" is not a personal favorite, there are
some wonderful guitars but here I felt Rob's voice stretched a little
too awkwardly, but the savage "New Priesthood" and "Psychosexuality"
more than compensate, and the entire closing third of Time Does Not Heal
is magnificent, in particular the roiling slugfest of "Sensory
Deprivation" and "A Subtle Induction", the latter making use of some
thick, percussive bass elements in the odd intro.

This might not be the fastest of Dark Angel's offerings, as the band
seems to hang closer to the mid pace and substitute weighty low end
rhythms for a mesh of exhilaration and acceleration, but it's no less
proficient and technical. Even though bands like Deathrow, Artillery,
Coroner and Mekong Delta had released bewildering musical epics by 1991,
this was still impressively structured composition for its day, far
more ambitious than the lions share of miserable tough guy groove metal
elements that were beginning to inoculate the West Coast thrash scene
(well, those bands who hadn't turned to funk or grunge). Time Does Not
Heal is yet another of those marginally late wonders to the Golden Age
of the genre. It constantly feels as if it's hanging on the precipice,
above a beckoning chasm of oblivion, along with the other natural
successors to the heavily structured thrash of Master of Puppets, Reign
in Blood, Terrible Certainty, Eternal Nightmare, Taking Over and so
forth. It's an appreciable, intelligent and intricate swansong, although
it wasn't aware of that at its time of conception; and the third Dark
Angel disc in a row worth its weight in headbanging release.

by autothrall, metal-archives

1. Time Does Not Heal
2. Pain's Invention, Madness
3. Act Of Contrition
4. The New Priesthood
5. Psychosexuality
6. An Ancient Inherited Shame
7. Trauma And Catharsis
8. Sensory Deprivation
9. A Subtle Induction

Bonus tracks:

10. The Promise Of Agony (Live)
11. I Don't Care About You (Live)


Ron Rinehart - Vocals
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Mike Gonzalez - Bass
Brett Eriksen - Guitars
Eric Meyer - Guitars


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