Dark Angel

Picture of Dark Angel

Darkness Descends

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends ©1986 Combat
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

1986 was a heady time for thrash and speed metal. Metallica had crashed through the gates on their way to widespread noteriety with Master of Puppets while Slayer was demolishing eardrums everywhere with Reign In Blood. Everyone wanted to be in a thrash band and labels like Combat Records were starting to churn out albums from bands all over the place. Los Angeles' Dark Angel was one of the many also-rans from the era who might often be given a pass for their generally mediocre output because they just so happened to be super-mega-ultra-star drummer Gene Hoglan's first band. Without a doubt, over the past twenty five years, he's established himself as one of heavy metal's finest percussionists and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who can kick the living crap out of his bass drum with such finesse. However, on Darkness Descends, he was merely part of a barely adequate thrash band.

Without question, Darkness Descends is an improvement over the band's messy debut We Have Arrived. But not by a lot. The band seemed solely motivated by playing rushed, high tempo music, but lacking the ability to ever sound locked in with one another. The production does little to clarify whatever the songs are trying to accomplish. Don Doty, the vocalist at the time, is monotonous and adds little character, simply spitting out lyrics at high speed. There's not a whole lot of memorable songs on this album. Instead, Darkness Descends demonstrates what would characterize this band throughout their existence. Ambitious, but never quite able to execute what they envisioned in the practice space. No matter what nostalgic types may say about this record because of Hoglan's participation, Darkness Descends is just one of the many mediocre, forgettable albums that flooded the metal world in the mid to late 80s.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2011

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