Dark Angel formed in Los Angeles in the mid 80's. Dark Angel got their first
break when the song 'Welcome To The Slaughterhouse' appeared on the Metal Blade
compilation "Metal Massacre
VI." Besides the cds listed below, they also have appeared on the Ultimate
Revenge 2 Soundtrack.
Dark Angel - We Have Arrived (Dark Realm) 1985
1. "We Have Arrived"
2. "Merciless Death" (4:25)
3. "Falling from the Sky" (4:20)
4. "Welcome to the Slaughterhouse" (5:10)
5. "No Tomorrow" (6:27)
6. "Hell's on It's Knees" (4:10)
7. "Vendetta" (4:23)
The very first Dark Angel
album. Hmmm, never did understand what all the hoopla was about this one. Some
15 years later and people are still saying that this was one of the greatest
thrash albums ever recorded. In my opinion, Dark Angel before Ron Rinehart and
Gene Hoglan was the thrash metal version of a B grade horror flick. Sort of
like a poor man's Slayer. It just doesn't
hold water compared to "Leave Scars" or "Time Does Not Heal." This does not
mean I don't like it, I just don't think it's better than the band's last two
studio discs. Anyhow, my copy is a digi-pack version with some cool live photos.
Special thanks to Olaf for tracking down this one for me. This disc has been
released with two different covers.
Dark Angel - Darkness Descends (Century Media) 1986
1. "Darkness Descends"
2. "The Burning of Sodom" (3:18)
3. "Hunger of the Undead" (4:18)
4. "Merciless Death" (4:07)
5. "Death is Certain (Life is Not)" (4:18)
6. "Black Prophecies" (8:33)
7. "Perish in Flames" (4:52)
8. "Merciless Death" [live] (3:44)
9. "Perish in Flames/Darkness Descends" [live] (8:31)
Autographed by drummer Gene Hoglan.
is leaps and bounds better than the debut, in my opinion. By this point Glen
Hoglan was on board and totally annihilating with his fierce drum assault. The
band by now was possessed with being the most extreme band on the planet, and
"Darkness Descends" may very well have achieved that. It isn't until about halfway
through the disc that there is even a slow moment, and even this is only a short
bass intro for "Merciless Death," one of the best songs the band ever recorded
musically. Consequently this song is actually a re-recorded version of a song
off the first album. Lyrically the band is focusing on death and hopelessness,
with social commentaries and opinions on topics like euthanasia, war, and the
doom prophecies of Nostradamus. "The Burning of Sodom" is a song about the Biblical
account of Sodom and Gomorrah with some criticism about Christians who continue
to live in and with sin. The Century Media re-issue contains two excellent live
bonus tracks although there is little information about these tracks in the
liner notes. Both these tracks are from the "Ultimate
Revenge 2" compilation. The live songs feature Ron Rinehart on vocals rather
than Don Doty. The re-release also features improved sonics and a redesigned
insert booklet with photos, lyrics, and a commentary by Gene Hoglan.
Ultimate Revenge 2: Soundtrack (Combat) 1989
Angel "Merciless Death" [live] (3:44)
9. Dark Angel "Perish in Flames/Darkness
Descends" [live] (8:31)
If I am not mistaken, this
compliation was Ron Rinehart's debut with Dark
Angel, besides some demo recordings. Both these tracks have recently resurfaced
as bonus tracks on Century Media's re-issue of "Darkness Descends."
My copy is autographed by Dark Angel vocalist Ron Rinehart. For a full review of this CD, see the "Ultimate
Revenge 2" compilation review.
Dark Angel - Leave Scars (Combat) 1989
|1."The Death of Innocence" (3:47)
2."Never to Rise Again" (3:53)
3."No One Answers" (7:49)
4."Cauterization" [instrumental] (7:17)
5."Immigrant Song" (1:47)
6."Older Than Time Itself" (6:57)
7."Worms" [instrumental] (2:15)
8."The Promise of Agony" (8:24)
9."Leave Scars" (7:40)
LP autographed by Ron Rinehart.
Pure aggression! Pure thrash! One of the original 80's California thrash bands. This
disc features new screamer Ron Rinehart, who in my opinion, is a slightly stronger
vocalist than Don Doty. Drummer Gene Hoglan has gone on to do stuff with bands
like Death and Testament.
I always thought Dark Angel's lyrics on the first two albums were a bit to stereotypical,
focusing on "evil" imagery (i.e. "Mercyless Death" &
"Perish in Flames"), but by this point they were focusing more on
social and personal topics. This made for more interesting and more disturbing
songs, in my lonely opinion. This disc was selling for stupid prices on eBay,
I got lucky and paid $3.99 in the used bins of Hasting's. (Gotta love a bargain.)
In 1999, however, Century Media reissued this disc making the price come way
down. Had this one autographed by Ron when I met him in Long Beach, California
with his new band Oil in the summer of
Dark Angel - Live Scars (Century Media) 1989
1."Leave Scars" (9:30)
2."The Burning of Sodom" (3:34)
3."Never to Rise Again" (4:06)
4."Death is Certain (Life is Not)" (3:52)
5."The Promise of Agony" (8:45)
6."We Have Arrived" (4:00)
7."The Death of Innocence" (5:35)
8."I Don't Care About You" (3:22)
A fistful of axe-grinding,
thrash metal played before a sold out crowd in D.A.'s home state of California.
The entire disc is excellent with the possible exception of the punk
cover "I Don't Care About You", originally by Fear. Picked
up this German import version just in time to have it autographed by Ron Rinehart
when I saw him perform with Oil on May
19, 2001 in Azusa, CA. This CD came as part of the Combat
Boot box set.
Dark Angel - Time Does Not Heal (Century Media) 1991
1."Time Does Not
2."Pain's Invention, Madness" (7:43)
3."Act of Contrition" (6:09)
4."The New Priesthood" (7:13)
6."An Ancient Inherited Shame" (9:15)
7."Trauma and Catharsis" (8:19)
8."Sensory Deprivation" (7:34)
9."A Subtle Induction" (5:09)
sticker on the front of the vinyl release of "Time Does Not Heal"
stated, Health Warning: this album contains 246 riffs. Well, that
be true or not, this is one pummeling thrash album. Unlike it's predecessor,
"Time Does Not Heal," slows down a bit here and there which
actually makes the disc my favorite as it allows some room to breathe.
Even so, few have been able to match the speed or intensity of this disc.
Even the modern black metal bands cannot touch this disc. Depending on
who you ask, some would say this is a masterpiece, others would say it
is the best thrash disc ever. I would agree with both. "Time Does Not
Heal" is musically one of the best thrash discs ever.
this album, like "Leave Scars" focuses more on social and personal
topics. Several of the songs take a look at religion and how corrupt or
frustrating it has become to many. While I do not always agree with their
lyrical ideas, I can at least understand most of them. Perhaps if some
Christians paid attention to lyrics like this, they would be able to better
understand those who disagree with them and would be able to do something
about it. One song in particulal, however, I find to be a bit ignorant.
"The New Priesthood" makes the claim "we are more than God...History's
shown you that answers can't be found above, life's great questions are
tackled only by us." OK, whatever! This statement still pisses me
off. Maybe that was the whole point of the song but the fact is that history
has not proven this. As a matter of fact, history has shown that man's
theories on life are usually wrong. Science cannot, and will never be
able to explain the origins of life, so to make such a claim is just stupid.
There are some things that science cannot even begin to study, like a
miracle. But enough of my ranting.
was the last Dark Angel disc as Ron decided to split and the remaining
members decided not to pursue another vocalist. The timing of Ron's decision
was real bad, however, as the band had just given away the rights to all
their old albums in order to get out of their contract. The reasons for
this was they were offered a contract by a major label. So, when the band
broke up they had neither the rights to their old material and they were
never given advances from their new record company either. Probably for
the better, however, seeing as how big labels tend to ruin incredible
bands. (ie. Raven, Metallica,
etc.) Unfortunately this means that the band is seeing no royalties from
the current crop of re-issues. (At least this is the story I have been
told. I have also been told by others that the above reason for the band's
demise is false, however, my information comes directly from Ron Rinehart
and seems to be reinforced on the biography inside the recent re-issue
of "Time Does Not Heal," which includes quotes from Gene Hoglan.)
Hoglan has been the most visible of the members since the bands demise
adding his incredible drumming skills to Death and Testament before joining Strapping
Young Lad. Recently Ron Rinhart has begun to make some noise with
his new band Oil. Rumors have spread
for years of a Dark Angel reformation but to no avail. My copy of "Time
Does Not Heal" was re-released by Century Media in 1999 and included
some nice live shots of the band as well as a bio written by Jeff Wagner
from Metal Maniacs. I also have this disc autographed by Ron.
1991 Tour Shirt (autographed by Ron Rinehart)
1991 European Tour Shirt (Front)
1991 European Tour Shirt (Back)
Ron Rinehart and myself. (I'm on the left.)
In 2003 Dark
Angel reformed with Eric Myer, Ron Rinehart and Gene Hoglan. The band was set
to tour the U.S. and rumored to be working on a new CD, but nothing ever surfaced
other than the track "Creeping Death" on the "Metallica Attack"
CD and one show in the L.A. area.
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