Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dark Angel


Dark Angel became known in thrash metal circles for their ability to deliver some of the genre's most challenging and articulate albums without ever losing touch with its core attributes of pure speed and primal aggression. And although, like many of their peers, the band's appeal would never really extend beyond the metal underground, their recorded legacy has stood the test of time much better than the bulk of their '80s thrash metal peers.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1983, Dark Angel went through countless incarnations
before settling on a somewhat stable lineup featuring vocalist Don Doty, guitarists Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin, bassist Rob Yahn, and drummer Jack Schwartz. After having one of their demos, "Welcome to the Slaughterhouse," chosen for inclusion on Brian Slagel's Metal Massacre IV collection in 1985, the group proceeded to assemble their remaining demo tapes into a primitive, but enthusiastic first album called We Have Arrived, released later that year. New drummer Gene Hoglan joined the band in time to be pictured on the album sleeve, but made his performance debut on 1986's much improved Darkness Descends, released by thrash metal-friendly Combat Records, and usually viewed by fans as the band's true arrival. Bassist Yahn would depart shortly after the album's release (replaced by Mike Gonzalez), soon to be followed by original vocalist Doty at tour's end.

Unsure about their next step, the Dark Angel undertook a long hiatus before resurfacing with drummer Hoglan firmly entrenched as the band's major creative force. After drafting new vocalist Ron Rinehart, the band recorded 1989's Leave Scars -- the first of two albums which earned them the unlikely label of progressive thrash, due to the longer, more complex songs the band had begun composing. Recorded in April 1989 and released later that year, Live Scars introduced new six-stringer Br
ett Eriksen, who had recently replaced Durkin, and documented the group's ferocious live energy. Another extended break ensued before the recording of what is arguably their finest effort, 1991's Time Does Not Heal. Hailed by critics for the sheer creative scope of its ambitious songwriting, the album was considered the last word on technical thrash metal, but arrived at the end of thrash metal's time in the limelight and sold poorly. The departure of Rinehart soon thereafter convinced Hoglan to breakup the band, and he eventually joined Florida's Death and contributed to some of their finest albums. Relativity Records issued a collection of Dark Angel's finest moments, Decade of Chaos in 1992.

We Have Arrived (1985)


For a band that later distinguished itself for its technical proficiency, Dark Angel's arrogantly titled debut We Have Arrived is as primitive as it gets. Barely more than a full-length demo (even less than that by contemporary standards), the album collects the fledging L.A. thrashers at their garage band rawest. Besides "Welcome to the Slaughterhouse," which had given them their first exposure via Brian Slagel's Metal Massacre VI compilation, the band also belts their way through such primitive, demonically obsessed moshers as "Falling From the Skies," "Hell's on Its Knees," and the seriously dated title track (replete with piercing falsetto screams). [Reissued on CD with different cover art in 1997 by French label Axe Killer, the album will only interest serious thrash enthusiasts.]
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mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 45mb


Darkness Descends (1986)


It took the arrival of drummer Gene Hoglan to elevate Dark Angel above the uncultivated noise fests captured on their amateurish first album, We Have Arrived; and in many ways, their follow-up 1986 release, Darkness Descends, represents the group's true debut. From the very first crushing riff of the title track, it becomes obvious that the production values and technical discipline which had eluded the band the first time around would be brought screaming into focus on this album -- still considered a minor thrash metal classic. To be fair, Dark Angel only had a few tricks at their disposal, but they execute them extremely well. The results are a number of largely one-dimensional, but surprisingly memorable headbanging classics, including "Merciless Death," "Death Is Certain, Life Is Not," and the vicious "Perish in Flames." Over eight minutes in length, "Black Prophecies" at times sounds like a forced experiment, but it's actually the group's first stab at the progressive thrash style which would characterize subsequent releases. Under Hoglan's supervision, Dark Angel would spend the next two years refining their sound to achieve just that, but for many purists, Darkness Descends remains the band's definitive thrash statement. [Reissued by Century Media in 1998 with two bonus live tracks and much improved sound quality, Darkness Descends is a worthy discovery for committed thrashers.]
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mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 105mb

Leave Scars (1989)


After a long hiatus, L.A.'s Dark Angel resurfaced in 1989 with their most ambitious album thus far, Leave Scars -- which continued to perfect their already quite impressive musical chops, while simultaneously refining their brutal thrashing. In effect, this is the album which inaugurates their progressive thrash phase, as increasingly complex structures and frequent, unexpected time changes result in numbers of epic proportions, such as "The Promise of Agony" and the relentless title track. New vocalist Ron Rinehart quickly proves his worth, knowing exactly where to sing and where to scream, but it's monster drummer Gene Hoglan who truly has his coming-out party, as he simultaneously displays his incredible technique and reveals himself as the band's principal songwriter and lyricist and prime instigator. With the dependable six-string tag team of Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin providing a bludgeoning backdrop, the band also proves they can still keep it short and sweet on highlights "The Death of Innocence" and "Never to Rise Again." Ultimately, Leave Scars only fails to score higher marks because Dark Angel forgot to add a final, crucial ingredient to its potent recipe: melody. And sure enough, addressing this small oversight would result in their magnum opus, 1991's colossal Time Does Not Heal.
Click to Download

mp3 - 320kbps

rar - 111mb


Time Does Not Heal (1991)


Though some purists claim to prefer the unbridled ferocity of 1986's Darkness Descends, most experts would agree that Dark Angel only reached their creative peak with 1991's Time Does Not Heal -- a veritable masterpiece of thinking-man's thrash metal. An oxymoron, you say? Perhaps, but with this true colossus of a record, the thrash stalwarts provided what many consider to be the definitive statement in progressive thrash metal. Just imagine what ...And Justice for All would have sounded like if Metallica had recorded it with the attitude of Kill 'Em All, and you'll get the picture. Led by drummer, lyricist, sometime guitarist, and principal songwriter Gene Hoglan, the L.A. quintet packed more riffs (246 total, according to enthusiastic press releases of the time) into this ambitious, long-running disc, than most of their Bay Area neighbors had managed in their entire careers. Excellent tracks like "Act of Contrition" and "Psychosexuality" test the listener's endurance with their sheer length and complexity, but almost every piece is essential to the puzzle, and there is very little extra fat to speak of here. Even more significant is the album's broad lyrical scope (on par with Anthrax's best efforts), exploring such sensitive, rarely visited issues as rape ("An Ancient, Inherited Shame") and child abuse ("Time Does Not Heal"). But Hoglan also delves in the more typical subjects of the genre, like religion ("The New Priesthood"), insanity ("Pain's Invention, Madness"), and social ostracism ("Trauma and Catharsis") with an eloquence and sobriety rarely seen. And yet, despite all it's highbrow aspirations, Time Does Not Heal is first and foremost an amazingly brutal thrash metal album, its sound brought into crisp focus by Pantera and Soundgarden producer Terry Date in ways never achieved on the band's ill-recorded earlier efforts. Sadly, Time Does Not Heal arrived in record stores toward the tail end of thrash metal's brief reign and never received its fair due, turning instead into a well-kept secret for knowledgeable fans of extreme music.
Click to Download
mp3 - 256kbps

rar - 114mb

* Click here for more info & full album covers.

15 comments:

H. said...

We Have Arrived (1985)
http://www.zshare.net/download/2343308811ceb1/

Darkness Descends (1986)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=E0ZOWMGO

Leave Scars (1989)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7O0YK78P

Time Does Not Heal (1991)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BCJXBPIW

Nick said...

I love it - this city is guilty, crime life

Nick said...

I've just realised that I have heard Dark Angel, I have Darkness Descends. I recognised the album artwork, so downloaded it first. I even recognised the photos from the back cover. It finally dawned on me when I heard Death Is Certain (Life Is Not). D’oh how thick am I? Thanks for the album I already have, and the others I’m now downloading

Kev said...

"Death of Innocence" and "Never to Rise Again" are definitely one of the best opening combos on any thrash album.

I once read a review that said Dark Angel were too fast for their own good, but isn't what this kind of music is all about?

nick said...

I agree with Kev. This is proper Thrash Metal (and that's a UK west country "proper")

H. said...

lol. Glad you guys like. This is classic stuff. If you were into thrash/ speed/ death metal this band was a MUST!

Thanks for commenting.

blueeffusion said...

thanks for covering a thrash band many metal fans neglect.

long live the atomic clock!

DGYDP said...

Thanks for the Dark Angel albums! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi !
Was looking for "Dark Angel", here they are ! Thanks a lot & merci beaucoup !
Hervé

Anonymous said...

hii
i love dark angel
thanks for upload this albums
i have a question

somebody in here, have a live bootleg of the time does not heal tour

Anonymous said...

please if you have it, send me a mail to slaytanic_1983@hotmail.com

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Taeil said...

Greatest/fastest and most intense metal band out of that era. Gene Hoglan is GOD!

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franklin said...

Hi guyz, I'm trying to download darkness descends, but the sight says invallid link. Can anyone post the right link? Thanks in advance.