Darkness Descends review by Dark Angel

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  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.5 (22 votes)
Dark Angel: Darkness Descends

Sound — 8
Dark Angel may very well be the fastest metal band that ever existed, as evidenced by their nickname of "LA's caffeine machine." Don't believe me? Than listen to The Burning of Sodom, now lets hear your precious Dragonforce play one of their songs that fast without screwing it up. All Dragonforce kidding aside, in 1986 Darkness Descends would prove to be one of the 3 great "extreme metal" albums that year, along with Kreator's Pleasure To Kill and another little album called Reign In Blood. The biggest star in this band is drummer Gene Hoglan, the guy must be a machine or something because is able to play ridicuously fast. On vocals we have Don Dotty who's voice reminds me a bit of the late Paul Baloff. On guitars we have Jim Durkin and Eric Meyer, and finally on bass we have Mike Gonzalez, although actually Robbie Yahn did play on this. While this album has all kinds of speed and great riffs, its biggest problem is that when listening to it, all the songs kind of blend together. Durkin and Meyer aren't exactly great lead guitarists either as their solos are of the Slayer variety. Robbie Yahn's bass is inaudible except for the start of Merciless Death. However on the plus side it does have Don Dotty, who I've always thought was a way better singer than Ron Rinehart, the bands next singer. And of course a big plus is that you have Gene Hoglan's drumming going on for it too.

Lyrics — 7
Lyrics on this album are your typical thrash lyrics, you know going out causing destruction, death yadda, yadda, yadda. If I remember correctly I think Gene Hoglan and Don Dotty handled all the lyrics. Anyway it kind of seems like the lyrics are an after thought as the bands main purpose was to play fast music.

Overall Impression — 8
Despite the fact that this album gets a little boring at times, it is still overall a good album. The riffs and drumming are brutal and fast, and really what more could you ask for. The version I have is the remastered version, it comes with some bonus tracks of live versions of Merciless Death, Perish in Flames and the title track. It also comes with linear notes written by Gene that are actually pretty funny. If someone stole this from me, I would hunt them down, kick him in the nuts, and steal back my copy of this album.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This LP blew my mind off when it was released. It righteously sits at the top spot alongside Reign in Blood etc.
    King Antichrist
    amazing thrash classic. deserves a perfect 10/10 instead of 7.7. and this CD totally beats the shit out of dragonforce
    I don't think the bass is inaudible, but I'm not such a fan of the guitar tone. Great album however. And I still think this should deserve at least an 8.5.
    I used to prefer Time Does Not Heal myself, but after giving this a few more spins this has become my new favourite. Hoglan is on prime form here!
    Silas S Thompso
    Does anyone think that if a band plays like this they could make big bucks and also keep making records for 25 years? I'm thinking of what to do with my band.
    postmortem2006 wrote: I used to prefer Time Does Not Heal myself, but after giving this a few more spins this has become my new favourite. Hoglan is on prime form here!
    I'm in a dilema now lol, since I gave this a better listen, and now I also listened to Leave Scars... I just can't decide which is my favorite...
    Silas S Thompso
    I like Darkness Descends a little more. I think that leave Scars is a bit long and drawn out. It's still great, but I also think the songs on Darkness stand out from eachother more. I ordered Time Does not heal and should be getting it in the mail any day now.