Dark Angel is hailed in the thrash metal circle for their ability to deliver articulate and challenging albums while staying true to their core attributes of primal aggression and pure speed. While their appeal never went beyond the metal underground, their recorded legacy has stood the test of time, unlike many of their peers.
Formed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California, the band went through numerous incarnations before they had a stable lineup which included Don Doty (vocalist), Rob Yahn (bassist), Jack Schwartz (drummer), and Jim Durkin and Eric Meyer (guitarists). Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, one of their demos was included in Metal Massacre IV.
In late 1985, the band released their debut album, We Have Arrived, a collection of their remaining demo tapes. While Gene Hoglan joined the band as the new drummer, his performance debut was in Darkness Descends, released under Combat Records. The much-improved album is considered one of the band’s best.
After a long hiatus, the band resurfaced with Hoglan, considered the band’s major creative force at that time. New vocalist Ron Rinehart joined the band, and the new lineup recorded Leave Scars in 1989. The album earned the band an unlikely label – progressive thrash because their songs have become longer and more complex.
Along with the release of Leave Scars, the band also introduced Brett Eriksen, their new six-stringer. After another long break, they released Time Does Not Heal in 1991. The album received critical acclaim for its ambitious songwriting. The album is also considered one of their best works yet.
When Rinehart departed, Hogland decided to break up the band and join another band, Death. He was credited as one of the contributors to Death’s best releases. In 1992, Relativity Records released a collection of Dark Angel’s finest moments. The album was titled Decade of Chaos.