Dark Angel - Darkness Descends review



Reviewer:
10

245 users:
8.44
Band: Dark Angel
Album: Darkness Descends
Release date: November 1986


01. Darkness Descends
02. The Burning Of Sodom
03. Hunger Of The Undead
04. Merciless Death
05. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)
06. Black Prophecies
07. Perish In Flames
08. Merciless Death [live] [1998 re-release bonus]
09. Perish In Flames/Darkness Descends [live] [1998 re-release bonus]
Darkness Descends On Philadelphia - DFA Live At The Trocadero, October 23rd, 1988 [2008 reissue bonus]
10. The Burning Of Sodom [live]
11. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not) [live]
12. Merciless Death [live]
13. Perish In Flames [live]
14. Darkness Descends [live]
Darkness Descends On Reseda - DFA Live At The Country Club, April 22nd, 1989 [2008 reissue bonus]
15. We Have Arrived [live]
16. The Burning Of Sodom [live]
17. Death Is Certain (Life Is Not) [live]


October/November 1986 marks the greatest time in the history of thrash with the release of the unholy trinity of thrash. This, alongside Reign In Blood and Pleasure To Kill are the three best thrash albums to ever be produced. I will not waste my time talking about the other so-called great thrash albums from 1986. Darkness Descends is the best among the three, stands a mile above the others, and is the only album across all genres of heavy metal that I have come across that deserves to be rated 10. Only Demolition Hammer's Epidemic Of Violence matches this in the brutality aspect, but this blows it out of the water when it comes to riffs and solos.

This is the physical manifestation of violence, a lesson in violence, surgery without anesthesia. The riffs are fast, heavy, and mean. My god! How does Don Doty utter all those words at the neck-breaking pace that this album plays at? The drumming of Gene Hoglan is the fastest you will ever hear on any thrash album; this album leaves you no choice but to air drum, air guitar, and bang your head at the same time. Gene Hoglan must have been on some crystal meth while recording this album and the band as a whole must have snorted all sorts of drugs to conjure up this piece of murderous, in-your-face thrash.

The production is kinda rough, but that adds to the mean atmosphere rather than detracting from the musical genius on display here. This is as merciful a death as one can get; by the time the 35 minutes are up, your brain will be dead and you will be thrashing about like a fish taken out of water. The standout tracks are "Merciless Death", "Darkness Descends", and "Black Prophecies". This album has zero filler and Exodus foreshadowed the release of this album when they wrote the lyrics "Get in our way and we're going to take your life, kick in your face and rape and murder your wife, plunder your town your homes they'll burn to the ground, you won't hear a sound until my knife's in your back, the Dark Angel Attack!"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10

Written by Maasai Mara | 13.01.2019


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
K†ulu
Rating:
6.8
1986 is considered a golden year for Thrash Metal releases: Master Of Puppets, Reign In Blood, Peace Sells... Dark Angel also released a CD that year called Darkness Descends. It is considered a classic by many, but I'm going to draw conclusions closer to the end.

A big change on this album is Gene Hoglan replacing Jack Schwartz on drums. As one may guess the drum work became more technical and insane, but Gene also turned out to be a great songwriter. So the lyrics written by him are impressive from the very first verse of the first song. A lot of them deal with questions of Christianity and denial of God. I can't say that I like them or share the author's opinion, but the imagery in the lyrics and word choice make me wonder if Gene Hoglan has a PhD in something. But alas this is all that is truly great about this album.

Read more ››
published 28.07.2008 | Comments (20)


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 45 users
13.01.2019 - 13:04
Bad English
Masterchief
Nice reviev, and whole 80's was good time for thrash in some Europe lands 90's as well, but we can add old school. Today's thrash isnt same, seems we miss agresivity, FTW lyrics something.
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13.01.2019 - 15:41
nikarg
Old Nick
It's a really exhausting record and Gene is a fucking unstoppable beast. The riffs are incredibly brutal. The next couple of albums also slay but Ron Rinehart is so awful that I can not enjoy them as much as this album. If you are a thrash fan and don't hold Darkness Descends in very high respect, you should stop calling yourself a thrash fan and move on to prog or something.

Cool review man, keep 'em coming!
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13.01.2019 - 15:42
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 13.01.2019 at 13:04

Today's thrash isnt same, seems we miss agresivity, FTW lyrics something.

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13.01.2019 - 19:57
Maasai Mara
Written by Bad English on 13.01.2019 at 13:04

Nice reviev, and whole 80's was good time for thrash in some Europe lands 90's as well, but we can add old school. Today's thrash isnt same, seems we miss agresivity, FTW lyrics something.


Agreed, i have tried making a top 20 of the best thrash albums and the list seems to be made up entirely of 80s and early 90s releases. The rigidity of thrash and resistance to evolution is both its strength and greatest downfall.
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13.01.2019 - 20:01
Maasai Mara
Written by nikarg on 13.01.2019 at 15:41

It's a really exhausting record and Gene is a fucking unstoppable beast. The riffs are incredibly brutal. The next couple of albums also slay but Ron Rinehart is so awful that I can not enjoy them as much as this album. If you are a thrash fan and don't hold Darkness Descends in very high respect, you should stop calling yourself a thrash fan and move on to prog or something.

Cool review man, keep 'em coming!


for the feedback. I also find the rest of their discography pretty meh, unfortunately this is the kind of thing that a majority of bands can only do once.
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You are not metal enough until you visit Kenya. The cradle of mankind, where man learnt first to work with stones and first enjoyed the sounds produced by banging stones which later influenced metal in all its sounds and genres.
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08.03.2019 - 01:20
Johnathan
It is very interesting!
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