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Dark Angel Plays “Darkness Descends” Show Review 4/15/2023 Teragram Los Angeles

Dark Angel Temagram los angeles

The 80s thrash legends Dark Angel sold out three nights in a row at the Teragram in Los Angeles when they announced they would be playing their 1986 classic “Darkness Descends” in its entirety. The album is considered by many (including myself) to be one of the finest thrash albums ever recorded and still stands up today. But, unfortunately, these shows were already booked when the universe threw a giant wrench in the mix with the passing of founding member guitarist Jim Durkin.

As the date drew nearer, Dark Angel announced the shows would still go on, and Gene Hoglan’s wife Laura Christine would cover Jim Durkin’s guitar duties. I didn’t know how this would work out, but I decided to withhold my judgment.

We got to the show just before Dark Angel and missed Evil Dead, which I was OK with because I’ve never considered them better than a third-tier thrash band. The Teragram was packed but not oversold, which is nice. The Teragram is a fantastic venue, and I wish they would book more metal shows there.

The band opened with “We Have Arrived” from their debut album of the same name. Unfortunately, this song is from a period of the band’s history when they still needed to find their groove, and it sounds pretty dated now and was an odd choice. They followed with “Time Does Not Heal” from the very disappointing/unlistenable album of the same name, which also missed its mark with the crowd, but all of that changed when they ripped into “Never To Rise Again”, “No One Answers”, and “Death Of Innocence” from the album Leave Scars. At this point, the mosh bit grew, foreshadowing what was to would come.

They began playing the Darkness Descends album in track order, starting with “Darkness Descends”. Interestingly, one of the first beats would be copied almost note-for-note by Metallica two years later on the song “One” on Justice For All. So go back and listen to both songs side-by-side if you don’t believe me.

Three of the musicians onstage (Gene Hoglan, Eric Meyer, and Mike Gonzalez) had all played on Darkness Descends, but singer Ron Rinehart joined the group on the next album. While I much prefer original vocalist Don Doty to Rinehart, Ron did a great job holding down vocal duties and took nothing away from the show, and neither did Laura Christine. Both musicians held their own as consummate professionals.

The band ripped through the seven songs on Darkness Descends like it was still 1986, and the crowd responded accordingly with manic thrashing, moshing, and stage diving. Some of the highlights included “Hunger of The Undead” (which the band had never performed live till now), a smattering of the heaviest riffs from the instrumental “Older Than Time Itself” to break up some songs, and perhaps the most excellent thrash song of all time “Black Prophecies” to drive things over the top.

All things said, this is 80s thrash as good as it can possibly be done, and if you were there, consider yourself lucky, and if Dark Angel ever decides to take this on the road, this show is a must-see!


  • We Have Arrived
  • Time Does Not Heal
  • Never to Rise Again
  • No One Answers
  • Death Of Innocence
  • Darkness Descends
  • The Burning of Sodom
  • Hunger of the Undead
  • Merciless Death
  • Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)
  • Black Prophecies
  • Perish in Flames (with Older Than Time Itself riffs)

This post was edited on 4/30 to correct some mistakes in the setlist that were pointed out on Facebook here:

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Dark Angel Guitarist Jim Durkin Dead at 58, Cause of Death Unknown

Jim Durkin Dark Angel

Jim Durkin, Dark Angels founding member, guitarist, and songwriter, died from unknown causes at the age of 58 in Los Angeles. Without him, the band’s three hugely influential albums “We Have Arrived“, “Darkness Descends” and “Leave Scars” would have never happened. He departed the band in 1989 and returned in 2013.

“Darkness Descends” is considered by many in the metal community as “the greatest thrash metal album of all time” and even influenced bands like Slayer.

Statement From Family

News of his passing was shared by his wife, Annie, on Facebook:

“With a broken and heavy heart, I want to share that the love of my life, my best friend and husband, Jimmy, passed away Wednesday morning. He was not alone as I was with him along with a few close friends until the end. He will be truly missed and no one can ever replace the love I have for him. May he rest in peace. Ever Thine, Ever Mine, Ever Ours … My Immortal Beloved. I will see you again.”

Statement From Band

The band also confirmed Durkin’s passing: “We in the Dark Angel family are deeply saddened and crushed today with the news of our brother and founder Jimmy Durkin passing away Wednesday morning. We would like to thank his fans for their continuous loyalty and support. We will come out with a full statement very soon. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy while we mourn the loss of this great man.”

LA Shows

Jim was still active in Dark Angel as the only original member at the time of his passing. The band was even slated to play three sold-out shows in Los Angeles at the Teragram, playing the entire “Darkness Descends” album.

It is unknown if these shows will go on.


Rare old-school footage from 1986 featuring original singer Don Doty

2014 Finland

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What Happened To Hirax?

aton W. De Pena and james hetfield

Hirax, Katon W. De Pena, Raging Violence and Beyond

Raging Violence was the first official Hirax album Metal Blade and appeared with their first full-length, “Raging Violence” in 1985. Hirax was Katon W. De Pena (vocals), Scott Owen (guitar), Gary Monardo (bass) and John Tabares (drums).

In 1986, John Tabares left the band and was replaced by Eric Brecht (D.R.I’s. vocalist Kurt Brecht brother). After, they released a 2nd LP “Hate, Fear, and Power” (16 minutes / eight tunes). Later, the band released the live album “Blasted In Bangkok” in 1987.

Be that as it may, with strains and frustrates in the band, De Pena chose to leave and frame another group with Gene Hoglan (previous Dark Angel drummer), and Ron McGovney (former Metallica bassist). They called themselves Phantasm. After a brief tour with Nuclear Assault, they separated. In 1989, after De Pena left Phantasm, the substitution was Paul Baloff (former Exodus frontman), not long after the band separated.

The band “reformed” in 2013 with Katon w. De Pena being the only original member and continue to record and tour to this day



Side A

No |Title | Length

1. “Demons – Evil Forces” 3:25
2. “Blitzkrieg Air Attack” 2:08
3. “Guardian Protector” 1:37
4. “Bombs of Death” 1:47
5. “Defeat of Amalek” 3:08
6. “Raging Violence” 2:53
7. “Call of the Gods” 1:20

Side B

No |Title | Length

8.” Warlords Command” 2:39
9. “Suicide” 2:37
10. “Executed” 1:40
11. “The Gauntlet” 2:03
12. “Destruction and Terror” 2:33
13. “Destroy” 1:07
14. “Bloodbath” 1:55

Total length:30:52


BAND IS IN 1984…

Katon W. De Pena – vocals
Gary Monardo – bass
Scott Owen – guitars
John Tabares – drums





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Dark Angel – We Have Arrived 19​85

dark angel in 1984

We Have Arrived has been reissued at least two times. In 1986, it was re-released by the French recording label Axe Killer in a 2,000-number limited edition. It was then re-released once again in 1997 by Axe Killer. The label attached to the plastic wrap says that this is a remastered edition, but there is no indication in the booklet. We Have Arrived is the only Dark Angel album to feature Jack Schwartz on drums, as Gene Hoglan replaced him as their drummer on subsequent albums.


Thrash Metal Icons Dank Angel Freshmen Effort

Track listing

1.”We Have Arrived”4:07
2.”Merciless Death”4:28
3.”Falling From The Sky”4:23
4.”Welcome To The Slaughter House”5:23
5.”No Tomorrow”6:31
6.”Hell’s On Its Knees”4:14

Total length:33:33

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Dark Angel – Leave Scars 30 Years Later – Does It Still Stand UP?


It was 1991 when I bought the Leave Scars LP that came with a sticker reading “9 songs, 67 minutes, 246 riffs!” I didn’t like it as much as Darkness Descends or because I liked Don Doty’s style of vocals better.

Listen To The Whole Album Here

Leave Scars is the third studio album released by the American thrash metal band, Dark Angel, released on January 24, 1989.

  • Leave Scars was Dark Angel’s most successful release, peaking at number 159 on the Billboard 200, mostly on the commercial cover of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song.
  • It was their first album with vocalist Ron Rinehart and bassist Mike Gonzalez. It was the last album for guitarist Jim Durkin until his return to the band in 2013.
Dark Angel “Leave Scars”


  1. “The Death of Innocence”
  2. “Never to Rise Again”
  3. “No One Answers”
  4. “Cauterization”
  5. “Immigrant Song”
  6. “Older Than Time Itself”
  7. “Worms” (Instrumental)
  8. “The Promise of Agony”
  9. “Leave Scars”
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Dark Angel – Darkness Descends 1986 – The Greatest Thrash Album Of All Time!

dark angel in 1984

Darkness Descends is the second studio album by the American thrash metal band Dark Angel, released on November 17, 1986

  1. “Darkness Descends”
  2. “The Burning of Sodom”
  3. “Hunger of the Undead”
  4. “Merciless Death”
  5. “Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)”
  6. “Black Prophecies”
  7. “Perish in Flames”

See Why This Album Is Rated One Of The Top Thrash Albums Of All Time Time-After-Time