Darkness Descends is the second album from LA thrash metal band Dark Angel, elevating the group above their above their dissonantly, loosely produced 1986 debut We Have Arrived. It marked a transition for the group, being their first record to feature “human drum machine” Gene Hoglan (Fear Factory, Dethklok) and their last to feature original vocalist Don Doty. The album’s title and content alike inspired by the classic UK satirical comic series Judge Dredd and even quotes the mantra of the Dark Judges (“This city is guilty, the crime is life, the sentence is death.”) in the lyrics of the title track. The album was widely influential and considered their best release and their ferocity and technical mastery is absolutely comparable to their contemporaries such as Metallica and Slayer. The group’s songs are extremely fast and heavy and feature many tempo changes, unique lyrics breaks, and extended instrumentals. “Darkness Descends” begins with a rapidly approaching squall of guitar and rigid bass riffs, double-kick bass drums, and tommy gun snares - and then, the track seems to double in speed. “Merciless Death” starts with textural low-register strums cut through with chainsaw slashes, cymbals barely audible above the din. This music is relentless, but vibrant and varied enough to stave off potential fatigue - a fierce blast of adrenaline to this very day. This album is packaged in a gatefold sleeve including full lyrics and is pressed on clear yellow vinyl.
- 180g clear yellow colored vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve and printed inner
- limited edition
- original release year: 1986
- music label: Combat 2019
reviewed by URSARING 12/2019