The Unholy Trinity of 1986, Part 3 - Dark Angel - Darkness Descends

Published: March 14, 2016


Today I conclude my reviews of the Unholy Trinity of 1986 with Dark Angel’s “Darkness Descends”. For me, this ranks second in the trinity only to Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill”, but that doesn’t make it bad – on the contrary, it’s a fantastic thrash album.

I’d say the defining characteristic of this album is the speed at which everybody plays at. For example, the second track “The Burning of Sodom” is played at 280 beats per minute, and “Perish in Flames” and “Merciless Death” aren’t that much slower, if at all. In fact, all of the songs are fast, with the one exception being the sixth track “Black Prophecies” which, despite it’s running time of 8:29, never gets boring. Really, all of the songs are great.

Of course, all of the elements one could want from an intense thrash album are right here: shredding guitar riffs and solos (from Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin), crazy vocals and screams (from Don Doty), and relentless drumming (from Gene Hoglan, one of the most revered drummers in metal). The bass (played by Rob Yahn) is also surprisingly audible, with the opening bass solo in “Merciless Death” being his best moment. And of course, the lyrics are excellent as well. This is coming from someone who usually doesn’t place much emphasis on lyrics when listening to metal, so believe me when I say the lyrics are shockingly well written.

In conclusion, “Darkness Descends” is a very important album in the world of thrash metal, and for good reason. Between it’s speed, intensity, and memorability, it’s an album one certainly wouldn’t want to, or shouldn’t, pass up on, especially if “Reign in Blood” and “Pleasure to Kill” are already favorites. An album not to be missed.

Rock / Metal / Alternative
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