Revolver has teamed with Dark Angel for exclusive "Combat Camo" vinyl reissues of the thrash band's classic albums Leave Scars and Time Does Not Heal, limited to just 200 of each worldwide. Order yours before they're gone!
Dark Angel turned heads in the heavy metal underground back in 1985 when they unleashed their debut album, We Have Arrived. The L.A.-county crew were primed to break out with the release of following year's Darkness Descends, now considered a thrash classic. Unfortunately for them, Darkness dropped in November 1986, mere months after the world received a few of the greatest heavy records ever: Metallica's Master of Puppets, Megadeth's Peace Sells … and Slayer's Reign in Blood.
"If Darkness Descends had come out in August or September instead of November 1986, perhaps things would have been slightly different," Dark Angel drummer Gene Hoglan recently told Revolver. "Maybe more people would have said, 'Hey, this band is pretty cool,' instead of, 'Well, we had Reign in Blood last month, and everything sucks after that." He laughed.
Over the next few years Dark Angel soldiered on as they endured lineup shifts and pushed into new musical directions with albums like Leave Scars (1989) and their swansong, Time Does Not Heal (1991), the latter of which was met with extreme reactions from fans and critics.
"Some of the reviews were incredible, even if some of the fans didn't like it," Hoglan continued. "I think Kerrang! gave it five out of five Ks and basically said Time Does Not Heal was the greatest record since Metallica's …And Justice for All and that it was going to completely propel this band to the next level."
Drummer Lincoln Mullins, of rising Texas metal horde Creeping Death, casts himself among those that worship at the altar of Dark Angel — and much of that devotion has to do with Hoglan. Below, Mullins reveals how the drummer's inimitable playing with Dark Angel influenced his own vicious take on death metal.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER DARK ANGEL?
LINCOLN MULLIN When I was in late elementary school/early middle school, I stumbled upon a bunch of tapes my dad had. Among all kinds of other crazy albums that are super notable to me now. There was a copy of Darkness Descends in there. With no J card [album art] either, so I just had the cassette and nothing to look at. I thought it was so cool. I asked my dad about the band before listening to it and he told me how great of a drummer Gene Hoglan is and how he saw them in what he believed was the … Leave Scars era. He's been one of my favorite drummers ever since. … Sometime a few years later I just decided to go back and listen to their other stuff after being acquainted with Darkness Descends. Time Does Not Heal, for sure, stood out to me.
WHAT TIME DOES NOT HEAL TRACK STOOD OUT FOR YOU MOST?
"Act of Contrition" — the groovy ending with the fade out is so sick. I could listen to that song multiple times just to get to that ending groove again and again.
IS TIME DOES NOT HEAL SOMETHING YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO?
I find myself semi-regularly going back to Time Does Not Heal. I would also say that Dark Angel, in general, represents a time where I was just starting to venture out into heavier music than what I first started listening to when I was growing up. Time Does Not Heal was just something I discovered later on down the line, as well, that happens to find itself in my somewhat frequent rotation.
HOW DID GENE HOGLAN'S PLAYING WITH DARK ANGEL INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT?
Gene Hoglan is one of my biggest influences when it comes to drums and specifically double bass. I'm nowhere near his level, but anytime I listen to anything he does it just makes me want to go practice and get as close to that as I can. My first time listening to Dark Angel was the first time I really had that feeling.