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DARK ANGEL's GENE HOGLAN: “late guitarist JIM DURKIN is an absolute godfather of thrash metal”


On a recent episode of the “Talk Louder” podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist “Metal Dave” Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS), Gene Hoglan touched upon the progress of the songwriting sessions for DARK ANGEL‘s long-awaited new album.

He said  “I know there’s gonna come a time, hopefully very soon, when we can announce a whole bunch of exciting stuff. And I know I’ve mentioned that in a couple of interviews as we’ve gone, but at some point when we get a little bit further down the timeline and there are some… Announcing vagaries won’t cut it. When I’m able to announce give actual dates, and ‘here are solid…’ ‘Cause there are a lot of things in the works definitely, and when I and DARK ANGEL and whoever is involved in everything is able to pin down some serious scheduling dates, then we are going to be doing that. But things are moving in a fantastic direction. And I know I’ve said that for the past decade. And that’s what I’m saying. I really hope that there’s a time very soon when we can make some serious flat-out announcements, but things are moving along really, really well. And I’m really excited about a lot of it.”

Hoglan also said that DARK ANGEL‘s new music will honor the band’s founding guitarist Jim Durkin, who died on March 8 at the age of 58. An original member of DARK ANGELDurkin played on the band’s first three albums — 1985’s “We Have Arrived”, 1986’s “Darkness Descends” and 1989’s “Leave Scars” — before departing the group in 1989. He was part of DARK ANGEL‘s lineup when the band reformed in 2013, and had been playing with them ever since.

Gene said: “ Jim‘s approach was one of a kind. And it definitely had its imprint upon me. If there is going to be any DARK ANGEL music coming in the future,  although Jim might not have many, many, many actual riffs in DARK ANGEL‘s music, his approach and his style is definitely going to be there. So that’s how that stands. He’s our brother, we miss him, and, things we do, it’s in a tribute to him, but we never wanna be uncomfortable with it. We wanna celebrate his life, celebrate Jim Durkin… We wanna celebrate his impact on us anyway and whatever impact he had on metal. He is an absolute godfather of thrash metal. He was one of the first guys doing it — totally. So, I’d like the world to know that. I know we would like the world to know that. Jim is one of the progenitors of this style. Absolutely. So, there you go.”

DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — the aforementioned “We Have Arrived”  and “Darkness Descends” — before he exited the group and was replaced by Ron Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — “Leave Scars” and “Time Does Not Heal” — before calling it quits in 1992.

Hoglan previously talked about DARK ANGEL‘s upcoming LP this past May in an interview with Friday 13th. He said at the time: “Jim and I, we had gotten together a number of times to write some new material for DARK ANGEL. And we weren’t able to get it down on tape too much. If DARK ANGELhas any new material, there’s a song that he’s got on there that is pretty darn DARK ANGEL-esque.

“In tribute to JimDARK ANGEL‘s new material will have a ton of his spirit all over it — his feel. Whether he actually wrote stuff on the new stuff or not, his spirit is very there. His imprint is felt throughout thrash metal, I feel. Even before I was in DARK ANGEL, I’d see Jim‘s influence on bands. Absolutely. So his legacy will live forevermore in the realm of extreme metal. His style will always be a part of DARK ANGEL, absolutely, big time.”

Asked how the next DARK ANGEL album will compare to the band’s previous efforts, Hoglan said: “Well, I can’t really even comment on the fact that there might or might not be an album yet. But put it this way — if I were to have any new DARK ANGEL material, I would want it to be an extension of where the band is at now and where I’m at now. And I would probably approach the writing of it in a way as if DARK ANGEL never disappeared for a decade, two decades, three decades, or whatever it’s been. It’s just like we just kept doing what we do, and this would be where we’re at right now. Which I would want to be putting out the most savage, heaviest material that DARK ANGEL could. And I’m no slouch with writing psychotic, heavy material. So I would be very, very excited with where DARK ANGEL‘s new material would be if that would be able to confirm.”

DARK ANGEL 2023 is:
Gene Hoglan – Drums
Ron Rinehart – Vocals
Eric Meyer – Guitar
Michael Gonzalez – Bass
Laura Christine – Guitar