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Merciless Dark Angel - 93%

perishnflames, April 15th, 2011

This album will have you jumping into chainsaws, hitting your friend with a sledgehammer. It will have you trying to run through walls and thinking throughout the album that the world is going to end.

Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends is a smack in the face and an adrenaline rush in every song. Each song has a moment or two where you reach new heights in your life because your adrenaline is putting you on cloud 9.

The album begins with an introduction that is mid paced and makes the listener built up angst for the mach speed sentiment the album brings, this goes on for about a minute and half before all hell is let loose. Darkness Descends then begins with a fast machine gun riff that will be present between verses, which will make the listener picture war drawn scenes. Following the 2nd chorus the band goes on a solo break with Eric Meyers and Jim Durkin on the guitars. They play with the wah pedal, but the notes they play are distinguishable and are not played rapidly or picked to fast, where it sounds like just bland noise. The song finishes up with a 3rd verse and a war cry at the end of the final chorus from Don Doty. Excellent track to start the album, especially with those machine gun riffs present.

The album continues with “The Burning of Sodom” is by far the fastest song on the album. It begins with a guitar riff that is on par with a chainsaw. Don Doty unleashes a yell that is from beyond this world and Gene Hoglan begins beating on the drums and the metal battalion has arrived. They slow the bridge down and then speed things up as they enter in the 3rd verse. The drum work on this song is exceptional and is played at break-neck speed.

The Hunger of the Undead” is your average Thrash metal song. It begins with that machine gun/chainsaw riff that is present throughout the album. The song is catchy, but the best part is in the bridge where the band slows down for a brief time and picks up their speed 2:39. “Death is Certain, Life is not” is my least favorite track on the album, but it is still a killer song. Typical 3 verse song, but it has those machine gun guitar riffs between verses and present during the chorus.

"Merciless Death” is the epitome of Dark Angel and this song is their rally song. They play the song at uber fast speeds during the verses with more excellent drumming. The chorus has a memorable line with shrieks like a banshee from Doty. The band slows the bridge and guitar solos down and has Doty with his hellish and evil laughs transition to the fast sound that we all love Dark Angel for.

"Black Prophecies” is the longest track on the album and is mid-paced, but this song is an epic.. The lyrics in the song are by the far the best on the album and are relating to Nostradamus and the mistakes of mankind by ignoring his word. In the middle of the song they get into a progressive break, the only one on the album, and the listener is greeted with more Dark Angel guitar riffs that will make you want to split your neck.

The last song is my favorite Thrash/Speed metal song. “Perish in Flames” is everything heavy metal should be. The pre-chorus to this song is ultra fast and will make you want to jump into walls, it is the perfect transition to the chorus, which is also at break neck speed and will make the listener think that buildings are falling and the world is close to an end with the mad drumming on the skins by Gene Hoglan. The band breaks into memorable solos by Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin with their wah pedals going in a frenzy. After the solos Don Doty begins to make demonic beast growls and the band finishes the album with a 3rd verse going at 140 mph. Everything about this song is perfect, as it has everything an excellent Thrash/Speed metal song should have.

This album falls short from perfect. Mostly because they have the same structure throughout the album and because some of the riffs sound recycled. I would highly suggest checking out their other two studio albums; “Leave Scars” and “Time Does Not Heal” The aforementioned albums are more progressive thrash, and are slightly slowed down. Darkness Descends is the fastest and most brutal Dark Angel album and is my favorite one. This album would be the closest album to commence World War III.