Darkness Descends

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Darkness Descends
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 1986
StudioMusic Grinder Studios, Hollywood and Mad Dog Studios, Venice, Los Angeles, California
GenreThrash metal
ProducerRandy Burns, Dark Angel
Dark Angel chronology
We Have Arrived
Darkness Descends
Leave Scars

Darkness Descends is the second studio album by the American thrash metal band Dark Angel, released on November 17, 1986.


Though bassist Rob Yahn appears on the album, Mike Gonzalez received credit in the liner notes. Darkness Descends was Dark Angel's final album to feature original vocalist Don Doty. The album is the first to feature influential drummer Gene Hoglan.

The song "Darkness Descends" is about the comic book characters known as the Dark Judges from the Judge Dredd comic book series, and even contains their famous statement, "this city is guilty, the crime is life, the sentence is death."

"Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)" deals with euthanasia.

"Black Prophecies" deals with Nostradamus.

"Perish in Flames" deals with a nuclear apocalypse.

"The Burning of Sodom" deals with the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"Merciless Death" is a re-recording of a song from Dark Angel's previous album We Have Arrived.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal6/10[2]

In August 2014, Revolver placed Darkness Descends on its "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own" list.[3] Decibel Magazine placed it 9th on its "50 Greatest Thrash Metal Albums of All Time."[4] "Loudwire" placed "Darkness Descends" at number 6 on its "Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4" list. [5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Darkness Descends"Gene HoglanJim Durkin, Gene Hoglan5:49
2."The Burning of Sodom"Durkin, Hoglan, Don DotyDurkin, Eric Meyer3:16
3."Hunger of the Undead"HoglanDurkin, Hoglan, Meyer4:16
4."Merciless Death"Durkin, DotyDurkin4:04
Side two
5."Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)"HoglanDurkin, Hoglan, Meyer, Rob Yahn4:15
6."Black Prophecies"HoglanDurkin, Hoglan8:29
7."Perish in Flames"DotyDurkin4:49
1998 Century Media re-release bonus tracks
8."Merciless Death" (Live)Durkin, DotyDurkin3:44
9."Perish in Flames / Darkness Descends" (Live)Doty / HoglanDurkin / Durkin, Hoglan8:27

Icarus Records 2010 remastered bonus tracks[edit]

Darkness Descends on Philiadelphia - DFA Live at the Trocadero, October 23, 1988

8."The Burning of Sodom"5:30
9."Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)"3:43
10."Merciless Death"3:45
11."Perish in Flames"5:07
12."Darkness Descends"6:41

Darkness Descends on Reseda - DFA Live at the Country Club April 22, 1989

13."We Have Arrived" 
14."The Burning of Sodom" 
15."Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)" 


Dark Angel
  • Randy Burns – producer, engineer
  • Casey McMackin – engineer


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Dark Angel - Darkness Descends review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-1894959315.
  3. ^ "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own". Revolver.com. August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Decibel: The Top 50 Thrash Metal Albums Of All Time". RateYourMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  5. ^ Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4