"Decade of Chaos: The Best of Dark Angel" (Relativity; 1992)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Dark Angel had a brief heyday in the late '80s playing an intensified version of thrash/speed metal that didn't get the respect that it deserved. Somehow Dark Angel got lost amidst the success of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, and other thrash acts. But that doesn't mean they didn't have an impact.

Three of the ten tracks on this 'best of' are taken from 1986's "Darkness Descends" - a certifiable classic in the thrash/speed metal genre. "Darkness Descends," "Merciless Death," and "Death Is Certain (Life Is Not)" are speed metal classics. The number of riffs this band managed to squeeze into a single song is impressive; maybe not as many as "Arise"-era Sepultura, but you get the picture. At times the vocals on this 'best of' disc are reminiscent of Nevermore, which is pretty cool. 

Generally speaking, the production on these tracks (save for the three songs from "Darkness Descends") were well below average even for the '80s. This detracts from the overall impact of this greatest hits package. As a consequence you are better off with "Darkness Descends" rather than this collection. However, if you yearn for the days of late '80s thrash then you should be happy to have this CD as part of your collection. 

Dark Angel included at one time or another Ron Rinehart on vocals, Brett Ericksen on guitars, Eric Meyer on guitars, Mike Gonzalez on bass, Gene Hoglan on drums, Jim Durkin on guitars, Rob Yahn on bass, Don Doty on vocals, Jack Schwartz on drums.  

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:27 -0400.