Reunited Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL announced Monday (May 19) that they have been forced to postpone their "Darkness Returns" summer tour plans due to an unfortunate injury to their lead singer, Ron Rinehart. Rinehart reportedly sustained critical damage to the cervical region of his spine and several herniated disks in his neck recently, resulting in severe pain, numbness, and mild paralysis (loss of control over voluntary movement and muscles of the body). Among his more serious symptoms are loss of sensation and reflex function, which, if left untreated, may lead to loss of autonomic nervous activity such as breathing and swallowing. The singer is currently undergoing treatment including aggressive Trigger Point Injections (TPI) to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) and Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of substances that cause the inflammation.
Asked about Mr. Rinehart's progress, his neurosurgeon stated, "His progress is improving and all measures are being taken to ensure that further injury to the spine does not occur due to the amount of soft tissue damage. Regression in cases like these is common, thus further extensive treatment and therapy will be required for the next several months."
In an official statement, the rest of DARK ANGEL said that they are "saddened by this unfortunate accident and wish Ron and his family all our love, support and encouragement. We are confident Ron will return strong as ever as the only person to front the stage for the mighty DARK ANGEL."
They further regret the unfortunate position this has put the band in regarding their scheduled appearances. "We want to apologize to all our fans for the tour cancellations and we want to let them all know that this will not stop the L.A. Caffeine Machine from returning to redefine metal one more time."
DARK ANGEL began in Los Angeles in 1981 and by 1985 was headlining venues across America, as well as supporting major acts like SLAYER and MEGADETH. By the end of 1992 the band had 14 releases (including four "proper" studio albums, a live album, as well as various compilation and video appearances) and were touring worldwide. During the band's 11-year absence, devoted metal fans around the world have elevated DARK ANGEL to nearly mythical proportions. As a direct result of this undying enthusiasm, the group recently decided to reunite and stand poised to begin a musical assault that will truly level the senses.