Legendary Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL have reunited and are in the process of writing material for a possible new album, guitarist Jim Durkin has told BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
Three-fifths of the line-up that recorded the acclaimed 1989 CD, Leave Scars — Durkin, guitarist Eric Meyer, and vocalist Ron Rinehart — has teamed up with bassist Jeremy Peto (ex-MORGION) and drummer Al "Mayhem" Mendez (DREAMS OF DAMNATION) to form the latest incarnation of the group, which has already written "some new brutal tunes in the vein of Darkness Descends [the band's classic 1986 effort]," according to Durkin.
When asked about how the reunion came about, Jim said: "I had two songs [that I was working on] — 'Fear of a Dark Horizon' and 'Say It In Blood'. I have a studio at my house and since Eric and Ron are both local, it seemed a shame to not call 'em [and invite them to come down and give it a try]. Of course, they were like, 'FUCK YEAH, let's do it.' Next thing ya know, we're playing most of [the] Darkness...] material, and we said, 'This is [sounding] toooo good not to [pursue a reunion]. We sound good for once.' [laughs] So I then contacted [former drummer] Gene [Hoglan], who is quite busy [and he declined to take part in the reunion]...but we're gonna play no matter what.
"If it bugs someone [that we're calling this DARK ANGEL without Gene involved] then, oh, well... I want to play these old and new songs I wrote, and if Eric and Ron play on them, they WILL be DARK ANGEL songs — no way around it. I don't write stuff like [Ron and Eric's previous and current bands] HUNGER was, or OIL, or SWINE — I write thrash and if [the other] guys are on it, then it's DARK ANGEL."
Although Hoglan is not currently involved in the reunion, a possibility exists that he may rejoin the group later on once he has fulfilled his recording and touring commitments with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD.
"It is my hope that Gene will get involved [at some point down the line]," Durkin said, "but since the logistics are not right [at the moment], we plan to carry on with Al [on drums], being that he can play all the Gene stuff and then some with POWER and little effort. However, I have always considered Gene the cornerstone of DARK ANGEL [so the door is always open for him to get involved if he wants to]. The music is bigger than any one member. [In the meantime], we will do what we can to keep it close to the original line-up."
Current plans call for the reunited band to continue rehearsing and writing material with a view towards playing several live shows in Southern California before the end of the year ("November at the earliest," according to Jim).
"We are doing only early material at this point — We Have Arrived, Darkness Descends-era stuff," Durkin revealed. "A little Leave Scars stuff as well. As we have been playing over the years in other bands, I'd like to think we've improved as musicians and it shows when we play We stepped back in after 13 years and nailed it as if we never parted...but we're still working on it."