Less than a month after it was announced that classic late '80s /early '90s California thrashers DARK ANGEL would reunite for a number of shows next year — including an appearance at the Keep It True XVII festival, set to take place April 25-26, 2014 at Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany — the Keep It True organizers have canceled the band's participation at the event.
Their official statement on the matter reads as follows:
"There have been many turbulences around the DARK ANGEL reunion and their show at Keep It True lately. Right now it looks like there are two separate sections, with on the one hand Don Doty [vocals] and Eric Meyer [guitar], and on the other hand Gene Hoglan [drums] and Jim Durkin [guitar], who fight each other with almost daily statements about who is the real DARK ANGEL. We watched this quietly for some days and hoped that all will be sorted out, but it seems there is no satisfying solution for everyone.
"Keep It True stands for many years for honesty and credibility and we fear that these actions around the DARK ANGEL reunion can put damage on the good name of the festival. So we decided that NO version of DARK ANGEL will play on Keep It True 2014. We do not want to be in the middle of a fight where there is no end in sight.
"I hope you all understand our decision. We know some of you will be disappointed, but this is the only way for us. We will now look for a different Saturday headliner."
DARK ANGEL's management issued a statement yesterday accusing the band's original lead singer, Don Doty, of displaying a "lack of responsibility" by posting "false information" and starting "unfounded rumors" that have been "creating confusion" among the group's fans. The management confirmed that DARK ANGEL will reform for a limited number of appearances in 2014 with a lineup that will feature Gene Hoglan (drums), Jim Durkin (guitar), Ron Rinehart (vocals) and Michael Gonzalez (bass).
Doty made an online posting earlier this week in which he claimed that Hoglan would not take part in the DARK ANGEL reunion because Gene was "unable to make the practices" due to his "many commitments."
DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin said in a statement last month that any talk of the band's reunion was "premature," and added that "when I was last in the band, Ron Rinehart was my singer. And IF the band were to come back and continue. he would STILL be my singer. He was our rock when we needed him and there is NO WAY I would do this without him. He and I talk daily and are as close now as ever. If anything, all this talk has brought us all back into more frequent contact! Which is a wonderful thing."
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — 1984's "We Have Arrived" and 1986's "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Ron Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — 1989's "Leave Scars" and 1991's "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992. Rinehart, Hoglan and Meyer reassembled DARK ANGEL more than a decade ago but were forced to abandon their reunion plans after health issues reportedly put an end to Rinehart's singing career.
Asked what he has been doing since leaving DARK ANGEL in 1987, Doty told Germany's Radio Gehacktes last month: "It's a long story, and at the same time, it's a short one. I basically started a family and showed up to my last show [with DARK ANGEL] and told the guys, 'Hey, look, [I have a] baby [on the way] and I can't be on the road and do the family thing; it was just too hard for me. There were too many beautiful women in the world and there were too many other opportunities to go off the deep end, and I just could not do that. So with that being said, I took a step back and I told the guys, 'There will be a day and I will come back and we will finish what we started."
Doty added that his reasons for wanting to put DARK ANGEL back together are pure. "I'm here for the fans, because they've been there for me and it's their turn," he said. "Let's get back and let's have some fun."