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Classic Review: Dark Angel - Time Does Not Heal
Dark Angel
Time Does Not Heal

Label: Combat Records
Year released: 1991
Duration: 67:11
Tracks: 9
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: March 16, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Time Does Not Heal

Rated 4.05/5 (81.05%) (38 Votes)

This was Dark Angel’s best album, and unfortunately their last. Mainstays of the Bay Area scene for many years, Dark Angel played a heavy, chaotic style of thrash that was not really very close to the standard thrash sound and quite distinctive. "Darkness Descends" and "Leave Scars" were brilliant, furious assaults of metal wrath, so anticipation was high for this, their fourth release.

"Time" is the most mature work Dark Angel released. The addition of ex-Viking axeman Brett Hoffman gave the old Dark Angel formula a much needed yank on the reins. The songs here are mostly slower-paced than older Dark Angel material, and this is a good thing, as it lets the ruthless heaviness shine through. It also gave new play for vocalist Ron Rinehart. Before he had always been forced to yammer as fast as possible to keep up with the galloping pace of the music, here he had more room to move and showed off a strong, rough voice and actually sang.

This is a really heavy fucking album, and needs to be played LOUD to really appreciate it. On "Time Does Not Heal" Dark Angel traded in their breakneck speed for dark, chugging riffs that hit like a gang of convicts with 10-pound sledgehammers. Terry Date works his magic here, and the production sounds fantastic, bringing out all the heavy without losing clarity. Songs like the title track, "Act Of Contrition", "An Ancient Inherited Shame", and the best track "Pain’s Invention, Madness" absolutely kill. Stuff like this would send Nu-crapola kids squealing for their mommies even now, twelve years after release.

The drawbacks to this disc are that one: it’s too fucking long. There are several throwaway cuts like "Sensory Deprivation" and "A Subtle Induction" and, as all the songs are pretty long, the boring cuts are LONG boring cuts. In general, the songs on the second half of the CD kind of blend together and lack identity. Second: Ron Rinehart’s vocals, while better than on previous releases, are still pretty one-dimensional, and after an hour they really start to wear. A little more variety in songwriting and vocal work would have made this album really shine, that and leaving off about 3 songs.

The CD package is OK, the cover photo is nothing special, but the interior booklet has nice art design. The lyrics are some serious stuff about sadism, rape, and torture, and are far more involved and intelligent than was the rule for metal bands then, or now for that matter.

Dark Angel were a good band, if not a great one, and this was their supreme effort, the utmost they were capable of, and it’s still pretty fucking cool. As far as thrash albums go from back in the day, this one still has it.

Standout Tracks: Time Does Not Heal, Pain’s Invention, Madness, Act Of Contrition.

Other related information on the site
Review: Darkness Descends (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist Jim Durkin on April 29, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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