Dark Angel guitarist Jim Durkin dies at 58

The metal musician founded the thrash band in 1981 and was still an active member at the time of his death.

Jim Durkin, founding guitarist of thrash metal band Dark Angel, has died aged 58. The sad news was shared by his wife Annie on Facebook.

“With a heavy and broken heart, I want to share that the love of my life, my best friend and husband, Jimmy, passed away Wednesday morning,” Annie wrote. “He was not alone as I was with him with a few close friends until the end. He will be truly missed and no one can ever replace the love I have for him. May he rest in peace. Always yours, always mine, always ours… My beloved immortal. I will see you again.”

The band also confirmed Durkin’s passing, writing, “We in the Dark Angel family are deeply saddened and crushed today by the news that our brother and founder Jimmy Durkin passed away on Wednesday morning. We would like to thank his fans for their continued loyalty and support. We will publish a full statement very soon. We ask that you please respect the privacy of the family as we mourn the loss of this great man.

Dark Angel originally formed in 1981 in Downey, California as Shellshock before changing their name in 1983. Although they never enjoyed the success of other California thrash bands like Metallica and Slayer, Dark Angel is considered very influential, especially on death metal. stage.

Durkin was an active member of Dark Angel at the time of his death and was the only remaining original member of the group. The rest of the band consists of longtime members Eric Meyer (guitar), Gene Hoglan (drums), Mike Gonzalez (bass), and Ron Rinehart (vocals). Hoglan is also well known for his work in Testament and Dethklok.

After initially breaking up in 1992, Dark Angel reunited for a few years from 2002 to 2005, before reforming in 2013 and remaining active ever since. The band released four studio albums, all between 1985 and 1991, with 1986’s darkness descends considered an all-time thrash classic. Last year, Hoglan said Dark Angel was working on a new album for a potential 2023 release.

Dark Angel has a number of shows planned for 2023, including an appearance at Milwaukee Metal Fest in May, as well as concerts in Los Angeles and New York. It is not known if the dates will go as planned.

Our condolences go out to Jim Durkin’s family, friends and bandmates during this difficult time. Revisit his work with Dark Angel in the performance clips below.

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