Dark Angel – We Have Arrived – Review

Dark Angel

We Have Arrived (Dark Realm)
by Scott Hefflon

To most metalheads, this record needs no introduction. This was the band’s ’85 debut on a small label and has long been out of print. But collectors have been searching for it (I’ve gotten plenty of offers — and other people’s drool — on my copy), so Dark Realm re-issued it. Seeing as Dark Angel later became synonymous with greats like Slayer, Possessed, Death, Death Angel, and various other names I could spout off cuz I’m old and I’ve got ’em all, it’s probably somewhat of a surprise that this album is really bad. Honestly, this is like listening to almost any heroes’ old submission to a high school Battle of the Bands. The production is thin and chunky, the band can’t stay together for shit, the songs are pretty shallow and obvious, Gene Hoglan isn’t even IN the band yet, and the singer explores his really silly falsetto before he realized, “Waitaminute, I sound really gay.” Sure, it’s a footnote to what came later (and was then forgotten by short-sighted, short-lived “generations” of metalheads who never dug back more than a few years to figure out where it all came from), but this is far from the reference point I’d point to to say what “my” music was all about. It’s good for a laugh if you’ve never heard “We’ll give you merciless… Death!,” but I’ll take nostalgic embarrassments like “I’ll hit you like a ton of bricks,” “Death and Insanity, a flicker in the flame,” and far, far too many metalisms to quote here over “We have arri-i-i-i-ived!” any day.
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