on this day


Although no cause of death was revealed, the passing of Dark Angel guitarist Jim Durkin on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 was confirmed by his wife Annie on his Facebook page on Friday, March 10th.
She wrote: “With a broken and heavy heart, I want to share that the love of my life, my best friend and husband, Jimmy, passed away Wednesday morning. He was not alone as I was with him along 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. Ever Thine, Ever Mine, Ever Ours……. My Immortal Beloved. I will see you again.”
A short time later, Dark Angel also issued a statement on Durkin’s passing, writing: “We in the DARK ANGEL Family are deeply saddened and crushed today with the news of our brother and founder Jimmy Durkin passing away Wednesday morning.
We would like to thank his fans for their continuous loyalty and support. We will come out with a full statement very soon. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy while we mourn the loss of this great man.”
Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is one of many who posted condolences following the news of Durkin’s death: “Super sad to hear of the passing of our thrash metal brother Jim Durkin of Dark Angel,” Ellefson wrote on Facebook. “Back in 1983 he had auditioned and played guitar at a few rehearsals with us in Megadeth after Greg Handevidt departed and just before Kerry King sat in on guitar for the 1984 shows in the San Francisco Bay area. In fact, we may have even borrowed some of Jim’s Marshall amps & cabs to complete our amplifier backline for those debut shows in February, 1984. Condolences to his family, friends and band mates…. his contribution to thrash metal will be missed by all!”
Born February 7, 1965 in Downey, California, James Durkin formed Dark Angel in 1981 (first under the name Shellshock} in Downey, California, right around the time when the Bay Area thrash movement was beginning to take place. group that would become Dark Angel in 1981 while a sophomore at Downey High School, releasing their first demo recording later that year. The tape was a promising assembly of youthful enthusiasm and aggression, though songs like “Demons Domain” reflected only a fraction of the relentlessness to come. The material was heavily influenced by the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal”, a sound/ideology that the founding members firmly embraced. They were forced to change their name to Dark Angel in 1983 due to another band using the name. They played in local bars and clubs, acquiring a cult following in the metal underground.
Late ’82/early ’83 saw the release of the “We Have Arrived” demo, which included songs that would later appear on the bands debut. As an original member, Durkin played on the band’s first three albums: 1985’s “We Have Arrived”, 1986’s “Darkness Descends” and 1989’s “Leave Scars”, their first release with Rinehart on vocals and Mike Gonzalez on bass, and their last with Durkin, who left the band before the tour and was replaced by former Viking guitarist Brett Eriksen, leaving the band with no remaining original members.
In 1992, Durkin began releasing new music with Witchery, Violent Omen, and Dreams Of Damnation. He also recorded demos with Pagan War Machine, Anger As Art, Hirax, and Tank, and was a member of a band called Ruthless.
Durkin was part of the lineup when the band reformed in 2013, and had been playing with them ever since, but also been sitting out some of their recent gigs. He was replaced at the shows by drummer Gene Hoglan’s wife Laura Christine. For much of the last few years, Durkin and his bandmates had been working on material for a new studio album. Their first CD since 1991’s “Time Does Not Heal” was supposed to feature the lineup that has performed sporadic live shows since reuniting in 2013: Drummer Gene Hoglan, Durkin, Eric Meyer (guitar), Ron Rinehart (vocals) and Michael Gonzalez (bass).
In February 2022, Hoglan said during a Twitch livestream from his home that he and his DARK ANGEL bandmates were “in the process” of making a new album. “I have a lot of work ahead of me, and so does Jim Durkin,” Gene said. “He’s been sending over songs, riffs, stuff like that, [which has been] super exciting. We’re all of the same mindset of making this just the most absolutely kick-ass DARK ANGEL record that we can.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *