DARK ANGEL Pays Tribute to Founding Guitarist Jim Durkin

Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam

Announces LA and NY Darkness Descends Shows

Performing the 1986 Album in Full

in Memory of Jim Durkin

+ Festival Dates

photo credit: Alex Solca 

Jim Durkin 

February 7, 1965 – March 8, 2023 

On Thursday March 9, everyone in the Dark Angel family was notified of Jimmy Durkin’s passing on Wednesday morning, March 8. Jim Durkin was the founder of Dark Angel, a major contributor to the music and was one of the founding fathers of thrash. He was known as the master of the riff with some of the most memorable and evil thrash riffs ever. Jim Durkin was family to all of the Dark Angel camp and will be deeply missed.

Jim had been sitting out Dark Angel shows due to personal matters since 2020. Jim requested Laura Christine as his replacement, and she has joined us at the more recent Dark Angel appearances, as he’d requested that we keep it in the family.

Dark Angel will continue to perform and record in Jim’s memory and preserve his legacy, as he requested before his passing. – Dark Angel

Gene Hoglan leaves us a quote about his fallen brother. I miss you so much, my Brother. I never quite know how to grieve anymore. Had I known that our last few times together would be our last times together, I would have cherished them more. And you even more, Jim. You were my original guitar hero, my biggest influence, a truly inspirational legend to me and so many others. Had I, or any of us, only known that you’d be taken from us so suddenly, we would not have let you leave us…So suddenly. On tour, in my bunk, tears. Onstage, behind my kit, tears. Backstage, the thousand-yard stare. Tears. Realizing we’ll never share the stage in this physical plane again…the greatest void. You chose The Unicorn yourself to fill that void. Only now am I beginning to grasp the complexity and graciousness of your monumental gift. My love for you gives me strength to get through this. And you are so beloved by everyone who knows you, Jim. Everyone. I sure hope you feel this. Your spirit will eternally live on, Brother. Onstage, with us, your wings will always be right where they belong, on stage right. In life, you’ll always be in our hearts, right where you belong. At the front.

Annie, Ron, Eric, Michael, Laura, Rob, and all of your friends and family love and miss you so much, Jimmy. I love you, Brother.

Jimmy D was the very first person that I met in Dark Angel. Right from the start he was busting my balls! When I first spoke to Jimmy we were talking about the band that I had just left. Jimmy said “we saw your band, they suck but we loved you!” I laughed. Another great memory I have was at a Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies show. Someone told Jimmy., “I don’t like you when you’re drunk”, and without skipping a beat, Jimmy answers, “I don’t like you when I’m sober”. I almost swallowed my tongue. I can’t count the times where I would end up spitting something out of my nose!!! Jimmy would just laugh! He had the best sense of humor. From day one… we were Brothers… Yesterday, today and forever Jimmy will always be my Brother!!! Until we meet again!! I Love you. – Ron Rinehart 

Way back in ‘84, I placed an ad in the Recycler newspaper-“Guitarist seeking established band”. Jim Durkin called me, Dark Angel was his band. We instantly connected, and I will never forget that first phone call, the beginning of a friendship that would last 39 years. A lifetime of memories were created, and I’m devastated that we won’t be making more. Forever in my heart, my stage right brother. – Eric Meyer 

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy. You and I go way back. I remember when I first joined DA and you would come over to my house to teach me songs. We’d sit out in the garage and run through the Darkness Descends set. I was with you the very first time you met Annie and fell in love with her from the moment you saw her. I was there when you married her. We have shared so many moments together that are just indescribable. I will miss you forever my friend, my brother, my family. Until we meet again, you will always be such a huge part of my life.  Good bye… for now. – Michael Gonzalez 

At the California Death Fest in 2018, Jim Durkin took me aside and said that he would be stepping down from playing live, and that he wanted me to take over his live duties for Dark Angel.

Coming from one of my guitar heroes this was a major shock, followed by a mixed array of emotions. I felt honored yet greatly concerned for my hero. Nobody wants to see their guitar hero step down, let alone leave this earth. It’s a very heavy thing for me to digest. I love and greatly respect Jimmy and his playing so much, and it is a tremendous, immense honor to be chosen and encouraged by him to fill his spot. I will do my best to honor Jim and help preserve not only my friend’s memory, but also the Dark Angel legacy. – Laura Christine

Annie Durkin has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with Jim’s medical expenses and memorial. We strongly urge all to help her get through this hard time if you can. 


DARK ANGEL Darkness Descends 2023

April 14, 15 & 16 – Los Angeles – Teragram Ballroom w/ Evil Dead *

June 2 – NYC – Irving Plaza w/ Prong, Whiplash and Ready for Death *


*performing Dark Angel’s 1986 album Darkness Descends in full!


May 26 – Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Metal Fest

June 10 – Gdansk Stocznia, Poland – Mystic Festival

June 17 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting

June 18 – Clisson, France – Hellfest

July 13 – Gävle – Gasklockorna, Sweden – Gefle Metal Festival

Dark Angel is:

Gene Hoglan -Drums

Ron Rinehart -Vocals 

Eric Meyer – Guitar 

Michael Gonzalez -Bass 

Laura Christine – Guitar 

DARK ANGEL online: