ARCH ENEMY's Michael Amott has paid tribute to DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin, who died this past Wednesday (March 8) at the age of 58.
Earlier today (Saturday, March 11),Amott took to his Instagram to share a photo of Durkin, and he included the following message: "Nicest guy in Thrash? I think so… I have fond memories of hanging with Jim and his lovely wife Annie. Food and (much needed) showers at their house during the slightly rough-and-tumble days of ARCH ENEMY tours back in the early 2000's. He had a big heart, that's for sure.
"One night after an LA show he stormed backstage and excitedly told us he'd had a lengthy conversation with John Sykes, a guitarist we both admired, on the balcony while we played. How cool.
"Jim always remained a fan, a kind and humble dude with a great taste in Metal music and guitar.
"58 is way too young to go.
"Thanks for the mighty DARK ANGEL, and most of all for being you! Safe travels Jim! "
Jim's passing was confirmed by his wife Annie on his Facebook page on Friday (March 10). 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."
An original member of DARK ANGEL, Durkin played on the band's first three albums — 1985's "We Have Arrived", 1986's "Darkness Descends" and 1989's "Leave Scars" — before departing the group in 1989. He was part of DARK ANGEL's lineup when the band reformed in 2013, and had been playing with them ever since.
Durkin had been sitting out some of DARK ANGEL's recent gigs. He was replaced at the shows by drummer Gene Hoglan's wife Laura Christine.
DARK ANGEL, which has been touring intermittently since reforming a decade ago, is scheduled to perform its legendary album "Darkness Descends" in its entirety at three special concerts next month at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, California.
For much of the last few years, Durkin and his bandmates had been working on material for a new studio album.
DARK ANGEL's 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: 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."
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — the aforementioned "We Have Arrived" and "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — "Leave Scars" and "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992.