Dark Angel drummer Gene Hoglan said in a new Dean Delray ‘Let There Be Talk’ interview that he once joked about suing the members of Metallica for allegedly “ripping off” a Dark Angel’s “Darkness Descends” for their classic “One”.
Delray said “One” was a great example of how the use of unison sextuplets between a wall of guitars and Lars Ulrich’s aggressively EQ’d kick drums helped change how double-bass drums were used in hard rock and metal.
Hoglan said, “I’ll flat out tell you, that comes from a Dark Angel song. That comes from ‘Darkness Descends’ [the title track of Dark Angel’s 1986 album]. And it’s well known in the scene that as soon as [Metallica] put out ‘One’, I got so many phone calls going, ‘You know those guys are ripping you off.'”
“We had [Metallica’s longtime] soundman, ‘Big’ Mick [Hughes], we had him on a tour, and Metallica was up for the Grammy at the time, but it hadn’t been announced or anything yet. And I was joking that, ‘If they win the Grammy, I’m gonna sue.’ [I was] totally joking. And Mick was, like, ‘You should. They’ll probably give you a hundred grand to shut you up.’ And I was, like, ‘I’m not gonna become the pariah of the metal scene by suing Metallica.’ Everybody’s stolen Metallica riffs.”
Hoglan said he believed ‘everything’ in “One” was inspired by “Darkness Descends”.
“The whole everything. The drum part, definitely. And that’s why I just thought it was kind of funny. The first line in the whole thing is, ‘Darkness…’ And it comes right from ‘Darkness Descends’, opening track on the second [Dark Angel] record. So, as soon as you hear it, you’d catch it.”