Jim Durkin, guitarist of thrash metal greats Dark Angel, has passed away at the age of 58. His wife, Annie, broke the news in a Facebook post on Friday (3/10), writing:
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 Ours……. My Immortal Beloved.
I will see you again.
Dark Angel also issued a statement, 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 their first three albums, 1985's We Have Arrived, 1986's Darkness Descends, and 1989's Leave Scars, before leaving the band in 1989. He was also on the lineup when they reformed in 2013, but had sat out some recent shows.
A GoFundMe has been launched to help cover Durkin's medical bills and funeral arrangements. The message on it reads:
On Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, the worldwide metal community lost a TITAN of thrash metal: JIM DURKIN of DARK ANGEL.
While best known for creating ear-blistering, adrenaline-inducing, soul-slaughtering guitar riffs and writing songs that would become legendary in a genre of metal that his band helped create, he was also a gentle giant with an incredible singing voice who would stop everything to move an injured animal -- insect, bird, reptile, mammal -- out of harm's way.
Humble to his core, he never understood why anyone made a fuss about him. It is inconceivable, unjust, and utterly devastating for a human being as beautiful as Jim to be taken from us. He will always remain a shining example of the tenacity of the human spirit.
Jim's wife of 34 years, Annie Durkin, is shattered at her sudden loss. She needs assistance to cover the costs of her husband's final arrangements and medical bills. Any additional funds will go toward keeping the home that has been an oasis of hospitality for so many touring musicians passing through Los Angeles.
We are grateful to anyone moved to donate. Contributions of any amount would be deeply appreciated. Your shared memories, photos, and words of support will provide much-needed solace in this time of incredible sorrow.
Thank you all for your love, kindness, and compassion.
Fellow musicians, including Gary Holt of Exodus and Michael Amott of Arch Enemy, have paid tribute to Durkin on social media. Read their messages below.
Dark Angel are currently scheduled to perform their classic 1986 album Darkness Descends in Los Angeles and NYC this spring, and headline night one of Milwaukee Metal Fest.