Gene Hoglan Believes Metallica’s “One” Owes a Major Debt to Dark Angel’s “Darkness Descends”


People have been talking about the similarities in Gene Hoglan’s double bass drumming on Dark Angel’s  “Darkness Descends” and Metallica’s “One” since… well, pretty much since “One” was released. Clearly, the Metallica track is the more famous of the pair, but the “Darkness Descends” pre-dates “One” by two years.

So did Metallica rip-off Dark Angel? For his part, drummer Gene Hoglan seems to think the answer is yes… which is not to say he’s necessarily mad about it.

Speaking to the Let There Be Talk podcast, The Atomic Clock had this to say about the similarities:

“I’ll flat out tell you, that comes from a Dark Angel song. That comes from ‘Darkness Descends.’ 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.’”

Gene continued:

“We had [Metallica’s] 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 went on to assert that Metallica even acknowledged the lift in “One” itself:

“[T]hat’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,’ the opening track on the second [Dark Angel] record. So, as soon as you hear it, you’d catch it.”

You can listen to the entire interview below. Then head to the comments section to debate whether or not Metallica owe Dark Angel some royalty money.


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