The Black Angels are a psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas. They have released four studio albums and one compilation album. Their name is derived from the Velvet Underground song "The Black Angel's Death Song".
Formed in May 2004, the band's name derives from the Velvet Underground song "The Black Angel's Death Song".
In 2005, the Black Angels were featured on a dual-disc compilation album of psychedelic music called Psychedelica Vol.1 from Northern Star Records. This, along with the growing popularity of their MySpace page, gave the band a big jump in popularity in the underground scene.
On Friday, August 5, 2007, they played at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Among other venues, they have also played at SXSW 2006 & 2008 and All Tomorrow's Parties 2008. Touring partners have included the blues rock band The Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Warlocks, Roky Erickson, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Queens of the Stone Age, The Raveonettes, Wolfmother, and The Horrors.
The group's debut LP Passover was generally well received in the underground independent rock community and was noted for its dark tones and lyrical content. A review of Passover described them as "Walking in the shadows cast by Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce" and compared them to The Warlocks and Black Mountain, also invoking "dirges" reminiscent of both The Velvet Underground and the 13th Floor Elevators. Passover included a quote in the liner notes from Edvard Munch; "Illness, insanity, and death are the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life." The band was featured on the soundtrack of the 2007 Kevin Bacon movie, Death Sentence, on the second episode of FOX's "Fringe" and in the ninth episode of Californication.
They released their second album Directions to See a Ghost in 2008. Songs from Directions to See a Ghost were also featured in The History Channel's 2009 documentary, Manson. Their song "Young Men Dead" was featured on the March 17, 2010 episode of UFC Primetime, "St. Pierre vs. Hardy", on Spike. "Young Men Dead" was also included on the soundtrack for the 2011 snowboard movie "The Art of Flight".
Between October 28, 2008 and November 2, 2008, the band performed as Roky Erickson's backing band on the West Coast; future plans between Roky and The Black Angels are in the works. The band featured on Unkle's May 2010 release, Where Did the Night Fall, collaborating on a song called "Natural Selection". They again collaborated with Unkle for the song "With You In My Head" for the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
On April 23-25th, 2010, The Reverberation Appreciation Society and The Black Angels presented their third annual music-and-arts festival, Austin Psych Fest 3. Bands topping the 43-band bill included: The Raveonettes, Pink Mountaintops, The Warlocks, The Gaslamp Killer, Warpaint, Night Beats and Silver Apples.
The band's third album, Phosphene Dream, was released on September 14, 2010. The group played the ATP New York 2010 Music Festival in Monticello, New York in September, 2010. On Record Store Day 2011 a 12" LP named 'Another Nice Pair' was released, a limited edition red pressing LP containing the first two EPs. 100 of these were randomly inserted with a print signed by Alex Maas, Stephanie Bailey, Christian Bland, Kyle Hunt and Nate Ryan.
The 4th annual Austin Psych Fest ran April 29 - May 1, 2011 and was held at The Seaholm Powerplant (the last event to be held inside the building) and featured Roky Erickson, Spectrum, Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group, Atlas Sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Prefuse 73 and A Place To Bury Strangers topping a 55 band lineup.
Besides the band's name, the Velvet Underground are also referenced by the band's logo, which incorporates a high-contrast negative image of Velvet's vocalist Nico.
Stephanie Bailey — drums, percussion, bass
Christian Bland — guitar, vocals, bass, drums
Alex Maas — vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
Kyle Hunt — keyboards, percussion, bass, and guitar
Jake Garcia - guitar, bass, vocals
Rishi Dhir (of Elephant Stone (band)) — guitar, bass, sitar
Nate Ryan — bass, guitar, occasional drums
Jennifer Raines — drone machine, keyboards and percussion
Todd Keller — guitar
The Viet Minh
Christian Bland & The Revelators
The UFO Club (Christian Bland, Lee Blackwell of Night Beats & others).