The Black Angels are a psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas.
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 and Wolfmother.
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. Songs from "Directions to See a Ghost" were also featured in The History Channel's 2009 documentary, Manson. More recently, their song "Young Men Dead" was featured on the March 17, 2010 episode of UFC Primetime, "St. Pierre vs. Hardy", on Spike.
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".
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 vintage psych legends Silver Apples.
The band's third album, titled Phosphene Dream, was released on September 14, 2010. The group are confirmed to play the ATP New York 2010 music festival in Monticello, New York in September 2010.
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 Mother Super Rainbow, Prefuse 73 and A Place To Bury Strangers topping a 55 band lineup.