Formed in May 2004, the band's name derives from the Velvet Underground song "The Black Angel's Death Song".
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."
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