Depressive Age's early years in the late '80s (when they were still known as Blackout) were quite trying, even by rock & roll's toughest standards. The East German group made a daring escape across the border in 1987, but lead singer Jan Lubitzki was caught and incarcerated for a year, before managing to join his bandmates, guitarists Jochen Klemp and Jingo Grigoleit, bassist Tim Schallenberg, and drummer Norbert Drescher, in the West. Four years later, the progressive metal ensemble released their debut album, First Depression, through the Gun label -- soon to be followed by 1994's Lying in Wait and 1995's Symbols for the Blue Times. These proved steadily more original and audacious in nature, and despite losing guitarist Grigoleit (off to become an actor) prior to 1996's Electric Scum, this has often been hailed as their best work. Sadly, the band quickly lost steam thereafter, briefly shortening their name to D-Age (as seen on the 1999 retrospective From Depressive Age to D-Age) before descending into a part-time underground existence in years to come.