Angel Witch


Angel Witch

Infobox musical artist
Name = Angel Witch


Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = London, UK
Genre = Heavy metal
Years_active = 1977-2004/2005-present
Label = EMI Bronze Records Killerwatt Records Metal Blade Records
Associated_acts =
URL =
Current_members = Kevin Heybourne Jon Torres Lee Altus Darren Minter
Past_members = Dave Hogg Kevin Riddles Rob Downing Dave Dufort David Tattum Grant Denison Keith Herzberg Mick Taylor Pete Gordelier Jerry Cunningham Ritchie Wicks Spencer Hollman Ricky Bruce Tom Hunting Scott Higham

Angel Witch is a British heavy metal band which was assembled in 1977. They were part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement together with bands such as Iron Maiden, Saxon, Ethel The Frog and Motörhead.

Biography

The band was founded under the name of Lucifer and initially comprised of guitarist and vocalist Kevin Heybourne, guitarist Rob Downing, drummer Steve Jones, and bassist Barry Clements. Lucifer split and Steve Jones joined up with Bruce Dickinson to form Speed. The remnants of Lucifer became Angel Witch, with the exceptions of Barry, who was replaced by Kevin Riddles, and Steve Jones, who was replaced by Dave Hogg. The following year Rob Downing left the band.

Angel Witch's first song to achieve mainstream popularity was "Baphomet", which was included on a compilation titled "Metal for Muthas". This song drew a fair amount of attention to the band, and they eventually signed a recording deal with EMI. However, the deal was soon cancelled, due to the bad performance of their first single released under the EMI label, which was entitled "Sweet Danger" and lasted a single week on British top charts.

On 1980, Bronze Records picked up the band and they soon proceeded to record and release their debut album, self-titled "Angel Witch". This album is considered one of the most notable from the NWOBHM, but subsequent to the album's release, the band's structure began to fall apart. Kevin Riddles and Dave Hogg left the band to join Tytan, and despite Heybourne's attempts to continue Angel Witch with other musicians, the end of the band was declared and he joined Deep Machine.

Angel Witch was brought back to activity on 1982, when Heybourne and two musicians from Deep Machine - namely vocalist Roger Marsden and drummer Ricky Bruce - left to assemble a new Angel Witch line-up together with bassist Jerry Cunningham. This line-up lasted a very short time, as Marsden's voice didn't fit the style of the band very well. He was fired from the band and Heybourne assumed the vocals once more.

By 1983 the band had ceased its activities, and Heybourne moved to Blind Fury. In 1984, Angel Witch was once more brought to life, this time with the help of bassist Peter Gordelier, singer Dave Tattum and with Dave Hogg returning to the drums. This line-up recorded the album "Screamin' N' Bleedin"'. Dave Hogg left the band one more time, but not without many snide remarks from the band's fans. He was replaced by Spencer Hollman. With the new drummer they recorded "Frontal Assault", which deviated heavily from Angel Witch's previous albums, having many melodic elements.

Dave Tattum left the band on the same year and for a few years Angel Witch played as a trio on sporadic live performances. In 1989, they recorded a new live album, entitled simply "Live".

Heybourne decided that it would be of the band's best interest to move to the USA, but the other members had no way of accomplishing that, having stable lives on their home country. Thus, an American incarnation of Angel Witch was born. It was composed of Heybourne, bassist Jon Torres (from Laaz Rockit), drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Doug Piercy. This line-up functioned quite well, and soon the band had booked a fair amount of shows throughout the USA. However, it was found that Heybourne had some pending issues regarding immigration, and he was arrested one day before the first concert of the band. Without Heybourne, Angel Witch was soon dissolved.

After the release of the "Resurrection" compilation in 2000, the band intended to play together once more, but after a series of internal conflicts, Heybourne assembled yet another line-up, with new members.

Discography

Albums

*"Angel Witch" LP (1980 Bronze Records)
*"Screamin' and Bleedin"' CD/LP (1985 Killerwatt Records)
*"Frontal Assault" CD/LP (1986 Killerwatt Records)
*"Resurrection" CD (2000 Crook'd Records)

ingles/EPs

*"Sweet Danger" 12"/7" single (1980 EMI)
*"Angel Witch" 7" single (1980 Bronze Records)
*"Loser" 7" EP (1981 Bronze Records)
*"Goodbye" 7" single (1985 Killerwatt Records)
*"They Wouldn't Dare" single (2003 Archaic Temple Productions)

Live/Reissue

*"Doctor Phibes" (1986 Raw Power Records)
*"Live" live CD (1990 Metal Blade Records)
*"'82 Revisited" live CD (1996 IRS Records)
*"Sinister History" (1999)
*"2000: Live At The LA2" live CD (2000 Angel Witch)
*"Angel Witch (Expanded Edition)" (2005 Sanctuary Records)
*"Angel of Death" CD (2006 Mausoleum Records) (reissue of "82 Revisited")

Tributes

*"Tribute To Angel Witch" (2007 Unbroken Metal)

Trivia

*Dave Dufort, brother of Girlschool drummer Denise Dufort, played drums on the "Loser" EP.


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