Angel Witch’s Heavy Metal Music Helps Usher’s In The New Wave
by Jody Haskins For The Laguna Spectator
Heavy metal music from Angel Witch helped usher in a new wave of British Heavy Metal Bands (NWOBHM) with the perfect mix of the early seventies metal and late seventies metal. Formed in 1976 under the name Lucifer, the band consisted of Kevin Heybourne on guitar and vocals, Bob Downing on guitar, Kevin Riddles on bass and Dave Hogg on drums. The band changed it’s name to Angel Witch in 1978.
Geoff Barton of Sounds magazine once described the Angel Witch sound as: “the first Black Sabbath album played through a cement mixer”. I don’t personally feel like this is similar to the first Black Sabbath album. Angel Witch had their own unique sound and style. There are some thematic similarities to early Black Sabbath, but the similarity ends there.
The first Angel Witch song to attract public attention was entitled “Baphomet”. This song was part of the heavy metal music compilation album “Metal for Muthas”.
After the success of Baphomet, the band released their self titled debut LP on Bronze Records in 1980. Despite some critical acclaim, their debut album only reached #75 in the U.K. for a single week. Another issue that worked against the band was the fact that the LP did not receive a proper release in America. In spite of this fact, they were gaining popularity in the United States.
The band was unaware they had just recorded an album that had become a bit of an underground sensation in America and would have the legacy of becoming a major influence on a whole new generation of thrash and speed metal legends such as Metallica and Megadeth.
Angel Witch is heavy metal music played fast, hard, evil and melodic.
Poor sales of this classic album along with the band being unaware they were developing a following in America led to the band to prematurely split up and moving on to other projects. Kevin Riddles and Dave Hogg left to join Tytan.
Over the past 35 years Kevin Heybourne has reformed Angel Witch as well as recorded a few albums. If you enjoy their debut album, you will also enjoy Angel Witch’s 2012 comeback album “As Above So Below”. It is the perfect follow up to their debut and proves that sometimes old rockers come back.