Malice (Los Angeles)
Emerging from the local L.A. club scene, Malice would show their influences of European Metal, Judas Priest most specifically. Indeed, Malice was widely considered a Judas Priest clone, not only in vocal similarities but also the twin guitar style and their leather and spiked appearance; James Neal's (vocals) striking a resemblance to K.K. Downing further pushed that opinion. Malice also included the talents of Mick Zane (guitar), Mark Behn (bass), Jay Raynolds (guitar) and Cliff Carothers (drums).
With producer Michael Wagener they created a five track demo of incredible quality; so much so that indie labels clamored to sign them. But the major label 'Atlantic' won out. In the Beginning (1985) featured all of the demo plus a further five tracks produced by Ashley Howe. The album featured a solid base of guitar oriented Metal. They were still unable to kick their Judas Priest similarities, however. After their second effort, License To Kill (1987), which barely made it to top 200, internal conflicts split the act into two camps.
With Paul Sabu at the helm, a one-off attempted comeback mini-set titled Crazy In The Night emerged in 1989 to little notice and they were dropped from Atlantic'. They never worked together again. Raynolds would later briefly join Megadeth on guitar, then Metal Church.
The band would break up in 1989 but reform in 2006 with the membership of Jay Reynolds (Guitars/ex-Neverland, ex-Megadeth, ex-Metal Church), Pete Holmes (Drums/ex-Killinger, ex-Michael Schenker Group, ex-The Ravers), James Rivera (Vocals/ex-Destiny's End, ex-Thrasher, ex-Denim and Leather and Robert Cardenas (Bass/ex-Entety, ex-Saprophagous) to release The Rare and Unreleased compilation in 2008 and New Breed of Godz (2012).
Footnote: Not to be confused with a Minneapolis, Minnesota band of the same name.