Scottish act Holocaust was founded by Gary Lettice (vocals), John Mortimer (guitar), Ed Dudley (guitar), Robin Begg (bass) and Paul Collins (drums). Inspired by the NWOBHM movement of the time, Holocaust released a set of singles in 1980 on the obscure Phoenix' label. When Nicky Arkless replaced Collins, the group released the Garage Days Revisited EP (1981; later an influence for Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisited EP which included a cover of Holocaust's The Small Hours), a debut album followed that same year titled The Nightcombers. Dudley leftshortly after to form his own more melodic act Hologram to release one album Steal The Stars in 1982 before returning to the reformed act in 1983.
After their reformation now withRaymond Marciano on drums, they released the Comin' Through EP in 1982, Live (Hot Curry And Wine) in 1983 (with Nicky Arkless now on drums) and No Man's Land in 1984 (with just Mortimer and Steve Cowentagging along on drums) to similar apathy. They were once a rising star in the NWOBHM arena but once again split.
When The Sound Of Souls was released in 1989 Mortimer was making a bold attempt at another reformation with Graham Hall (bass) and Steve Cowen returning on drums but they split again not to reform until 1990 after Metallica's (specifically Lars Ulrich's) fascination in the style popularized their music again briefly. They trudged on under the membership of Mortimerand Cowan along side David Rosie (bass) to release Hypnosis Of Birds (1993), Spirits Fly (1996) and Covinant (1997). When Hellfire Holocaust EP (2000) and The Courage To Be (2000; their first release for the U.S. market) came about the membership had once again shifted to see Iain McKenzieon guitar while Steve Cowan was joined by brother Graham Cowen on bass. Smokin' Valves: The Anthology (2003) was just that a best of anthology of their life that was followed by their next studio effort Primal later that same year now under the revised line-up ofJohn Mortimer (vocals/guitar), John McCullim (guitar), Bryan Bartley (bass) and Ron Levine (drums); Primal proved to be a lessadventurous and progressive in nature while nonetheless refusing to yield their classic sounds.