Angel Witch (1978-1981, 1982, 1984-1998, 2003-2005, 2008- ) is a NWOBHM band from London, UK.
hen Angel Witch was started by songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Kevin Heybourne along with Kevin Riddles (bass/vocals) and Dave Dufort (drums) it was the start of the NWOBHM movement that swepped the heavy metal genre at the turn of the 1980s. Updating and regurgitating the occult imagery and riffing of Black Sabbath they released the one-off 75 UK charting single Sweet Danger for 'E.M.I.' (also home to Iron Maiden). The single proved to be the best of their career for the follow-up self-titled debut album on the 'Bronze' label, although noteworthy failed to chart, as did the follow-up EP Loser in 1981, causing the act to disband with the entire rhythm section going off to form Tytan. To this day, however, the debut album would remain a classic and a defining moment of the NWOBHM genre, containing such tracks as Angel Witch and Angel Of Death that influenced acts like Candlemass years later.
In late 1984, with the NWOBHM movement still in full force Heybourne reformed the act with a new line-up featuring Peter Gordelier (ex-Blind Fury; bass), Dave Hogg (percussion; who was subsequently replaced with Spencer Holman) and Dave Tattum (vocals; replacement for temporary man Lou Taylor) to release Screamin' 'N' Bleedin' (1985) and the Frontal Assault (1986) to little notice. A new membership list was established again with Heybourne and Gordelier recruiting Grant "Taco Bell" Dennis replacing Tattum resulting in the live effort Live in 1990, an album that, again, was met with an ice cold reception and the band folded yet again.
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The next attempt formed in the mid 1990s with the release of '82 Revisited (1996; live) a sort of live "best of..." with rapid changing of drummers during the line-up of Kevin Heybourne (guitar/vocals), Jon Torres (guitar/bass), Mick Taylor (guitar/keyboards), Pete Gordelier (bass), Spencer Hollman (drums), Tom Hunting (drums/backing vocals), Darren Minter (drums)to record other "best ofs..."Sinister History (1999) and Resurrection (2000) before the line-up settled with Kevin Heybourne (guitar/vocals), Keith Herzberg (guitar), Ritchie Wicks (ex-Shadow Keep/ex-Tygers Of Pan Tang; bass/vocals), Scott Higham (drums) to release another live set 2000: Live At The LA 2 (2001) that made no impression on the charts. But over 2002 there was more line-up changes and after Heybourne was reunited with a bunch of San Francisco buddies, the latest was established with Kevin Heybourne (guitar/vocals), Jon Torres (ex-Laaz Rockitt/ex-The Lord Weird Slough Feg; guitar/bass),Lee Altus (ex-Heathen; guitar), Darren Minter (ex-Heathen; drums); this line-up would disband in 2002 then reform in 2003 to release They Wouldn't Dare EP (2004), Burn the White Witch - Live in London (live; 2009) and As Above, So Below (2012).
By the time Seventies Tapes compilation came in 2017 the membership had shifted again to feature Kevin Heybourne (guitars/vocals; ex-Deep Machine/ex-Blind Fury), Will Palmer (bass; ex-Mourn/ex-Sloth), Jimmy Martin (guitars; of-Teeth of the Sea) and Fredrik Jansson (drums).
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Angel Witch live at British Steel Fest in Bologna, Italy on November 07, 2010. Photo by: Lewismaster.
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