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Warlord (1980-1986, 2002, 2011-present): a Thrash Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA.


ne of those great-undiscovered '80's metal bands Warlord featured strong riffs and the right mix of melody to produce a number of classic songs, two of the best being featured on Metal Massacre compilations as Child Of The Damned and Mrs. Victoria. But despite all their efforts, they failed to gain the commercial success they wanted. Their official discography only contains only four recordings, two from the 1980s and two from the 2000s, starting with the Delivers Us mini-LP in 1983, the aforementioned compilation tracks, as well as various singles from early in their life.

Warlord was the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter Bill Tsamis and drummer Mark Zonder with Jack Rucker (vocals) and Diane Arens (keyboards) completing the set. Attempting to add intrigue to the band's mystique, the members chose to go under the pseudonyms: 'Destroyer' (Tsamis), 'Thunderchild' (Zonder), 'Damien King' (Rucker), and 'Sentinel' (Kornarens). The act soon caught the attention of fledgling record company owner, Brian Slagel, whose label, 'Metal Blade Records', was on the prowl for new bands.

Determined to not just be another LA club act, they opted to present themselves on a grander scale. To achieve that goal, the band rented The Raymond Theater to stage what would turn out to be the only Warlord live performance. It was filmed and recorded, without an audience present, for the group's first full-length release, And The Cannons Of Destruction Have Begun..., issued in October 1984 and accompanied by a VHS (re-issued on DVD) home video release of the same name. For the production, Tsamis, Zonder, and Kornarens were joined by bassist Dave Watry (a.k.a. Archangel) and new vocalist Rick Cunningham (a.k.a. Damien King II). A third vocalist worked shortly with the band during studio sessions, Rick Anderson (a.k.a. Damien King III).

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The difficulty in keeping a vocalist led to inner tensions and the band split in 1986. Tsamis moved from California to Florida and eventually underwent a spiritual conversion. 'Metal Blade', would issue Thy Kingdom Come, a quasi Best Of, that December. An extended version, including the whole DeLiver Us EP, followed in 1989, titled Best Of Warlord; the first time the band's music had been issued on compact disc.

Following Warlord's demise, drummer Mark Zonder would retain the band's practice facility in the San Fernando Valley, expanding and building it into one of the top rehearsal spots in the Northern Los Angeles area over the next several years. He would eventually join Fates Warning in time for their 1989 Perfect Symmetry album; Zonder's association with that act would last a decade and a half covering a total of six studio and two live albums.

Tsamis initially recorded an acoustic demo under the name Lordian Winds and worked for years on a project called 'My Name Is Man' (a 75-minute music video concept). Tsamis next formed a new Christian apocalyptic-themed venture called Lordian Guard with his wife, Vidonne Sayre Riemenschneider, serving as lead vocalist. Lordian Guard issued two albums, Lordian Guard (1995) and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1997) through Germany's 'Hellion Records'.

With a strong underground following, Warlord reformed in 2002. Original members Tsamis and Zonder were joined by Hammerfall vocalist Joacim Cans, a long-time Warlord admirer whose band had covered the DeLiver Us track, Child of the Damned, on their debut album, Glory to the Brave, in 1997.

The reformation resulted in Rising out of the Ashes via Italian 'Athreia Records'. That same year and backed by members of the Italian band Black Jester, Warlord played their first ever live shows at the Wacken Open Air festival.

Rick Anderson (Damien King III) rejoined in 2011.

In October 2012 the band's 1984 EP Lost and lonely days/Aliens was remastered and re-released via 'Sons of a Dream Music' along with a new compilation disc, Anthology.

In 2014, The Holy Empire arrived along with another compilation, The Ten Commandments (Warlord Through the Years) following in 2014. Their next album, The Hunt for Damien followed in 2015.

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