Pariah

About Pariah

English heavy metal band Pariah (not to be confused with the American hard rock act performing at the time) arose from the ashes of an earlier outfit bearing the only slightly less fortunate name of Satan, toward the end of 1987. Michael Jackson (vocals and no relation to the King of Pop), Russ Tippins (guitar), Steve Ramsey (guitar), Graeme English (bass), and Sean Taylor (drums) had finally decided to give up on their previous name after nearly a decade of gradually diminishing returns, and the dawning realization that their current thrash metal style bore little resemblance to their original New Wave of British Heavy Metal roots anyway. Already signed with the Steamhammer label, the quintet debuted with 1988's The Kindred -- an exceedingly average thrash metal album that fell way short of the time's stunning efforts from younger bands like Testament and Exodus. Wisely deciding to shift gears, they returned to an old-school power metal sound more suitable to their abilities for 1989's humorously self-deprecating Blaze of Obscurity, but it too failed to connect with a wider audience and the disillusioned Jackson and Taylor decided to hand in their notices at this time. Then, in a stroke of unusually good timing, before the remaining trio even had a chance to contemplate their future, ex-Sabbat singer Martin Walkyier invited Ramsey and English to join him in his new band Skyclad. They readily accepted, promising odd-man-out Tippins that they'd eventually find time to record another Pariah album -- which indeed they did, but not until almost a decade later, when they issued 1998's Unity, also featuring vocalist Alan Hunter (former Tysondog) and drummer Ian McCormick (ex-Cronos). ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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