Singles & EPs
About Angel Witch
In 1979, Angel Witch were one of the most promising bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with a hardcore following and a modestly successful single under their belts. But like many fine bands of that movement, bad luck, bad management, and misunderstanding record companies forced them into early retirement. Like most of their peers, Angel Witch combined the basic lessons of Black Sabbath with the energy and speed of Motörhead, but their leader, Kevin Heybourne, was also a master songsmith, elevating the band to headliner status over competitors like Iron Maiden early in their career.
Formed in 1977 by vocalist/guitarist Heybourne, Angel Witch went through a number of personnel changes before recruiting bassist Kevin "Skids" Riddles and drummer Dave Hogg. As the punk movement gradually self-destructed, the band payed their dues and built a reputation playing clubs and pubs with other young metal bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, and Saxon. Their first lucky break arrived when they were invited to contribute a song, "Baphomet," to the Metal for Muthas compilation, introducing them to many new fans and leading to a recording contract with EMI. But the label gave up on Angel Witch immediately after their first single, "Sweet Danger," dropped off the charts after only one week at number 75.
Picked up by Bronze Records, the band recorded their self-titled debut album in 1980, and though it has since achieved legendary status as one of the seminal works of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Angel Witch started to fall apart from within. Both bassist Skids and drummer Dave Hogg quit the group, and after briefly trying to carry on with replacements, Heybourne too decided to call it quits. After a brief return in the mid-'80s that yielded the albums Screamin' 'n' Bleedin' (1985) and Frontal Assault (1986), Heybourne once again resurrected Angel Witch in 1989 for a series of concert dates at L.A.'s Troubadour. Recruiting rhythm guitarist Grant Dennison, bassist Peter Gordelier, and drummer Spencer Holman, this short-lived lineup did record a live album before splitting up once again.
Heybourne kept the group alive in the 2000s with a rotating lineup and a handful of festival appearances. In 2011 the band, who now consisted of Heybourne, Will Palmer (bass), Bill Steer (rhythm guitar), and Andrew Prestidge (drums), headed into the studio to record a new album. Produced by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost), the resulting As Above, So Below, was released in 2012 by Metal Blade. Angel of Light, the band's fifth studio long-player, arrived in 2019 and saw the departures of Steer and Prestidge, who were replaced by guitarist Jimmy Martin and drummer Fredrik Jansson Punkka. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia