Angel Witch

Loser E.P.

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Angel Witch were flying high in 1981. With their landmark debut album's enjoying enthusiastic acceptance by the metal hordes, the trio led by wiz-kid guitarist Kevin Heybourne were seemingly on a roll, and quickly decided to capitalize on this momentum by recording a follow-up single meant to keep the kids interested. But behind the scenes, their label Bronze was already pulling the financial plug, having lost faith in the group's commercial prospects, and though they soon emerged with 1981's Loser E.P. (complete with a foreboding tarot card on the cover), the group probably already knew their days were numbered. Perhaps as an attempt to prove greater commercial potential, songs like "Loser" and "Suffer" were far more accessible than the band's previous work, possessing simpler structures and sing-along choruses which didn't entirely convince. Uninspired closing instrumental "Dr. Phibes" is the only relative throwback, displaying traces of the virtuosic musicianship and complex arrangements that had so enriched their debut, even if the song itself isn't all that memorable. All their efforts would be for naught, and Angel Witch soon disintegrated as expected with all involved forming new bands; but never again were they to discover the singular alchemy achieved on the Angel Witch album.