Formed in 1995 by Jonas Nilsson (guitar/vocals), Torstein Wickberg (guitar), Niklas Sjöström (bass) and Dennis Ekdahl (drums), Stockholm, Sweden's Raise Hell tried on a number of different names and metallic styles before finally recording their first demo, 1997's Nailed while still calling themselves In Cold Blood. Signing with Nuclear Blast the following year, they adopted their current name shortly after finalizing their debut album Holy Target, which presented a thrashy death metal style which flirted with melody, but didn't embrace it on the grand scale preferred by the neighboring Gothenburg bands (At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, et al). Despite their limited live experience, the band was quickly given their touring orders by Nuclear Blast, which put them on the road throughout Europe with the likes of Dismember and Children of Bodom, as well as scoring a coveted slot on the bill of that year's Wacken Open Air Festival. 1999's sophomore Not Dead Yet album was recorded at famed Studio Fredman with producer Anders Fridén (In Flames) and its slightly less frenetic pace and thinking man's lyrics revealed a far more mature and road-tested outfit. A tour in support of 80's thrash stalwarts Destruction was next up on their agenda, and following a repeat visit to Wacken in the year 2000, Raise Hell continued to tour relentlessly into 2001. Finally withdrawing from the road, the band reunited with producer Fridén to record album number three Wicked is my Game, released in October 2002.
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