Serpent's Knight were a semi-professional heavy metal band from Seattle, WA whose only real claim to fame was providing a launchpad for the career of future Nevermore and Sanctuary vocalist Warrel Dane. Originally founded in 1979 by precocious teenagers Brad Poland (guitar) and John Kimmel (bass), Serpent's Knight only started taking shape four years later, with the recruitment of both Dane and second guitarist Doug Stibbs. Drummer Michael Witkowski joined a short time later, and the quintet moved into a "band house" where they could combine their varied assortment of heavy metal influences, ranging from traditional European powers like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Accept to the theatrical leanings of Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Mercyful Fate (which necessitated lots of evil panda makeup, tombstones, and other stage props) to unsigned local talent that was sharing stages with them in and around the Seattle metal scene, including Metal Church, Culprit, Fifth Angel, and the pre-Queensrÿche group Myth. Between 1983 and 1985, Serpent's Knight recorded an album's worth of demos (later referred to as Released from the Crypt) and pretty much reached the apex of their existence by befriending their heroes in Mercyful Fate during the latter's tour through the Pacific Northwest. Dane quit a short time later to join Sanctuary, and Serpent's Knight subsequently ground to a halt when Poland landed in jail under bizarre circumstances. On a positive note, while incarcerated, he made the acquaintance of future Serpent's Knight singer Mark G. (another singer named -- don't laugh -- Father Scorn was briefly involved too, before then), and in 1989 a new batch of demos (entitled 3000 Degrees in the Shade) was recorded prior to the band's final dissolution. And, many years later, all of these home recordings would be compiled with the Dane material for release as 2010's Silent Knight… of Myth and Destiny, seemingly as much to justify Serpent's Knight's existence as to embarrass Dane with the long-buried memories of his amateur days.
Share this page