This New Wave Of British Heavy Metal unit never achieved the greatness a band that sells 15, 000 singles in 20 days deserves. The band was formed in 1976 in South Shields, England by school friends John Roach (guitar/vocals), Maurice Bates (rhythm guitar/vocals), Pete Melsom (bass) and Kenny Anderson (drums). They recruited Vince High (vocals) and replacement drummer Barry Hopper in 1978, and built up a following on the North East pub and club circuit, alongside bands such as Raven, White Spirit, Axe (later Fist), Son Of A Bitch (later Saxon) and Geordie. The self-financed EP, Death & Destiny, was released on Guardian Records in 1979, and proved to be one of the most outstanding records of the era. Roach left in February 1980, and was replaced by Mick Rundell. Their debut EP was reissued on Street Beat Records to coincide with the band’s appearance at the Bingley Hall festival with Motörhead. It, too, sold well and their battle cry of ‘Death & Destiny’ was sung by a thousand voices at the aforementioned gig. However, by 1981 their name was absent from the live listings, leaving the EP to command a high collectors’ value and cult reputation. Metallica fans should track it down to see how much Kill ’Em All owes to this band. The British Steel imprint re-released the EP, with additional bonus tracks, in 1998.
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