Persian Risk

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Although their career was, at the very best, of marginal importance when it came to the bigger picture of pop charts and even the hard rock and heavy metal subculture, Persian Risk were one of Wales'…
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Although their career was, at the very best, of marginal importance when it came to the bigger picture of pop charts and even the hard rock and heavy metal subculture, Persian Risk were one of Wales' best contributions to the early stages of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Hailing from the suburbs of Cardiff, and based there after coming together in 1980, Persian Risk members Phil Campbell (lead guitar), Alex Lohfink (rhythm guitar), Nick Hughes (bass), and Razz Lemon (drums) lost original lead singer Jon Deverill almost immediately to the Tygers of Pan Tang (a sign of things to come), but replaced him just as quickly with the equally talented Carl Sentance, who debuted on their self-financed debut single, "Calling for You," the next year. A remarkably professional first effort, the 7" was a considerable regional hit for the group (by now reduced to a quartet following Lohfink's dismissal), and generated enough national interest to get a second single, "Ridin' High" (also 1981), distributed through metal-friendly Neat Records. But even though its contents stood head and shoulders above most anything Neat was promoting at the time -- songwriting and performance-wise -- the label was inexplicably slow to entice Persian Risk back for any further releases, and before any other label could step up to the table, Campbell had been pilfered by Motörhead, with whom he remained for years.

Rise Up
Drummer Lemon soon threw in his lot as well, leaving Sentance and Hughes to try rebuilding Persian Risk with the aid of ex-Sphinx guitarist Graham Bath and former Chinatown drummer Steve Hopgood. Their efforts paid off to the extent that a small record company called Zebra agreed to release a three-song EP called Too Different in 1984. But more frustrating downtime would ensue before Persian Risk's one and only full album, Rise Up, was finally given an early-1986 release by the Metal Masters imprint -- almost a full year after it was recorded with the help of second guitarist Phil Vokins. And by then the band was effectively defunct anyway, with Bath and Hopgood off to join Paul Di'Anno's Battlezone and Sentance dabbling in numerous minor-league outfits before relocating to America, where he later briefly re-created Persian Risk for a small club tour.