Chris Allen started the band Shadowkeep in 1999. So far he and his band have recorded 29 songs that I can find.
On the Downside is an EP by the San Diego, California band Counterfit, released by Alphabet Records in 2000. It was the band's first EP, recorded shortly after the members had relocated to San Diego from Fairfield County, Connecticut. It was recorded in their rehearsal space and was mixed and mastered at the Mira Mesa Epicentre, a youth cafeteria which had been converted into an all-ages music venue. The EP is considered to be a demo, since it was so cheaply recorded and the songs are all in rough form. Two of its songs would be re-recorded the following year for the band's first proper studio EP. Original guitarist James Dennis left the band shortly after the release of On the Downside, and was soon replaced by Daniel Reed.
Angel Witch is a British heavy metal band which formed in London, England in 1977 as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement.
The band was formed, originally under the name of Lucifer, and was initially composed of guitarist and vocalist Kevin Heybourne, guitarist Rob Downing, drummer Steve Jones, and bassist Barry Clements. Lucifer split and Steve Jones joined up with Bruce Dickinson to form Speed. The remnants of Lucifer became Angel Witch, with the exceptions of Barry, who was replaced by Kevin Riddles, and Steve Jones, who was replaced by Dave Hogg. The following year Rob Downing left the band.
Angel Witch's first song to achieve mainstream popularity was "Baphomet", which was included on a compilation titled Metal for Muthas. This song drew a fair amount of attention to the band, and they eventually signed a recording deal with EMI. However, the deal was soon canceled, due to Manager Ken Heybourne refusing to hand Angel Witch over to professional management, and bad performance of their first single released under the EMI label, which was entitled Sweet Danger and lasted a single week on British top charts.
In 1980, Bronze Records picked up the band and they soon proceeded to record and release their debut album, self-titled Angel Witch. This album is considered one of the most notable from the NWOBHM, but subsequent to the album's release, the band's structure began to fall apart. The sacking of Dave Hogg, and Kevin Riddles leaving the band to join Tytan, and despite Heybourne's attempts to continue Angel Witch with other musicians, the end of the band was declared and he joined Deep Machine.
Angel Witch was brought back to activity on 1982, when Heybourne and two musicians from Deep Machine - namely vocalist Roger Marsden and drummer Ricky Bruce - left to assemble a new Angel Witch line-up together with bassist Jerry Cunningham. This line-up lasted a very short time, as Marsden's voice did not fit the style of the band very well. He was fired from the band and Heybourne assumed the vocals once more.
By 1983 the band had ceased its activities, and Heybourne moved to Blind Fury. In 1984, Angel Witch was once more brought to life, this time with the help of bassist Peter Gordelier, singer Dave Tattum and with Dave Hogg returning to the drums. This line-up recorded the album Screamin' N' Bleedin'. Dave Hogg was sacked yet again, but not without many snide remarks from the band's fans. He was replaced by Spencer Hollman. With the new drummer they recorded Frontal Assault, which deviated heavily from Angel Witch's previous albums, having many melodic elements.
Dave Tattum was sacked the same year and for a few years Angel Witch played as a trio on sporadic live performances. In 1989, they recorded a new live album, entitled simply Live.
Heybourne decided that it would be of the band's best interest to move to the USA, but the other members had no way of accomplishing that, having stable lives on their home country. Thus, an American incarnation of Angel Witch was born. It was composed of Heybourne, bassist Jon Torres (from Lääz Rockit), drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Doug Piercy. This line-up functioned quite well, and soon the band had booked a fair amount of shows throughout the USA. However, it was found that Heybourne had some pending issues regarding immigration, and he was arrested one day before the first concert of the band. Without Heybourne, Angel Witch was soon dissolved.
After the release of the Resurrection compilation in 2000, the band intended to play together once more, but after a series of internal conflicts, Heybourne assembled yet another line-up, with new members.
They were on the bill for the traditional Orange Goblin Christmas show at The Camden Underworld, London, on Saturday 20 December 2008.
In 2009 their eponymous song "Angel Witch" was featured on the soundtrack of the action-adventure videogame, Brütal Legend.
In 2011 Angel Witch entered in the studio to record their fourth full-length studio album, entitled "As Above, So Below". It was recorded with Kevin Heybourne in guitar and vocals, Will Palmer on the bass guitar, Bill Steer on the guitar, and Andrew Prestidge on the drums. They also returned to playing live, with a second stage headline slot at Bloodstock Open Air in 2011.
The demos Psychopathic, Twist of the Knife & Resurrection were later put together on the 1998 compilation also called Resurrection.
Blaze Bayley (born Bayley Alexander Cooke, 29 May 1963) is an English singer, lyricist, and songwriter. He was the lead singer of Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, and again during a more recent reunion. Blaze is best known for being the lead singer of British metal band Iron Maiden from 1994 to 1999. Since 1999, he has embarked on a solo career.
Born in Birmingham, England, Blaze Bayley started his musical career as the lead vocalist of Tamworth heavy metal/hard rock band Wolfsbane, upon their formation in 1984. The first album, Live Fast, Die Fast, was released in 1989. Prior to this they had recorded three demos entitled Wolfsbane (1985), Dancin' Dirty (1987) and Wasted but Dangerous (1988). This last one, recorded at Square Dance Studios, Derby, U.K., illustrates the band in its youngest, rawest state][. They were the supporting act for Iron Maiden's UK division of their No Prayer on the Road tour in 1990. Wolfsbane's second release, an EP titled All Hell's Breaking Loose Down at Little Kathy Wilson's Place, was released the same year. The band's second full studio album Down Fall the Good Guys, was released in 1991, giving them their only UK Chart entry with their single "Ezy" charting at No. 68.
Def American dropped Wolfsbane as they felt that the band were not selling well enough. This did not stop the band from being voted as the UK's best unsigned act in 1993. The same year, the band released a live album, Massive Noise Injection, through the Bronze Company label.
The band released their third studio album, often considered to be the band's best work, the self-titled Wolfsbane, in 1994, again on the Bronze Company label. A limited edition of this album included the EP Everything Else. When Bruce Dickinson departed fellow English heavy metal band Iron Maiden in 1993, Blaze Bayley was chosen between hundreds of auditions. Then Wolfsbane disbanded.
In 2007, Wolfsbane reformed for a one-off performance, with Bayley again taking up vocal and frontman duties. They supported The Wildhearts on a short UK tour in December 2007. Their next tour came in December 2009 supporting The Quireboys on their 'A Little Bit of What You Fancy 20th Anniversary Tour'. Wolfsbane played a headline show at the Borderline in London on 9 April 2011. This was followed by a tour supporting Saxon in April 2011. A new album (Wolfsbane Save the World) followed an Ep called "Did it for the money" and a successful UK tour in 2011.
For further updates on Wolfsbane please see the related Wolfsbane articles.
Bayley was chosen as Bruce Dickinson's replacement in 1994 after hundreds of auditions. His departure from Wolfsbane led to their disbandment later that year. After a serious motorcycle accident caused by losing control and clipping his knee on a cat's eye in the road, which put him out of action for a year, his first album with Maiden was The X Factor, released in 1995. Bayley went on tour with the band in support of the album. Another Iron Maiden album with Bayley on vocals, Virtual XI was released in 1998.
The two Iron Maiden albums released during Bayley's time in the band did not chart as well as that to which the band were accustomed. The X Factor peaked at No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart and Virtual XI hit only No. 16, both being the lowest-charting Iron Maiden studio albums since Killers was released in 1981, which peaked at No. 12.
In February 1999, Iron Maiden announced that vocalist Bruce Dickinson was returning to the band, and Bayley departed by mutual consent, and he remains on good terms with his former bandmates. Iron Maiden occasionally performed songs from the two Maiden albums featuring Bayley, including "Man on the Edge" and "Futureal", which he co-wrote, though no Bayley-era songs have been on the band's set list since 2004. Likewise, Bayley has performed Iron Maiden songs originally recorded by the Dickinson and Paul Di'Anno led line-ups at some concerts.
Following Blaze Bayley's departure from Iron Maiden in 1999, he formed his own band, BLAZE, in March that year. Bayley recruited guitarist Steve Wray, guitarist John Slater, bassist Rob Naylor, and drummer Jeff Singer, and signed a deal with German label SPV, releasing the band's debut studio album in 2000, Silicon Messiah. The album was followed up by Tenth Dimension in 2002 and the band's first live album in 2003, As Live As It Gets.
After recording the live album, Jeff Singer announced he was leaving the band. Three months later, Rob Naylor was also leaving. Session drummer Phil Greenhouse and bassist Wayne Banks were hired for the rest of the Tenth Dimension tour until permanent replacements could be found.][ Guitarist Jason Banks was drafted in for a few gigs at the end of 2003 to cover for John Slater.
At the end of 2003, Blaze began writing material for their third studio album, Blood & Belief. Phil Greenhouse was replaced on drums by Jason Bowld for recording and Dave Knight for touring. The band began to tour for the album shortly after it was released in 2004, but were set back again by the news that John Slater could not perform a large section of the tour. Despite rejoining the band later in the year, Slater eventually left the band in September with Steve Wray to form the band Rise To Addiction. Bassist Wayne Banks and drummer Dave Knight left the band to join the Robin Gibb band in September 2004.
Blaze performed a number of shows in 2004 and 2005 with the lineup of Bayley, guitarist Oliver Palotai, guitarist Luca Princiotta, bassist Nick Douglas, and drummer Daniel Löble. The two guitarists were eventually kept on as full members. The band's lineup shifted once again when Löble quit to join German power metal band Helloween early in 2005 and when Douglas returned to another German heavy metal band, Doro. The two were replaced by unknown German musicians Daniel Schild and Christian Ammann respectively. With the new line up, Blaze began to work on a fourth studio album for a release in 2007, but in January that year it was announced the entire line-up had to part ways with Bayley due to serious financial matters. Following the lineup change, Bayley opted to rename the band under his name, Blaze Bayley.
In February 2007, Blaze Bayley Band (also known as BBB) added guitarists Nicolas Bermudez and Rich Newport, bassist Dave Bermudez, and drummer Rico Banderra and recorded the live DVD album Alive in Poland, released later on that year. Bayley announced that Rich Newport had left the band to pursue a career as a guitar teacher later on that year, and Jay Walsh would replace him onstage for the remainder of the tour. Jay was made a full member of the band in November 2007. Bayley also announced the addition of drummer Lawrence Paterson, formerly of British metal bands Chokehold and Shadowkeep at the same time.
In July 2008, Blaze Bayley Band (BBB) released their debut studio album, The Man Who Would Not Die. The album also contained the band's first single, "Robot", despite only being available digitally. It is sometimes regarded as a mini-compilation as it includes many bonus tracks. In September Debbie Hatlands, Blaze's wife and manager of the band, died of a stroke after some weeks of recovery. The singer and the band, although distraught by the loss, bravely continue to perform in honour of her love and committed work. The band recorded another DVD live at Z7, The Night That Will Not Die, which was released in March 2009. Blaze Bayley announced that the band had started recording for their new album on 28 September 2009. A contest was run on the band's forum: the first two people who correctly guessed the title of the new album would receive a free signed copy. The title was revealed to be Promise and Terror a few days later.
The second album Promise and Terror was released on 1 February 2010. Professional reviews have generally been very positive about the album. The album was produced by Jason Edwards.
On 6 February 2010 BBB started their 2010 world tour in Dudley UK. They spent the next months playing the UK, France, Italy, Germany before leaving for the South American leg of the tour. They then returned to Europe later in the year.
In May 2010 Larry Paterson, the drummer for the band left due to unspecified personal and professional reasons. Paterson was also the author of the book "At The End of the Day", a biography of the Blaze Bayley Band. Also their manager, Anna, announced her departure from the band. She claimed that the band's idea of where to go next and hers were not in the same direction.
Following the departure of Larry Paterson the Blaze Bayley Band engaged Italian drummer Claudio Tirincanti to continue the Promise and Terror tour.
On 10 July 2010 Blaze Blayley claimed live on stage that his current album was his best-selling as a solo-artist shedding some light on the recent changes in his line-up and management.
On 18 December 2010 they played a Big Bash at JB'S in Dudley Birmingham. Despite the snowy weather the band made it back from mainland Europe to play the show.
The BBB embarked on a short European tour in early 2011 and were supposed to follow that up in May 2011 with more dates in the UK. But surprisngly on 29 March via his official channels, Blaze Bayley stated that he had to part ways with the band due to both health and financial reasons. Later emerged that a great problem has been the fact that the Bermudez brothers were frequently due to be bought flights back home to Colombia to renew their visas. The matter was heavy not only from the financial and burocratical point of view, but also musically: the BBB had frequently to find last minute substitutes, in the likes of Luke and Chris Appleton from the band Fury Uk or Dave Andrews that later will enter in the live band of the singer.
On 31 March 2011, Blaze announced that he would continue as a solo performer working with different musicians. The new official line-up for live gigs features the confirmed Claudio Tirincanti on the drums, old occasional touring member Dave Andrews on the guitar, and two Belgian musicians (Steve Deleu from Fireforce and Nick Meganck, ex Ogress) respectively on the other guitar and bass. Later this will be also the live band of former Judas Priest singer, Tim "The Ripper" Owens.
Alongside the reunion and new recordings of Wolfsbane, Bayley has played a two-week acoustic solo tour in the UK in Sept 2011 with fellow Wolfsbane guitarist Jase Edwards plus a few unplugged gigs in Italy with Andrea Neri on the guitar. Footage of the acoustic shows with Jase Edwards can be seen on the Official Blaze Bayley YouTube Page.
On 19 August 2011 Blaze announced that recording of a live DVD filmed at his show in Antwerp, Belgium on 23 September 2011, in which he presented also the first new song with the renewed line-up, called "Black Country". In February 2012 Bayley toured Russia with Paul Di'Anno, starting a partnership between the two ex Iron Maiden singers.
The singer hit the stages of some summer festivals and after that has been travelling to the USA in October/November 2011 for his first full US Headline tour since his days with Iron Maiden, supported by North-American musicians of the Canadian band Man the Destroyer plus American guitarist Rick Plester, of international fame, who will work with Bayley in the near future.
On 18 December 2011 the last show of the Promise and Terror world tour took place at De Rots In Antwerp Belgium. High Definition footage from the penulitmate UK show on 15 December is available on the Official Blaze Bayley YouTube channel.
On 26 December 2011 in a personal Christmas message on his website Blaze announced that his new album The King of Metal would be released on 8 March 2012. On the same day Blaze officially announced the first two legs of the King of Metal world tour on the official Blaze Bayley Facebook Page. The King of Metal album is recorded between Italy and Holland, mixed by Tony Newton at Steve Harris home studio, Rick Plester in the Usa and Raoul Soentken in The Netherlands).
New line-up consists of 3 Italians (the confirmed drummer Claudio Tirincanti, Neurasthenia's bassist Lehmann, guitarist Andrea Neri) and Dutch Thomas Zwijsen, a young talented classic guitarist who became a cult-musician on YouTube for his acoustic arrangements of Iron Maiden's classics. Zwijsen co-wrote most of the music of the new Bayley's cd. The same line-up who recorded the album will be the next live band for Blaze Bayley in the King of Metal European Tour, which counts more than 60 gigs.
On 26 May 2012, after a concert in Como-Italy, Blaze Bayley attacked Raffaele Guarino, the bassplayer of the supportband Hideweaver. Guarino was rushed to hospital. This resulted in a legal complaint against Bayley
The busy schedule of 2012 sees also an acoustic tour with Zwijsen (July), some appearances with Czech band Seven, a few gigs with Wolfsbane (October), a second co-headlining tour with Paul Di'Anno in Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand (November), and the prosecution of the Acoustic gigs that in 2013 will touch also Brazil and Europe with Zwijsen on classical guitar and Dutch violinist Anne Bakker.
In partnership with Thomas Zwijsen Blaze has also released an EP ("Russian Holiday") of classically arranged tunes, working with Yellowdog Creative Project Management for the release. The artwork of the EP was created by Akirant.es.
Blaze Bayley then announced he is working on a "Best Of" album as a tribute to his 30th anniversary as a singer, due to be released November 2013, and a new "full metal" album after the acoustic experience, which could see the light in 2015.
In 2012, former Iron Maiden singers Blaze Bayley and Paul Di'Anno started a partnership doing some co-headlining tours and sharing the same musicians.
- for their Russian, Ukrainian, Czech Republic, Slovakia gigs of 2012-2013 the band has been:
- for their following Australia/New Zealand tour Bayley and Di'Anno shared Australian musicians:
- for the Scandinavian tour of 2013:
- for the Italian gigs of 2013 the two singers has been backed by official Iron Maiden tribute band Children of the Damned:
In June 2013 Bayley hit the stage for a brief US tour with an all star line-up named The Foundry:
-in the Usa and Canada tour of 2011 the singer performed with the following band:
- for acoustic touring Blaze recently involved those musicians:
- in Istanbul 2011, in the first gig played just after the split of BBB, the singer has been supported by Turkish band Apsent.
- for the sequent Italian summer tour of 2011 the singer has occasionally performed with the following lineup:
- in Czech Republic the singer performed with local act Seven of international fame:
- in some gigs of 2012 Neil, member of Neurasthenia as Lehmann, has performed on guitars as stand-in for Andrea Neri
- in March 2013 for a charity gig in Redhill (Uk) the line-up has been:
Promotional videos were released for the Blood and Belief song "Hollow Head" and the Silicon Messiah song "Ghost in the Machine", but these were originally only made available to fan club members. Later on, the video for "Silicon Messiah" was put on to the second disc of a limited edition of Tenth Dimension along with an EPK titled Inside the Tenth Dimension. The video of "Hollow Head" was only made available worldwide in 2007 and can be found on the Alive in Poland DVD under the "Extras" menu. The video of "Robot" was also released in February 2009.
Wasted Years with Heroage Heaven Hell Sabbath Cover Dio era Wrathchild Maiden Live in studio The Evil That Men Do The Eternal Flame The Number of the Beast VXI Tour Bootleg Wasted Years and The Trooper Acoustic Man on the Edge & Fear of the Dark played with the band Trooper
On 14 February 2007, Bayley married Debbie Hartland, his long-time girlfriend, on the island of Gran Canaria. On 6 July 2008, Hartland suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was hospitalised. She died on 27 September 2008, after having suffered a stroke two days before.
Bayley Cooke got engaged on Christmas Day 2010 to his girlfriend Eline. In September 2011, he became father of Alice.
Bayley in 2011 has announced that he has parted ways with his previous musicians due to financial and medical reasons. A year later the old bandmembers & 2 former managers admitted that the split came after various discussions with Bayley's girlfriend who wanted full control over the finances of the band.
is a British heavy metal band, formed in Guildford, England, in 1999 by guitarists Chris Allen (ex-Intense and Sire) and Nikki Robson (also formerly of Sire).
In October 1999, Shadowkeep recorded their debut six-track EP at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, England, with Belgian vocalist Rogue Marechal (ex-Halcyon) fronting the band. The EP was produced by Threshold guitarist Karl Groom. A record deal with Limb Music followed in June 2000, and the band went on to release two albums on this label: Corruption Within
(in September 2000) and A Chaos Theory
Shadowkeep's live debut was on 17 December 1999 at the Camden Underworld in London, supporting the band Dirty Deeds. Support slots followed with the likes of Dio, Halford, Symphony X, Angel Witch, Dream Evil and Flotsam and Jetsam. These major shows led to appearances at festivals in the UK, USA, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands. Unfortunately a planned appearance at the Monterrey Metal Fest in Mexico in 2005 had to be cancelled when the band's drummer and singer quit at the eleventh hour.
Shadowkeep have undergone numerous significant line-up changes over the years. Mid-2012 saw the appearance of the band's tenth incarnation.
Jim Daley (who had previously played on Patricia Morrison's solo album Reflect On This
) was the band's initial bass guitarist, but he was succeeded by Steve Scott (ex-Dragonheart), then by Steve 'SK' Kightley (ex-Spirit Of Rush) and Fredrik Englund, before the arrival of Texas-based Stony Grantham (ex-Terra Vast) in time for the Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles Festival in Cleveland in 2004. A short tour of Texas, with Ancient Cross in support, was arranged for May 2005, as a result of Grantham's involvement with the band.
At the band's inception, Allen and Robson's former Sire colleague Russell King was drafted in on drums, but he was later replaced by Dave Edwards (ex-Pete Wadeson Band), then by Scott Higham (ex-Angel Witch) and subsequently by Mauricio Chamucero. Divine Ruins' drummer, the late Mike Pittman, deputised for some US tour dates in 2003. Higham then briefly rejoined the band in early 2004, with New Zealander Lawrence Paterson replacing him for a short while later that same year. When Paterson also moved on (joining first Chokehold, then Blaze Bayley's band), Mike Pittman again helped out temporarily, until Scott Higham took his place for a third stint in the band. However, he departed once more, during the early recording sessions for the third Shadowkeep album, and joined Pendragon. Omar Hayes (ex-The Delta Sun and Epuldugger) became Shadowkeep's drummer in 2008; he joined the Guildford-based band Mikobi in late 2011, but also remained part of the Shadowkeep line-up until 2013. In February 2013, former bandmember Scott Higham rejoined on a temporary basis.
Founding vocalist Rogue Marechal departed Shadowkeep in late 2002. He resurfaced for a one-off performance with the band Balance of Power at the 'Rock The Nations' festival in Istanbul on 6 August 2005. Together with ex-Shadowkeep bassist Steve Kightley and guitarist Chris Van Hayden (ex-Biomechanical), he then went on to form a new band called Chaosgenesis, adopting the name from a song on Shadowkeep's second album. His involvement in projects including Prophecy and Poison Seed was to follow, before his return to Shadowkeep in 2012.
Initially, former Sire and Angel Witch bandmember Richie Wicks took up the vocalist's position, but within a few months he had left to concentrate fully on vocal duties with the Tygers of Pan Tang. His replacement was US vocalist Ronnie Stixx (ex-Terra Vast and Divine Ruins), with whom work began on a proposed third album, which would have different working titles at various stages in the process, including Beware The Signs
, The Awakening
, Ancient Prophecies
and Beyond The Stratosphere
. A two-track promotional CD featuring Stixx's vocals saw the light of day in 2005, but further recordings were abandoned when Stixx left Shadowkeep later that same year. He went on to front Wycked Synn, Vicious Rumors, Blood Red Skies and Project Terror. His vocals can be heard on the Divine Ruins album, Sign Of The Times
(released by Lone Wolf Records in 2004), and on the Project Terror album, Absolute Power
(released by Pure Steel Records in 2012).
In late 2005, Richie Wicks returned and officially became Shadowkeep's frontman, and work recommenced on the third album, which would now be entitled The Hourglass Effect
The album is a conceptual piece, based around a time in the not-too-distant future when the sun is prematurely dying, and positing the subsequent effects that this phenomenon might have on the Earth's population.
The Hourglass Effect
was eventually released on Dutch label Melissa Records in November 2008. At this point a reviewer from the UK's The Sun
newspaper described the band as, "The new New Wave of British Heavy Metal."
Richie Wicks departed the band in 2009. He went on to form a Dio-era Black Sabbath tribute band called Heavenly Hell, before joining covers band No Way Out on bass, in March 2011. His replacement was Matt Oakman (formerly of Structured Chaos and Born Of War), who made his live debut with Shadowkeep at The Pipeline venue in London on 6 February 2010.
As of 2008 – 2011, keyboard player Scot Collins (ex-Tainted Grace) completed Shadowkeep's line-up; in 2011, he joined the band Duplex Gage.
Journalist Mark Fielden deputised for Stony Grantham on bass guitar during live shows on Shadowkeep's 'With Force We Come' UK tour in 2010. Grantham was obliged to remain in Austin, Texas at this time, due to ongoing commitments with other bands: Drifter (an Iron Maiden tribute band, with Erika Tandy on vocals) and Sad Wings (a Judas Priest tribute band, featuring vocalist Jason McMaster).
Shadowkeep played a co-headlining gig alongside Pythia at the Peel music venue in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England on 1 May 2010.
On 28 August 2010, the band appeared at the Bridgefest 2010 rock festival in Canning Town, which was headlined by Pagan Altar and Tygers of Pan Tang.
Shadowkeep were chosen to headline the third day of the Fyreball Festival at the Westcoast Bar in Margate on 4 September 2011, but this event was cancelled ahead of time when its promoter, Fyrelyte Events, ceased operations. No further live appearances were forthcoming from Shadowkeep during 2011.
In April 2012, Chris Allen and Nikki Robson travelled to San Antonio, Texas to meet up with Stony Grantham and to take part in a tribute concert for guitarist Rene Solis of the band Texas Trash, who died in January 2012. The gig took place on 7 April 2012, with the band Methuselah also on the bill.
On 16 July 2012, vocalist Matt Oakman officially departed Shadowkeep and joined the band Dangerous Breed. In early 2013, ex-Shadowkeep vocalist Richie Wicks formed the band Black, White & Purple with former Sons Of Eden and Angel Witch bandmate Keith Herzberg, Praying Mantis drummer Gary MacKenzie, keyboard player Jason Rice, and Shadowkeep's former UK touring bassist Mark Fielden. Wicks also assumed temporary vocal duties with the reformed NWOBHM band More at this time.
Earlier, in June 2012, Shadowkeep announced on their official Facebook page that original singer Rogue Marechal was to rejoin the band, and that work was to begin on the fourth Shadowkeep album. A reunion gig was also scheduled at this time, for the Wizzfest 2013 festival in Aalter, Belgium on 23 March 2013, which would be filmed for a DVD. The band also announced plans to perform at the Swordbrothers XII festival in Andernach on 2 September 2013.
In February 2013, it was announced that Omar Hayes was no longer in the band's line-up. Taking his place for a gig at the Chameleon Music Bar in Grantham on 16 March 2013 (with The More I See and Overdrive) and at Wizzfest 2013 was former bandmember Scott Higham, although this was mooted as a temporary arrangement.
The German melodic death metal band Cryptic Wintermoon recorded a song called The Shadowkeep
on their 2003 album The Coming Storm
Christopher John Allison (born 1961) is a British record producer and founder/head of Sonic360 Records.
His work has been associated with artists such as The Beta Band, Coldplay, Walter Becker, Kinky, Plastilina Mosh, Emmanuel Jal, The Wedding Present and Shack.
Influenced by a range of musical styles encompassing rock, jazz, hip-hop, electronic, world and Latin. In his career spanning 1984 to the present, Allison has worked mainly as a record producer and label owner.
He is also well-known amongst fans of the band Shack for having the only copy of their album Waterpistol following a studio fire allowing it to be released.
In 1984, Allison fresh out of College was thrown into a hive of activity at Sarm Studios, London, home of Trevor Horn’s own label ZTT, it was the height of Frankie Goes To Hollywood mania both in the studio and on the streets with the ubiquitous ‘Frankie Says......’ t-shirts. Regular artists in the studio were 80’s icons Frankie Goes To Hollywood, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Art of Noise and Propaganda. In November 1984, Studio 1 at Sarm West was the venue for the recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the members of Band Aid in support of relief efforts for the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia.
Although working in the tech department Allison got to assist on a number of studio sessions and seeing the potential of new computer instruments such as the Fairlight and Synclavier, instruments that producers Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson were championing, Allison set about learning to programme these new ‘gods’ of the studio. He left Sarm and became a freelance Fairlight programmer working in London and Europe on music for a wide roster of clients including Iggy Pop, The Triffids, Spear of Destiny, Elkie Brooks and the Emmy award winning TV series ‘Kingdom of The Ice Bear’.
Allison got his first production break in 1987 producing the Wedding Present’s ‘My Favourite Dress’ EP. This immediately became an indie hit with John Peel championing and giving it a #6 entry in his 1987 Festive Fifty. Of the same year he produced the Wedding Present’s debut album ‘George Best’ which racked up a further 4 song entries in the festive 50. The ‘George Best’ album and accompanying EP’s were such an indie success that RCA snapped them up and Allison went onto produce album number 2 'Bizzaro’, which went on to sell 100,000 albums and garner a further 5 entries in John Peel's festive fifty 1989. A UK singles chart entry at #33 for the song 'Kennedy' and the album ‘Bizarro’ itself reaching #22 in the UK album charts. Allison went on to produce other Peel favourites - The Flatmates (#2 indie hit with ‘Shimmer’), The Pale Saints and Ned's Atomic Dustbin.
Showing his versatility as a producer Allison moved away from indie guitars and on to the psychedelic folk/rock of Liverpool band Shack and the album ‘Waterpistol’. Brothers Mick and John Head were a writing force to be reckoned with, influences ranged from classic pop to jazz and folk. Things didn’t go too well, as Allison recalls: “Mick could never finish anything. I’ve never worked with anyone like him, but he’s a songwriting genius and one of the most gifted artists I’ve ever worked with.”
Allison recalls that Head would disappear for days on end during the recording, so he took drastic steps. “I locked him in the studio and told him I wouldn’t let him out until he’d done five vocals. He was furious and wasn’t used to working without a few drinks, but the results were amazing.” And he says all this with genuine warmth; Head might have been a trial to work with, but he was capable of greatness. Just after the recording and mixing was completed in 1991, Star Street Studio burned down taking the masters of Head's opus with it. The Ghetto record label then folded which heralded the end of Shack. Since then no new material has been released by Head and little heard of him.
After the recording Allison meanwhile had taken off to do his Jack Kerouac in the US and had with him his producer's copy DAT of 'Waterpistol' but in a cruel twist of fate had left it in his hire car. When he returned and learnt of the fire he miraculously managed to track it down through the hire car company. But everything lay dormant until German Indie Marina rang Leahy's office and said it wanted to release the album. So in 1995, one of 1991's best records was released, a tour-de-force of timeless pop songs that sounded as fresh as anything heard that year. Waterpistol became a cult classic with the likes of NME, Select, Q, Time Out, Vox, FHM, Uncut and others all championing it as a bona-fide classic.
Q Magazine recently included it in the Greatest Album Stories Ever (April 2012).
Allison went on to work with another Liverpool favourite The Real People. The track ‘Believer’ was a UK singles chart #38 entry produced by Allison. 1998 saw Allison producing the album ‘Slain by Urusei Yatsura’ by Glaswegian band Urusei Yatsura with song ‘Hello Tiger’ reaching #40 in the UK Singles Chart.
The Beta Band came to Allison’s attention in 1998, thanks to Parlophone A&R Miles Leonard. Leonard was a Shack ‘Waterpistol’ fan. He asked Allison to produce the ‘Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos’ and ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ EP’s, that were later included in their entirety on the ‘The Three E.P.'s’ UK album chart position #35 and this led to production work on the album ‘The Beta Band’ UK album chart position #18. Newly signed Beta Band stable mates Coldplay’s early recordings were produced by Allison. ‘Things got off to a productive start. The first track we worked on was ‘High Speed’, which ultimately proved good enough to make it onto the first album. Allison describes it thus: ‘You’ll notice it is quite a bit different to other tracks, because there are other sounds going on in it: we wanted to mix a soundscape in with the classic rock sound on that particular track. To give it a slightly different perspective I guess, with the full willingness and understanding of the band. I thought ‘High Speed’ was a really good marriage between the classic rock sound and the new sound that were developing out of it, something that was more atmospheric’. ‘Don’t Panic’, ‘See You Soon’ and ‘High Speed’ were featured on the ‘The Blue Room (EP)' and ‘High Speed’ also featured on the Grammy award winning album ‘Parachutes’ with the album reaching #1 on the UK Album Charts. Allison’s version of ‘Don’t Panic’ is a more atmospheric version than the one that appears on the album Parachutes. There is also a wonderfully atmospheric version of ‘We Never Change’ which has yet to see the light of day. In December 1999 looking for a new challenge Allison took off to Monterrey Mexico to produce the ‘Juan Manuel’ album for Latin America superstars ‘Plastilina Mosh’ signed to EMI Mexico. On his travels he discovered early Sonic360 signing and Mexican electro/funk/Latin artist Kinky, whose eponymous album was also produced by Allison. The album was nominated for a Latin and US Grammy at the 45th Grammy’s.
Chris Allison is Owner and CEO of music labels Sonic360, Sonic360, Inc., Sonic360 Music Publishing and Sonic360 Music Publishing America. Sonic360 is distributed by Fontana/Universal.
Allison launched Sonic360 in June 2000. It excels in breaking new musical boundaries, predominantly but not exclusively marketing and promoting non-western artists to a western audience. Sonic360 has its headquarters in London and a subsidiary in the United States, (Sonic360 Inc).
Artists that have signed to the label include Mexican electro-funk rock outfit Kinky. They signed an exclusive worldwide deal with Sonic360 in the summer of 2000. Kinky's eponymous debut album was nominated for the Best Rock Album award at the Latin Grammy's (2002) and Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album at the US Grammy's (2002). Their follow up album, Atlas was nominated for numerous awards, including Best Alternative Music Album at the Latin Grammy's (2004).
In August 2007, Sonic360 signed ex-Sudanese child soldier turned conscious hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal. Sonic360 hired the talents of Neal Pogue (Outkast, Talib Kweli) to additionally produce and mix the ‘Warchild’ album. It was followed by a 90 minute documentary [War Child’, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won the prestigious Cadillac Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. His Autobiography is published by St. Martin's Press. Jal performed an electric set at the Mandela 90th Birthday in Hyde Park, London. He was presented to the stage by an enthusiastic Peter Gabriel, calling him a young Bob Marley in the making.
Summer of 2008 included one of Sonic360’s proudest releases - from legendary Steely Dan man Walter Becker. Over the past 38 years, Becker and his long-time collaborator Donald Fagen have released 10 albums under the Steely Dan moniker. 'Circus Money' was Becker’s second highly anticipated solo effort, produced by Grammy® Award winning producer Larry Klein.
Born on June 2, 1965, Steve Sledje is best known as the singer/songwriter and guitarist of the death metal band Hellstrum. Commonly called Sledje, he has pioneered a melding of industrial and metal styles that employs a death growl vocal style. His lyrics are at times dark and mystic on a backdrop of fast, shredding guitar chords and solos.
Sledje grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. After attending Butler University as a music student, Sledje left for Berklee College of Music where he enjoyed a summer session in Boston, Massachusetts. This marked the beginning of a thirteen-year residency in Boston during which time he joined the bands Hit Squad and Tommy Gun. After those projects ended, Sledje organized his own band Stampede Machine. They released their debut CD “Hostile Environment” in 1995. The CD was distributed internationally and can occasionally be found for sale on the Internet albeit at high prices. The band reportedly dissolved in 1997 or 1998 before the completed recording their second release.
Sledje began writing and recording on his own, and in 1999, he moved to Colorado Springs where he began collaboration with local musicians. At the same time, he developed an interest in private music instruction which he was continuing as of 2009. While in Colorado, Sledje has played and recorded with many bands including Power Tribe and Dirtnap. He also recorded a solo collection of acoustic songs in 2004.
After experimenting with a wide range of styles and genres, he founded his current band with friend and drummer Mike Pittman. The Hellstrum project started in 2006 and offered a unique combination of industrial, metal, and gothic styles. Tragically, Mike Pittman died in August 2007 at the same time as Hellstrum’s first release, the self-released EP, “Chronicles Volume One.” The band continued with some personnel changes and the current lineup includes Sledje on lead vocals and guitar, Jack Aragon on lead guitar, Brent Wagner on bass guitar, and Dino Cuneo on drums. Hellstrum has since released “Chronicles Volume Two” and continues to record in preparation for a future release.
In recent years, Sledje has become a mentor to other musicians, a proponent of experimental music, and an outspoken advocate for gun owners.
Balance of Power are a British melodic progressive metal group, formed in 1995.
Balance of Power was formed in 1995 by keyboardist Ivan Gunn, along with a group of musicians from the London rock scene. One of their first line-ups featured drummer Lionel Hicks, bassist Chris Dale, vocalist Tony Ritchie, and guitarists Bill Yates and Paul Curtis. In October 1996, this line-up started working on their first album titled When the World Falls Down. The album, produced by Hicks and Curtis, was picked up by Pony Canyon Records and released in Japan in 1997 where it was well received. The album was also released by Point Records around Europe.
After their first album, lead singer Tony Ritchie was replaced by American Lance King. At the time, founder Ivan Gunn was working some licensing deals with King, who offered himself for the job. Ritchie, however, remained with the band as their main songwriter. In 1998, the band released their second studio album, Book of Secrets. The album also featured new guitarist Pete Southern, who was a childhood friend of Hicks and Ritchie.
After their second album, the band returned to the studio to work on the follow-up: Ten More Tales of Grand Illusion. At this time, founder and keyboardist Ivan Gunn left the band to concentrate on work with his record company, Anthem. When Chris Dale left the band, former vocalist and bassist Tony Ritchie rejoined them as bassist. They then released their fourth album, Perfect Balance, in 2001. Chris Beck, of HM magazine called it a "superior album in almost every way" when comparing it to the band's previous efforts. He also said the album "had excellent singing, musicianship and production".
In 2003, the band parted ways with singer Lance King after some disagreements. In an interview with HM magazine, King said that "unfortunately we couldn't work together anymore--some business, and some of it personal." Guitarist Pete Southern said in another interview that Lance's departure was "never about music", but attributed it to the "business side" of their relationship. In June 2003, they recruited singer John K, from Biomechanical and released the album Heathen Machine.
After a brief tour, John K decided to rejoin Biomechanical full-time. In an interview, John said "I found my self giving Biomechanical less that 100% and that bothered me a lot... As a musician you have something to say and I think you can easily lose direction by playing in two or three bands. I personally find it disorientating and I would prefer to focus in my band only." The decision was amicable and the band continued to work on other projects.
In 2005, the band released their first compilation of hits, entitled Heathenology. This package included a DVD with live footage of the band, plus a collection of tracks from previous albums. That spring they also toured with Pink Cream 69 and Axxis. In August 6 of that year, they appeared at the Rock The Nations festival in Istanbul, with ex-Shadowkeep vocalist Rogue Marechal handling vocal duties on a one-off basis.
On 20 July 2005, the band announced that their new vocalist would be Corey Brown (formerly of Magnitude 9, Section 16 and Psycho Drama). He began performing live with the band at the end of the summer in Firefest II. Steve Atkinson, of Hard Rock House remarked that, despite being Brown's second performance with the band, "they all looked utterly at ease on the stage. The band cruised their time slot, with a majestic swagger, blending expansive, orchestral keyboards and lightning guitar".
After this, the band began working together on the band's sixth album, which was tentatively titled Whispers in the Hurricane, and set for release in 2006. However, the album never surfaced and its members are currently working on other projects.
German Tour 2000 - with Pink Cream 69 and Axxis
14 April - Kaufbeuren
15 April - Bochum
16 April - Korbach
17 April - Ulm
18 April - Bremen
19 April - Schweinfurt
21 April - Offenbach
22 April - Manheim
23 April - Markneukirchen
24 April - Carlsruhe
26 April - Nurnberg
27 April - Hamburg
28 April - Braunschweig
29 April - Trossingen
9/10 November - PROGPOWER 02 Festival, Atlanta, USA
31 August - Bloodstock Festival II - Derby, UK
30 August - Abracadabras, Burton-On-Trent, UK (warm-up gig)
17 March - Alcatraz - Southsea (warm-up gig)
20 March - Buolding a Force Festival - Stadthalle Widdern (nr Heidelberg/Stuttgart, Germany)
2 September - The Underworld, Camden, London (warm-up gig)
4 September - Bloodstock Festival - The Assembly Roms, Derby, UK
6 August - Rock the Nations - Istanbul, Turkey
26 November - Firefest 2 - Nottingham Rock City, UK
21 April - Elements of Rock - Uster, Switzerland