Angel Witch is one of the most underrated bands to emerge during the new wave of British heavy metal movement in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The list of bands who cite them as an influence are as long as your arm, but Angel Witch never broke through to mass acclaim that some of their peers such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest did.
Formed in London in 1977, the band has endured so many breakups, reunions, lineup changes (at least 28 different musicians have been in the band at some time or another… some multiple times), and mismanagement debacles that they could make a documentary to act as the sequel to This Is Spinal Tap. This has all led to a rather sparse output; Angel Witch have issued only four full-length studio albums in 35 years.
Here below is the title track of the band’s eponymous 1980 debut album, the highly revered Angel Witch.
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early â€™80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.