"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Witchfinder General

Formed: 1979
From: Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Witchfinder General News

Below is our complete Witchfinder General news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

OpEd

Denim And Leather: Celebrating 35 Years Of NWOBHM

This month marks thirty five years since one of the most important terms in heavy metal history was coined. After a show featuring Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Samson, Sounds writer Geoff "Deaf" Barton wrote a review of the concert in which a phrase was used that still stands strong today. It was the time when head banging public was introduced to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The term was arguably created to cause a stir amongst fans who would argue that heavy metal bands in Britain was nothing new and that the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest had been packing out large venues and appearing on such television shows as Top of the Pops for the last few years, despite the dominance of punk rock. However, these bands were different. They possessed the energy of punk but had the look and volume of the early metal bands before them. They took heavy metal away from the grandiose indulgence which some bands had become embroiled in and brought it back to the common man.

It was truly an exciting movement, full of high quality bands which would go on to influence hundreds more and in some cases, become superstars themselves. More or less every metal fan will be able to tell you that Iron Maiden was one such NWOBHM band, with a slightly smaller number being able to point to Def Leppard as another group from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal who went on to stardom after the release of their excellent self-titled EP and debut album, "On Through the Night," following which they shifted direction to the band we know today. More...

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Hooded Menace Streaming Bonus Cover Song

Hooded Menace has unveiled a bonus track from the "Effigies of Evil" album sessions through CVLT Nation. You can hear the band cover Witchfinder General's "Burning A Sinner" over at this location.

Hooded Menace has also launched a new art feature discussing David D'Andrea's processes to create the artwork for "Effigies of Evil." The feature hosts never-before-seen rough sketches of the art as it was coming to life. Check it out now at Loudwire right here. More...

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Column

Sunday Old School: Witchfinder General

Sometimes in the world of heavy metal and hard rock music, one band can prove to be a major influence on hundreds, if not thousands of future fans of the genre. We have already seen how this is true when we looked at Geordie noise merchants Venom and the influence they had on black metal, so now shall we see how another band from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement would make their mark, this time on the doom metal genre. The band in question is Witchfinder General, who, like many other heavy British bands before them, including Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, came from the Midlands area of England. The group was founded in 1979 by the duo of Zeeb Parkes (vocals) and guitarist Phil Cope and settled on the name Witchfinder General, which they got from the classic Vincent Price movie. Before long the lineup was completed when the pair recruited Cope's cousin Steve Kinsell on drums and bass player Toss McCready. After writing material, the band released their first single in 1981 entitled, "Burning A Sinner" (sometimes jokingly reffered to as "Burning A Singer") through Heavy Metal Records. The next year, the group released an EP entitled, "Soviet Invasion," which while only featuring three songs (one of which was a live track,) clocked in at thirty minutes long.

The next step for the band was to release a full length album, which was finally unleashed in 1982. The album was entitled, "Death Penalty" and immediately became notorious as a result of it's album cover, which featured topless model Joanne Latham with hooded figures in the yard of a church in Enville, Staffordshire and had not been approved, nor even granted permission to be taken, by the church's reverend. Despite the controversy however, the album received positive reviews and has since gone on to be recognised as a true classic in the doom metal genre. A second album would follow the next year, in the form of "Friends Of Hell." Once again, the album contained a controversial front cover, with the band posing with semi-naked models in front of a church. However, the controversy had proved less beneficial than "Death Penalty," with some seeing it as almost a parody of themselves. The album itself received some backlash from fans for attempting to expand the group's fanbase to a more mainstream audience with the single, "Music," which ultimately failed to achieve it's primary goal. After being unable to grow the way they had wanted to and the band called it a day in 1984.

Like many New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands however, they eventually returned to the music scene, although this time without vocalist Zeeb Parkes. They announced teir reformation in Novemeber 2006, with Cope bringing back bass player Rod Hawkes, who had played on the "Friends Of Hell"record and drummer Dermot Redmond, who had joined the band after the second album's release, along with new member in the form vocalist Gary Martin. The band's first move as a regrouped unit came the next year when they released a compilation entitled, "Buried Amongst The Ruins," which featured both the A and B-Side to the "Burning A Sinner" single, the "Soviet Invasion" EP and four live tracks, among which was a live version of a previously unreleased song entitled, "Phantasmagorical." In 2008, the band released their first album of all new material in twenty five years entitled, "Resurrected." Though the band has repeatedly stated they will not perform live again, the possibility of another album could well come true and their influence and mark on the doom metal genre cannot, and nor should it be, ignored or overlooked. More...

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Witchfinder General Reform, Plan New Album

Cult '80s metalheads Witchfinder General have re-formed. The band, who were hugely influential on the death and black metal scenes, are planning to record a new album.

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