Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Starting up in 1987 as a solo project of band mainstay Peter Hobbs, Australia’s Hobbs’ Angel Of Death was one of that nation’s first extreme metal bands.
Ex-Tyrus guitarist Peter Hobbs recruited help from former Nothing Sacred members Karl Lean (bass), Sham Littleman (drums), and Mark Woolley (guitar) for the project’s earliest recording. That was their 1987, independently issued five-song demo ‘Virgin Metal Invasion From Down Under‘. The term “virgin metal” was Hobbs’ moniker for their style of European-influenced thrash, which he claimed was “a pure form of music”.
The band’s line-up would shift before the year’s end with the addition of bassist Steve Scott and drummer Darren McMaster-Smith for another demo recording. Another independently issued 1987 outing, the six-song ‘Angel Of Death‘, and its predecessor were stirring up a lot of interest in the band itself. Another change in bassists resulted in new member Philip Gresik joining the band in time to record its official début full-length.
Clearly inspired by the likes of Venom and Celtic Frost, the self-titled ‘Hobbs’ Angel Of Death’ album was released through Germany’s SPV/Steamhammer Records in 1988. Produced by the famed Harris Johns (Helloween, Voivod, Kreator, etc.), the album quickly became one of the label’s best-selling albums at that time.
Deciding it was time to take the band on the road, Hobbs and Woolley were joined by the new rhythm section of Bruno Canziani (drums) and Dave Frew (bass) and began touring.
1988 saw Hobbs’ Angel Of Death included on a compilation / split release from Chain Reaction Records, ‘Metal Forces Presents…Demolition – Scream Your Brains Out‘. The band was one of five featured on the collection alongside Anacrusis, Atrophy, Aftermath, and Leviathan.
However, Hobbs’ Angel Of Death would dissolve for unknown reasons around 1989 – 1990 and remain inactive for a period of time. Within a few years though, Hobbs’ Angel Of Death recorded a second studio album with a whole new band beside Peter.
Joining him for the 1995 Def Records ‘Inheritance‘ release were guitarist Nick Maltezos, bassist Dave Frew, and drummer Bruno Canziani. Unfortunately, due to reasons outside the control of the band itself, the flames of attention and wide-range interest in the band had waned, it would seem.
The album suffered from poor production and sound quality, even worse, it was limited to an Australian-only release. This sophomore release from the band was quite hard to obtain outside of the band’s home country, and Hobbs’ Angel Of Death broke up soon after its release.
In 2002, Peter Hobbs reformed the band and released a compilation album of the two earliest demos from Hobbs’ Angel Of Death. As is the case with most obscure, underground, or old-school metal bands that eventually resurface, there was wide-ranging interest in the iconic act.
The band embarked upon a European tour that included a stop at the world-famous Wacken Open Air Festival, along with shows with Destruction and Mayhem along the way.
In 2011, Hobbs’ Angel Of Death returned to the Australian touring circuit with a supporting slot on Forbidden’s tour there. The band also played a small number of live shows of their own, before embarking on several European tours throughout 2012 and 2013.
Hobbs’ Angel Of Death is alive, well, and regularly active at this time, playing shows, festivals and tours. The current lineup of the legendary act includes its resilient leader Peter Hobbs with Simon Wizen (lead guitar), Alessio ‘Cane’ Medici (bass), and Iago Bruchi (drums).
For all the latest info, events, and other actions from Hobbs’ Angel Of Death, visit their Facebook page here.