Hobbs’ Angel of Death should be a household name for every well-informed thrash metal fan. Hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, the Australian band first started out as a solo project of main man and former Tyrus-guitarist Peter Hobbs, and one can rightfully say that they belong to the pioneers of mid-Eighties’ Australian thrash metal. The two demos “Angel of Death” and “Virgin Metal Invasion from Down Under” were followed by the self-titled debut album in 1988 which thrilled thrashers on both halves of the globe;
1995 saw the release of the sophomore album “Inheritance” and sadly, in spite of the cult status they had acquired in the meantime, Hobbs’ Angel of Death dissolved soon after its release. That could have been the end of it, but… In 2002 the band got reformed, signed a four-album deal the next year and have been alive and kicking ever since;
and now they finally give their brand new album to the world;
and it was about time, wasn’t it? Peter Hobbs himself gives a short account of what has happened since “Inheritance” came out: “Actually it's almost 23 years since ‘Inheritance’ was recorded. I've still been writing tunes and playing though, but it really kicked off again in 2010. Where has the time gone I ask myself!!?” Apart from Peter himself, the band has a completely new line-up that has only been playing together since 2013/14. Peter talks a bit about his new comrades-in-arms: “I travel a lot touring so I come across many people. I toured Europe and found Alessio. He needed a gig in Germany and I needed a show in Italy. From that meeting we have become great friends. He is actually like a son to me now. We have travelled many miles together from our first meeting in 2013.” If one has ever wondered why it regularly takes Peter so long to record and release new stuff, the answer may lie in his perfectionism: “I've recorded the new album three times. I was my goal to give to the industry a more mature album. The previous attempts were great but I was not totally satisfied with the results so I kept at it until I knew and felt that my achievement was made, and it clearly shines through within the new album. I believe that ‘Heaven Bled’ is just as great a the earlier albums, all written and produced by myself for a wider range of musical tastes and catering for more people in all fields of metal.” Some people say that Hobbs’ Angel of Death play thrash metal in the Slayer vein while Peter himself refers to his music as “virgin metal”, an “untainted and pure form of metal”. Is this also true for “Heaven Bled”? “I'm glad you brought that question up. I played just before Slayer in Finland at Jalomettalii 2013 - a thirty year wait! I asked Kerry King the question if he felt or thought or heard that Hobbs’ was a Slayer cover band. His reply was ‘I've heard of Hobbs’ Angel of Death but no, you have your own style compared to us !!!!!!’ But it's a fact, I love Slayer!!!!!!” So, looks like this question has been answered once and for all. As said above, Peter wrote all the music for the new album and did all the arrangements himself. “I've been doing this since day one. I’ve had the songs on the new album in the works for many years, some of them I even wrote almost 30 years ago. I revamped some old riffs with the modern feel and it's paid off for the release of ‘Heaven Bled’.” Even though it seems to be a good guess, the opener “Il monstro di Firenzi” is not a contribution by bassist Alessio “Cane” Medici: “I had written this song some time ago but I was still looking for a title. A lot of my tunes are inspired by history, just like the cult song ‘Jack the Ripper’ from our debut album. Here it was the same: I did some research of where the murders where committed by the Florence monster and I actually walked around the areas and felt the ground and breathed the air and tried to put my self within the same frame of mind as these serial killers, so the song just fell into place.” “Heaven Bled” was recorded at the West Link Studio in Italy: “I had arranged to meet the engineer to get a feel of him and his studio. I walked in and saw the old school sound craft desk!!!!! I was at home and I new from seeing his equipment that Ovi could get me the sound I wanted, so I made the right choice. I'm very happy with the product, I knew exactly what I wanted and had full focus on every result.” When the debut came out Hobbs’ Angel of Death gained some early fame as “the other remarkable Australian thrash metal band besides Mortal Sin.” With the next album German Rock Hard magazine even went so far as to ask if they were “the better Slayer”. Peter’s comment on this: “Wow, I'm being called the better Slayer! I'm overwhelmed with that statement, but to be honest, it's not the first time I've heard that…everyone who knows me does know that I put my heart and soul into what I do as a professional, on the road and off the road. When touring I give it my full passion and execute the job as sincerely as I can.” Mr. Hobbs seems to be quite satisfied to see his new endeavour coming out on High Roller Records: “I’ve always had respect for companies that are trying to keep the industry alive, and High Roller Records is one of them, so I felt that we are on the same side and could work together as a team, and I'm sure we will put out some top quality in every aspect.” The album will come with a 7inch that contains a version of “Depopulation” from the “Inheritance” album, and another song called “Suicide”. Peter explains why he decided to include this little extra: “I wrote the song ‘Suicide’ many years ago and I wanted it to be on an album;
it has a great 80s feel about it. ‘Depopulation’ was more or less a bonus track. One day I will re-record “Inheritance” and revamp these songs, but for now let's concentrate on one thing at a time.” He’s surely right, and the thing to concentrate on is of course the new album “Heaven Bled”: “My plan is to continue to tour world-wide and to promote this new Hobbs’ album and move it into the cult status the debut already has ...” Peter knows of course that this status would mean nothing if it wasn’t for his loyal Hobbs’ fans, thus his last words here go to them: “I’d like to thank all Hobbs’ supporters for the love and respect from people that is greatly given to me. You all have my respect in full return and I look forward seeing you all again on tour.
Record Label: High Roller Records
Style: Trash Metal