Classic CHORUS driven Heavy Rock, Heavy Metal! The sound that creates their brand of Heavy Metal Thunder, is derived from a duo of extremely powerful twin guitarists. The rhythm section is of ‘Classic Rock’, and leans towards the intensity of such epics as Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller, but still retains the grind, thump and grandeur of the classic Kashmir. This huge sound is totally accentuated and driven home by a colossal vocal, tuneful, but hard hitting as it delivers home each chorus line.
In short, Desolation Angels are ‘Classic Rock’ but with a modern and contemporary twist!
Desolation Angels was formed in early 1981 by childhood friends and twin guitarists, Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp. Drummer, John Graham, was recruited from their former band to pursue a heavier direction and was soon joined by Joe Larner on bass. Following an advert placed in Melody Maker for a vocalist, the line-up was completed when Dave Wall auditioned. Based in the East End of London, the band started writing and rehearsing and soon built up a reputation playing live.
The band’s first single, ‘Valhalla’, was recorded at a studio in Cheltenham in 1982 and, by this time, the band was touring extensively the UK. In 1984, their debut self titled album ‘Desolation Angels’ was recorded at Thameside Studios, London.
After spending eight years in the USA playing live shows and recording, the band returned to the UK.
After various personnel changes since the reformation of Desolation Angels in 2012, the band members are: Robin Brancher (guitar), Keith Sharp (guitar), Clive Pearson (bass), Chris Takka (drums) Paul Taylor (vocals). The band continue to play live both here in the UK and in Europe.
Desolation Angels have recently finished recording their next album, entitled ‘KING’, with producer Chris Tsangarides – RIP. A collection of nine songs containing their regular trademark sound of classic heavy metal riffs.
KING will be re-released with revised cover art and will be distributed worldwide through Dissonance Productions.
As well as the new album, the band has also re-released a special 30th anniversary edition of their debut album, ‘Desolation Angels’.
2018 will see Desolation Angels back on the road gigging extensively to promote ‘KING’, reaching out to their fans in many places around the world.
DESOLATION ANGELS BIOGRAPHY
Formed in London during 1981, Desolation Angels emerged from the explosion of new heavy talent that the UK was producing during the now hallowed “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal”. With a distinctive but fervently classic sound and songs that were always designed for the long haul, founder members and twin guitarists Keith Sharp and Robin Brancher had a clear vision based on meticulous songwriting, anthemic oomph, hard rock swagger and plenty of street-level, heavy metal grit. Fronted by powerhouse vocalist Dave Wall, Desolation Angels made an immediate impact on the UK scene and swiftly earned a reputation for their blazing potency as a live band.
After generating shockwaves in the underground with their 1982 debut single, Valhalla/Boadicea, the band were snapped up by Bullit Records for their classic debut album, Desolation Angels Recorded during a turbulent time in the band’s evolution, the strength of the band’s material and Sharp and Brancher’s determination ensured that despite a succession of line-up changes, nothing would stand in their way. Released in 1986, the album became an instant cult favourite in the UK, thanks to full-throttle blasts of heavy metal thunder like Evil Possessor and Death Machine and cataclysmic epics like the mighty Spirit Of The Deep.
For all their progress at home, however, the band’s destiny lay elsewhere. Desolation Angels relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and began a campaign to conquer the USA bit by bit, generating a big local following on the city’s Sunset Strip and making inroads into neighbouring states along the way. Despite further personnel reshuffles, the band’s second album arrived in 1990: recorded at Silvercloud Studios in Burbank, CA, While The Flame Still Burns was a self-financed cry of defiance that delighted diehard fans by deftly upgrading the classic Desolation Angels attack for a new era.
Sadly, the energy required to sustain their bid for greatness finally ran out in the early ‘90s. After returning to the UK, Desolation Angels were a divided and spent force. Despite plans to re-record their second album with a new singer, Lee Addison, the band finally went their separate ways in May 1994. Of course, loyal metalheads’ devotion to their culture and cause never wavered during the years that followed, and thus the news that Sharp and Brancher were to resurrect their now quietly legendary band in 2012 sent the faithful into paroxysms of beer- sodden joy.
A brand new incarnation of the NWOBHM mavericks was assembled, with frontman Paul Taylor, bassist Clive Pearson and drummer Chris Takka now standing alongside the original duelling Angels themselves. Meanwhile, the band’s music hasn’t aged one iota: the ageless spirit of balls-out hard rock and heads-down heavy metal was much in evidence on the band’s comeback release, 2014’s Sweeter The Meat EP, and now – as the UK metal underground canters towards what looks like a new golden age – expectations are sky high for their forthcoming third full-length.
One of the most keenly anticipated returns in living memory, Desolation Angels’ new album King will hit the streets on February 23, 2018 via steel-plated Dissonance Productions. A blistering tour-de-force of everything that made the band so electrifying first time round, bolstered by a fat dose of contemporary belligerence, it’s the kind of unrelenting heavy metal blitzkrieg that promises to increase national neck-brace manufacture tenfold. Make no mistake, Desolation Angels are back and hell-bent on conquering all.
BACK IN THE BEGINNING
Written by K Sharp.
Desolation Angels was formed in early 1981 by childhood friends and twin guitarists Robin Brancher and Keith Sharp.
We recruited drummer John Graham from our previous band to pursue a heavier direction, soon to be joined by another old school friend Joe Larner on bass. An ad was placed in Melody Maker for a vocalist and the line-up was completed when Dave Wall auditioned. Being based in the East End of London, we set about writing, rehearsing and building up a local following. During 1981 we put together a couple of rough demos but at that time our main passion was playing live. We soon built up a reputation as a live act on the pub and club circuit. In those days we spent more money putting on a decent show with a huge P.A and lights, than we received from playing.
A few drummers also came and went, but the band really started coming together when Brett Robertson joined in 1982. We recorded our first single ‘Valhalla / Boadicea’ at a studio in Cheltenham, which was produced by Mike Fisher who used to organise our P.A. at gigs. By now we were putting our own tours together around the country and the following years were spent constantly gigging. We upgraded our old van to a converted coach which became our home from home.
By 1984 we were approached by Bullit Records to sign with them to record our debut album. After playing a couple of shows in Belgium we went into Thameside Studios in Rotherhithe, London. Not having much experience of recording, things started to go wrong when Bullit went bust while we were in the studio. We wanted to pull the plug on the whole thing but we were under contract to finish. The studio set-up did not suit some members of the band, and this led to Brett’s departure. A couple more drummers passed through, but we got back on track when Adam Palfrey filled the drum stool, only for us to be dealt another blow when long-time bassist Joe Larner decided he had had enough.
Our love of the music and sheer determination kept us going through these dark days, and eventually we found a new bassist in Dave Scutt, who shared our enthusiasm. After recording a five-song demo at Impulse Studios in Worcester we embarked on tours in England, Scotland and Wales. One of these shows brought us together with promoter John Feely who gave us the opportunity to travel to the U.S.A. Our last gig in England was at the world-famous Marquee Club in London in October 1987.
Once based in Los Angeles, with John Feely established as our manager, we began to realise that we were in for some hard work, starting over again in a new country. We spent much of the time building up our fan club and playing just a few shows on the Sunset Strip around Hollywood, but later we played live in some neighbouring states and began recording songs in a number of studios. We eventually settled at Silvercloud Studios, Burbank, CA to record a self-financed album ‘While the Flame Still Burns’, which we planned to sell to our fans by mail-order. During this time, the stress told on the band, and the cracks began to grow, and sadly Adam departed. This time we recruited a young American drummer called Sam Wilmore, who we had to tame before we completed the album and get back on the live circuit.
We went on to entertain the troops at air bases before the first Gulf War in 1991, and then embarked on our final U.S. tour across the southern states, reaching as far as the east coast of Florida. By now the only time we came together was when it counted on stage, but even then the pressures of living together for six years were taking their toll. We were hoping to secure a major record deal, but it was not to be, and by the winter of 1991/92 half the band returned to England, and Dave Scutt decided to quit. We replaced Dave Wall with a new singer, Lee Addison, and chose to re-record the album; we parted company with John Feely and based ourselves back in England, but even the return of Dave Scutt did not stop us from pulling in different musical directions, and we finally split in May, 1994.
Despite all these twists and knock-backs, these years remain the best of my life. There is no better buzz than the sound of a crowd singing along to a song you have written. The low points have to be parting with some great guys we have shared times together on and off stage.
Recently we were approached by Richard Walker of the Miskatonic foundation with the idea of compiling a boxed set of the history of the band, including the demos, live gigs and an unreleased album. It captures the different stages through the band’s career, from the earliest demos to the excitement of the live shows.