Ostensibly the solo project of singer and guitarist Peter Hobbs (ex-Tyrus), Hobbs' Angel of Death was one of Australia's first extreme metal bands (founded in 1985), working up a few much-talked-about demos before making their recorded debut with an eponymous album in 1988.
Recorded in Berlin and released by Germany's Steamhammer label, the album still rates as one of the great cult metal releases of the '80s, drawing comparisons to Slayer's Reign in Blood because of its aggressive thrashing and Satanic references (Hobbs himself called it "virgin metal," for supposedly representing metal in its purest state). Unfortunately, the band's geographic isolation in Australia didn't suit the resources of a poorly funded independent record company based in Europe, and when Hobbs fell out with his backing musicians, lead guitarist Mark Woolley, bassist Philip Gresik, and drummer Darren McMaster-Smith, the entire enterprise fell abruptly silent -- at least until 1995, when Hobbs recruited an entirely new lineup consisting of Nick Maltezos (lead guitar), Dave Frew (bass), and Bruno Canziani (drums), and emerged from the darkness with a poorly produced second Hobbs' Angel of Death LP, simply entitled Inheritance. Almost impossible to get a copy of outside Australia, this record too was followed by a lengthy hiatus, and then another unexpected comeback with yet another crew of backing musicians via 2003's Hobbs' Satan's Crusade. This album was supported by a few Australian concert dates in support of German thrashers Destruction and Norwegian black metallers Mayhem, but it remains to be seen whether Hobbs' Angel of Death will rise from the grave once again. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia