For this listener, the new album by Hobbs’ Angel of Death has been an enormous surprise. From song to song, my smile grew wider and wider when I first heard it, my eyes popping bigger and bigger until I began to fear they’d rocket out of my head and explode against the wall in smears of jelly. The thing is a pure rush of molten metal guitar gold.
I’m sure one reason why the album came as such a huge surprise was that, unlike many of you out there, I was unfamiliar with Peter Hobbs’ history during metal’s glory years in the ’80s, perhaps because bands from Australia in those days labored mainly in the deep underground as compared to their European and North American counterparts.
I’ve learned that his band released two demos in 1987 (Angel of Death and Virgin Metal Invasion From Down Under) and then a self-titled debut album in 1988 on the Steamhammer label. Seven years passed before a second album would emerge (1995’s Inheritance), and then the band broke up.
Hobbs re-formed the band seven more years later, and there have been sporadic festival and tour appearances since then, but only now has Hobbs’ Angel of Death produced an album of brand new music, more than 20 years after the last one. The album’s name is Heaven Bled, and it will be released by Hells Headbangers on October 14.