Back To The Past (5):

WARLOCK was formed in January 1983 in the town of Düsseldorf, Germany after vocalist Dorothee "DORO" Pesch left her previous outfit SNAKEBITE. Joining DORO in WARLOCK were guitarists Rudy Graf and Peter Szigeti, bass player Frank Rittel and drummer Michael "Micha" Eurich. After continuously playing the German club scene, the band were finally signed by the small German label Mausoleum Records and in early 1984 they released their first album called "Burning The Witches".

Combining the influences of such classic metal bands as ACCEPT, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD, WARLOCK proved that they were ready to take the world by storm. Containing music that can only be described as raw, energetic, intense and of course heavy "Burning The Witches" was an instant success with fans and critics alike and became a classic on the strength of cuts like "Sign Of Satan", "After The Bomb", "Holding Me" and the beautiful ballad "Without You". The legendary title track "Burning The Witches" also features the awesome, powerhouse vocals of DORO, as she quickly became a name to be reckoned within metal circles. Following the release of "Burning The Witches", the band embarked upon their first extensive European tour which was very well recieved.

Shortly, after coming off the road the band went right back into the studio to record their second album, called "Hellbound" with Henry Staroste as producer. Released in 1985 "Hellbound" was the bands first for a major label (Phonogram). Continuing in the same heavy direction that their first album displayed, "Hellbound" was another masterpiece. With better production this time around DORO's vocals were allowed to really shine on cuts like "Hellbound", "Out Of Control", the future concert anthem "Earthshaker Rock" and the intense "Time To Die". Once again the band made new fans everywhere they went. By the end of the "Hellbound" tour, they were forced to make their first line-up change replacing guitarist Rudy Graf with ex-STORMWITCH guitarist Niko Arvanitis.

The band then started to write and record their new album and first with new guitarist Niko, which turned out to be "True As Steel" released in 1986. Once again recorded in Germany with producer Henry Staroste, "True As Steel" as always showcased the truly awesome vocals of DORO. Even though "True As Steel" contained some very good songs, such as "Mr. Gold", "Fight For Rock" (another great rock anthem like only WARLOCK could write them) and the awesome title track, it was not elevated to classic status as had been the case with the first two albums. Despite the cool reception given to the "True As Steel" album, the band once again returned to a busy touring schedule that saw them supporting such established acts such as WASP, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD.

One of the highlights for WARLOCK came in the summer of 1986 when they opened the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock show in England in front of 50.000 metal fans and sharing the bill with metal superstars such as OZZY OSBOURNE, DEF LEPPARD and MOTÖRHEAD. To this day DORO has remained the only woman to have ever played at the very prestigious yearly festival (ed. not quite true, as WHITE ZOMBIE with female bass player Sean Yseult played in 1995 at the Donington event).

Late '86, after being on the road for many months, WARLOCK were once again forced to make some changes. This time parting ways with German founding members Peter Szigeti (guitar) and Frank Rittel (bass) and replacing them with two Americans; Tommy Bolan (guitar) and Tommy Henricksen (bass), both from New York, as DORO herself relocated to New York. The band then went into a New York city studio with producer Joey Balin to record what would prove to be their strongest album to date "Triumph And Agony". Released in 1987, "Triumph And Agony" became an instant classic on the strength of such powerhouse cuts as "I Rule The Ruins", "Metal Tango" and the classic anthem "All We Are". The band then embarked on a very successful U.S. tour that saw them support U.S. metal giants MEGADETH. Sadly, this is where the WARLOCK story ends. In late 1988 following the completion of the "Triumph And Agony" tour, WARLOCK officially broke up as the band members decided to pursue other projects. DORO herself continues to make great music as a solo artist, keeping many of the die-hard WARLOCK fans (myself included) fully satisfied.

written by: Tony Cannella/copyright Metal Maidens)

Dorothee Pesch - lead vocals
Tommy Bolan - guitar
Niko Arvanitis - guitar
Tommy Henricksen - bass
Micha Eurich - drums


HELLBOUND (Phonogram '85)
TRUE AS STEEL (Phonogram '86)
TRIUMPH AND AGONY (Phonogram '87)