About Blitzkrieg (Metal)
The lifelong obsession of indefatigable vocalist Brian Ross, Blitzkrieg were among a handful of lesser-known New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts who should have faded into rock & roll obscurity long ago had it not been for Metallica covering one of their songs. Ross first founded Blitzkrieg at the end of 1980, when he joined a Leicestershire, England-based group named Split Image and promptly convinced guitarists Jim Sirotto and Ian Jones, bassist Steve English, and drummer Steve Abbey to upgrade to this much more "metallic" moniker. Literally within weeks of their decision, the newly christened Blitzkrieg were already cutting a three-song demo tape that instantly attracted independent Neat Records, which included the track "Inferno" in their Lead Weight compilation. A deal was simultaneously struck for the release of a single containing the remaining two tracks, and the result was 1981's "Buried Alive," whose B-side -- an unashamed reworking of the prog rock classic "Hocus Pocus" by yodeling Dutchmen Focus -- would both bear their name and ultimately guarantee their lasting legacy. The single was a huge success, and by spring Blitzkrieg had already recorded enough new material to start thinking about an album, but trouble was already brewing within their ranks and both Jones and English were soon shown the door to make way for guitarist John Antcliffe and bassist Mick Moore. A second demo, the six-song Blitzed Alive, was recorded at a gig supporting French hard rockers Trust, and was intended to pave the way for a full-length debut, but this never came about, as the insecure members of Blitzkrieg wound up splintering by the year's end.
The book now appeared to be irrevocably closed on Blitzkrieg's brief trajectory as the musicians scattered to the four winds, but nearly four years later, after stints with Avenger, Satan, and Lone Wolf, Brian Ross decided to give the band one more try. With a standing invitation from Neat to release an album if he could get one recorded, Ross brought back Sirotto and Moore, then borrowed Tygers of Pan Tang guitarist Mick Proctor and Satan drummer Sean Taylor to re-record much of Blitzkrieg's old material for 1985's A Time of Changes. It all proved to be a case of too little, too late, however, and despite beyond-modest sales, not even Metallica's recent cover of "Blitzkrieg" provided enough momentum to launch the band into flight once again -- especially with such a patched-together lineup. Refusing to give in, Ross spent the ensuing years trying to assemble a serviceable core of musicians with which to start anew, but it wouldn't be until 1991 that Blitzkrieg would fly again, albeit briefly, after releasing the semi-rehashed 10 Years of Blitzkrieg EP through Roadrunner. A complete album entitled Unholy Trinity was then stitched together from old and new recordings, but contractual snafus kept it from release until 1995, by which time Blitzkrieg had discovered the lucrative possibilities of touring European countries still interested in the NWOBHM (Germany, Greece, etc.). Buoyed by this small but reliable audience, the band has remained active over the years, with rotating groups of musicians backing up Brian Ross on albums like The Mists of Avalon (1998), Absolute Power (2003), Absolutely Live (2004), Sins and Greed (2005), and Theatre of the Damned (2007). ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi