Following on from "Abandon Hope", High Roller Records is proud to announce yet another Apocalypse longplayer - maybe the ultimate one - consisting of cleaned up and re-mastered versions of the official Apocalypse and Omega demos plus the legendary Apocalypse 7" single "Stormchild" from 1982. The centrepiece of the new album entitled !Blood Sacrifice" might as well be the band's re-working of Gershwin's classcial "Summertime" composition. Guitarist Steve Grainger explains: "Gershwin wrote 'Summertime', a masterpiece of its day, from 'Porgy and Bess', I believe. Anyway, it has a great and memorable melody. We had the idea of doing a cover of it somehow. I came up with the riff. Nick sung the original melody and lyrics and the band just made it something new. In many ways we could have put different words to it and written out Gershwin altogether but that wasnít the point. The whole thing came out of the fact that you could take a classic song from an opera and turn it into a great rock track Ö hopefully that is what we did. It used to go down a storm when we did it live. It was a gift for me as lead guitarist."
If you add the "Blood Sacrifice" to "Abandon Hope" plus the mini-album released by Buried By Time And Dust Records, that's three releases in barely three years. Quite an achievement for a band which only put out one 7" single and one album in their lifetime. Are the musicians surprised by the fact that their music has experienced such a renaissance lately? Steve reflects: "Are we surprised? Well, yes and no. You try and believe that if your music is any good, then it will shine through, but life can be hard, cruel even. And the music business is more than capable of kicking a band into giving up any hope of success. I certainly never gave up on the band but you have to be realistic sometimes and lay your dreams to rest. I tried to do this but the 'ball and chain of ambition' can be extremely difficult to shake off - trust me. Of Course, when we learnt that the single was a sought-after collectable and that 'The Prophet' had been pirated and copied we were surprised. Exposure to an audience as big as possible has, surely, always been a key part of any band's success. Releases like this one have given us a second bite of the cherry. I donít think any of us are surprised that once people here our material they see it as being good!"
So might there be, after all, still be even more unreleased material by Apocalypse and Omega in the vaults? Steve Grainger explains: "There was talk that Dave 'Mex' Higgen, our former bassist, had some stuff left from the days that we used his old studio in London. Iím not sure how much or what he has got. I have a few bits and pieces but it all needs a lot of sorting out. There was certainly a version of a song we did called 'The Road is easy' which is actually in quite good shape. We did it at the same time as 'In the Heat of the Night' from the 'Abandon Hope' album. We also did some recordings of ideas that I had had when writing with Mark Gibbs, another writer/musician, after Nick left the band but we never really finished that stuff off. It is still hours of endless takes and snippets. A lot of it much more towards the Blues/Rock ballads kind of vibe. Whether I/we will ever get to make anything of it Ö I donít know."
Without the shadow of a doubt, London was the cultural and commercial centre of the N.W.O.B.H.M. Samson, Angel Witch, Girlschool, Praying Mantis - that's the core of bands constituting the first wave of bands circa 1979. There even was some kind of local scene going on in the East End of London, obviously with Iron Maiden leading the pack, but also with Elixir, Pagan Altar and Destroya. From which part of London did Apocalypse come from? Steve: "We came from North London, Dave was from Arnos Grove, Marc and I came from Enfield and Nick from Grange Park. (He was originally from Wales). Basically, Apocalypse/Omega were from around the N21 area of London." At the time, the band did not really feel part of a movement at all: "You have to remember that the N.W.O.B.H.M. tag was added some time after these bands were formed, so at the time we didnít think of ourselves as N.W.O.B.H.M. We were just a rock band. New Wave, at the time, was a sort of punk rock. We definitely didnít want to be part of that, our audience was made up mainly of bikers. Punks were not likely to have been anywhere near our gigs Ö oh no... there would have been trouble! We knew we were a band like the ones you mention. We often played The Ruskin Arms in East London where Iron Maiden also played until they got too big. We supported Clive Burrís Escape at their first gig at the Marquee in London. Bruce turned up to that one. He was a good guy, made some positive comments about us. We bumped into Nicky Moore occasionally, he ended up on the Rock Machine label at the same time as 'The Prophet' was coming out. It has to be said we aspired to be as good as Maiden, Samson, bands like that.
The idea of the N.W.O.B.H.M. tag was attributed to Neil Kay, DJ and promoter who saw the link with British rock music/Heavy Metal with its traditional roots played by bands in a fresh, sometimes unpolished way like punk."