Tyneside’s Warfare are widely considered to have been the original metal punks. The band was formed by drummer Evo in late 1983. Evo had learned his trade in legendary Oi! Band Major Accident from Darlington. Leaving Major Accident Evo moved to London and briefly joined The Blood (whose »False Gestures For A Devious Public« is a classic early crossover/metal album, which peaked at number 62 in the official UK charts in 1983). Before creating his own monster, Evo also had a short spell drumming for the Angelic Upstarts, one of the original British oi! bands (from South Shields). “I got on very well with Mensi from the Upstarts,” says Evo today.
However, in late 1983 it was time for Evo to form his own band. Together with Gunner on guitar and Falken on bass Warfare was formed. The album »Pure Filth: From The Vaults Of Rabid Metal« collects nine early recordings of songs such as “Total Armageddon”, “Collision”, “Breakout”, “Dance Of The Dead” and “Limit Crescendo”. The bulk of the material ended up on the proper »Pure Filth«, recorded at Impulse Studios and issued by Neat Records in 1984. However, the versions to be found on »From The Vaults Of Rabid Metal« are totally different, often played much faster than on the original album. Some of the songs have even been recorded on 24 tracks. Missing from this collection of high-quality pre-album recordings is “Rose Petals Fall From Her Face”, on which Cronos of Venom shared the vocals with Evo in the studio. To produce »Pure Filth« Evo had asked an old friend for help: Algy Ward of Tank was responsible for the production of the album.
Back in 1984, the British press was not really sure about how to describe Warfare’s revolutionary sound. For example, Bernhard Doe wrote in Metal Forces: “Quite simply, »Pure Filth« boasts some of the best death metal ever to come out of the UK.”
Even today Evo can still remember some incidents in the studio preparing to record »Pure Filth«: “It was a long time ago. I know I had a vision of what I wanted to sound like. I do remember blowing up a Marshall amp. And the studio saying I owned the money for it.”
Lyrics to songs such as “Burn The Kings Road” or “Total Armageddon” were a whiff of fresh air for the stagnating English metal scene of the mid-1980s. “The lyrics of Warfare are more than valid, they are essential,” says Evo nowadays. “The lyrics are of uncanny proportions. Looking back now it seems that they were a prediction of what was to come.”
The material on »Pure Filth: From The Vaults Of Rabid Metal« has been carefully re-mastered by Patrick W. Engel at his Temple Of Disharmony studio.