Mastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in July 2017.
When the great 80’s Thrash Metal movement finally reached Australia by the end of the decade, it did not take long until Hobb’s Angel of Death reared its ugly had. Founder and mastermind Peter Hobbs had earned his Thrash Metal spurs in his former band Tyrus.
The one name that always comes to mind when it comes to Hobbs’ Angel of Death, is OF COURSE Slayer – they obviously had a huge impact on Peter, who still is one of their most enthusiastic followers: “Yes, I was a great fan of Slayer! I've mentioned this story a few times over the years. I was ready to get on the plane and to record the album and I knew there was a new Slayer album ready to hit our stores, so I went off into the city to get it. I couldn't wait to get home to play it. So there I was, I put the vinyl on, turned up the volume and BOOOOOOOOOOM! My head was blown off, my gut was ripped out and I was smashed. All I could think was how was I ever going to compete with this ??????? A voice said “Go! Do what you do, don't loose focus now!” So the debut was done and I'm very proud of it !!!!!!!!!! I finally was able to play right before them – a 34 year wait! It was in 2013 in Finland at Jalometalli, a really great festival. I was able to ask Kerry King if Hobbs was a Slayer cover band – he replied absolutely not, but he has heard of Hobbs’ Angel of Death and what he had heard showed that finally the gladiators met !!!!!!!!”
The Hobbs’ debut album was released in July 1988 on Steamhammer Records, and it quickly became a bestseller in Europe.
Apart from the mighty Slayer, were there any other bands that had a huge impact on Peter’s music? Of course there were a few: “Oh, hahaha, I've listened to so many bands I’d be here another 30 years answering your question. A few that come to mind are Celtic Frost, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, all 70s 80s 90s 2000s to the present.” The album we are talking about here was recorded in February and March 1988, at Musiclab studios in Berlin. Harris Johns was the producer for this album, and he was one of the well-chosen few Peter had in mind for the album: “I had a couple of people in mind that were right for the job from recording to the cover art work. Harris Johns was my first choice after he had done so much other great stuff. Sebastian Krüger also did great work! Together we made history that still is up there today with the greats.” Peter is not only proud of the artwork and the production of the album, he also praises his own method of song writing: “l have always written and arranged my works and compositions. I have my own unique way and I believe they today have cult status. Many bands have recorded and covered my stuff with some high-caliber names.”
The album was re-released on a split CD with Razor through Teichiku Records in 1990, and this version swaps the sides of the vinyl ("House of Death" is the first song and "The Journey" is last) and adds two bonus tracks: “Bubonic Plague” and “Cold Steel”. These changes were adapted for the HRR vinyl re-release. Of course, including the two bonus songs is a no-brainer. Peter on that: “The vinyl issue had 8 songs and the CD had 10 songs as I remembered when it was released. I'm so looking forward to have High Roller Records release the debut again. Stef and the boys and girls also did an amazing job with the new Hobbs’ album “Heaven Bled”!!!!!!!
Peter already mentioned that prolific artist Sebastian Krüger contributed the cover artwork, but he has some more details to add: “The cover was painted from a photo that CD Hartigan took in a hallway at the studio. I said please ask Sebastian Kruger to paint me as if I was in a fire and it worked nicely! It's never been forgotten!!!!!!!”
Hobbs’ Angel of Death always had some kind of cult status among thrashers far and wide – what does Peter think of that? “I'm very honoured to have this status. It's amazing still today when I tour how many bands and people come to see me and that I did influence them over the years. Today I still love playing live all around the world and to meet new and old friends at our shows.”
What else is there Peter wants listeners old and new to know about Hobbs’ Angel of Death’s debut album? “Sit back, relax, and enjoy! If you have already heard it: Listen again! If not: Take note of it, learn from it. Cheers!”