By: AvNatten
Posted: Dec 13, 2005

This month the featured band is the long going British death metal band BoltThrower, the interview has been delayed quite a bit, but has finally reached the Nocturnal Horde HQ, so this feature could be aired, below you can find an extensive biography of the mighty BoltThrower together with their discography and next year's tour-dates.

It all started back in 1986 when two friends by the name of Barry Thomson and Gavin Ward shared a conversation after a punk rock show. The outcome of the conversation was ultimately the band known as BoltThrower. The Coventry UK natives Thomson, who played guitar and Ward, who thumped the strings on the bass, were soon joined by a vocalist named Alan West. Andy Whale soon stepped in to take the seat behind the drums and thus the initial line-up was complete.

The four friends soon recorded two demos which were entitled "In Battle There Is No Law" and "Concession Of Pain". Around this time Ward decided to switch over to guitar and Alex Tweedy stepped in to fulfil bass duties although his reign in the band was short lived and he was soon replaced by Jo Bench.

In January of 1988 Bolt Thrower had the privilege to record 4 songs for BBC Radio One on the legendary Peel Sessions. The songs were broadcast across the nation which resulted in the label Vinyl Solution offering the band a recording contract. It was then that West decided to quit the band because he didn't want to commit to it. He was replaced by Karl Willets, a friend of the band. Soon "In Battle There Is No Law" was recorded and releases during the summer of 1988.

The band played numerous shows in and around the UK and became increasingly popular as the days went by. Earache Records snatched up the band quickly and also at the same time the band were approached by a fantasy gaming company called Game Workshop. "Realm Of Chaos" was released marking their first release through Earache and the album cover and artwork was supplied by Games Workshop. Two more Peel Sessions followed, which were later released as an album.

By the beginning of 1991 they were back in the studio, Slaughterhouse Studio to be exact. There they recorded "Warmaster" which was released during the middle of their European tour. They also took their first trip to the US, proving that BoltThrower was growing stronger and gaining more fans each day. The album "The IVth Crusade" was released next. It helped to solidify BoltThrower's style and once again took them on a large tour of many countries.

"...For Victory" was recorded next. For the recording process they returned to Sawmill Studios in Cornwall in which they had also recorded "The IVth Crusade". Following the release of this album the band endured a second tour of the US. Willets and Whale soon left the band, but instead of letting this overcome them the rest of the band picked up the pieces and found their replacements in Martin Kearns (drums) and Martin Van Drunen (vocals).

While having this line-up they toured throughout '95 and were part of the "Fuck Price Politics" tour in '96. During the next couple of years Van Drunen became ill and had to give up his vocal duties. Karl Willets was re-installed but soon left again, after recording the vocals to '98's "Mercenary", because he could not commit to his duties. A friend named Dave Ingram, who had recently left Benediction stepped up to fill the vocal position. Martin Kearns was the next to leave and he was replaced by Alex Thomas.

The American record label Metal Blade picked the band up and the "Mercenary" album was released in 1998. The album was received well throughout the world, particularly in Germany where it entered the album charts. '99 saw the band touring extensively. Ingram fit perfectly into his vocal role, but once again a line-up change was brewing. Alex quit the band after the touring was over due to him not being able to commit to what was expected of him. Martin Kearns stepped back in and became his replacement.

The year of 2000 was spent rehearsing and writing. They played many shows throughout the year that were sold out but once again they became anxious to record the news songs that they had been working on. This resulted in 2001's "Honour Valour Pride". It too received critical acclaim from the press and fans alike.

2003 and 2004 saw the band going back into writing mode. Ingram fell ill and had to leave the band so he could work on his recovery. Karl Willets once again stepped in to fill the position of vocalist. This very year BoltThrower have released yet another album "Those Once Loyal" and already have touring plans lined up. Proving that no matter what obstacle they face BoltThrower will always have a strong future in front of them.

Review of Those Once Loyal

And an interview hot from the oven with vocalist Karl Willetts

Current Members:

Karl Willetts - Vocals
Jo Bench - Bass
Barry Thomson - Guitar
Gavin Ward - Guitar
Martin Kearns - Drums

Past Members:

Andrew Whale - Drums
Alex Thomas - Drums
Alan West - Vocals
Martin van Drunen - Vocals
Dave Ingram - Vocals


Concession Of Pain - Demo 1987
The Peel Sessions - EP 1988
In Battle There Is No Law - Demo 1988
Promo '88 - Demo 1988
Prophets Of Hell - Demo 1988
In Battle There Is No Law - 1988
Promo '89 - Demo 1989
Realm Of Chaos - 1989
Cenotaph - Video 1991
Cenotaph - EP 1991
War Master - 1991
The Peel Sessions 1988- 90 - Best of/Comp. 1991
The IVth Crusade - 1992
Spearhead - EP 1992
...For Victory - 1994
Mercenary - 1998
Who Dares Wins - best Of/Comp. 1999
Honour Valour Pride - 2001
Those Once Loyal - 2005

Current Tour Dates:

04 Jan Enschede - Atak Holland 2006
05 Jan Hamburg - Markthalle Germany 2006
06 Jan Leipzig - Hellraiser Germany 2006
07 Jan Berlin - SO36 Germany 2006
08 Jan Stavenhagen - Tankhaus Germany 2006
09 Jan Warsaw - Proxima Poland 2006
10 Jan Krakow - Extreme Poland 2006
11 Jan Praque - Rock cafe Czech Republic 2006
12 Jan München - Backstage Germany 2006
13 Jan Wels - Alter Schlachthof Austria 2006
14 Jan Vienna - Planet Music Austria 2006
15 Jan Budapest - Blue Hell Hungary 2006
16 Jan Zagreb - Mochvara Croatia 2006
18 Jan Prato - Anomalia Club Italy 2006
19 Jan Brescia - La Sfinge Italy 2006
20 Jan Wil - Remise Switzerland 2006
21 Jan Andernach - JUZ Live Club Germany 2006
22 Jan Groningen - Vera Holland 2006
23 Jan Osnabrück - N8 Germany 2006
24 Jan Rotterdam - Baroeg Holland 2006
25 Jan Nijmegen - Doornroosje Holland 2006
26 Jan Essen - Zeche Carl Germany 2006
27 Jan Cottbus - Glad-House Germany 2006
28 Jan Hanau - Halle 2 Germany 2006
29 Jan Hasselt - Muziekodroom Belgium 2006
30 Jan Paris - La Locomotive France 2006
01 Feb Pratteln - Z 7 Switzerland 2006
02 Feb Stuttgart - Röhre Germany 2006
03 Feb Bad Salzungen - Kallewerk Germany 2006
04 Feb Trier - Exil Germany 2006
05 Feb Haarlem - Patronaat Holland 2006
13 Apr Copenhagen - The Rock Denmark 2006
14 Apr Gothenburg - Sticky Fingers Sweden 2006
15 Apr Oslo - TBC Norway 2006
16 Apr Stockholm - Klubben Sweden 2006
18 Apr Helsinki - Nosturi Finland 2006
19 Apr Oulu - Teatria Finland 2006
20 Apr Umeå - Midnight Sweden 2006
21 Apr Örebro - Satin Sweden 2006
22 Apr Lund - Mejeriet Sweden 2006
2-4 June Rock Hard Open Air Festival, Gelsenkirchen Germany

BoltThrower website

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