20.30u / heavy metal / speed metal / thrash metal / pres. by MMM / € 7,50
Belgian heavy metal band Killer were formed in 1980 by vocalist/guitarist Paul “Shorty” Van Camp and drummer Fat Leo following the breakup of their curiously named previous group, Mothers of Track. Auditions quickly brought bass player and backing singer Spooky into the fold and, within four months, the power trio had been signed by the local Warner Bros. affiliate, and was busy recording its well-received debut album, Ready for Hell, for release in early 1981. Along with its successor, 1982’s Wall of Sound (which marked the arrival of new drummer Robert “Double Bear” Cogen), this showcased Killer’s evident New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences, as well as a debt to speed freaks Motörhead — although these comparisons were unfairly exaggerated in later years. Both albums fared well with European fans, but Warner ultimately decided to drop the band nonetheless, inspiring their management team into founding Belgium’s own Mausoleum Records (soon to become home to compatriots Acid, Crossfire, and others) in order to release Killer’s third full-length, Shock Waves, in 1984. Sadly, the seemingly ideal partnership soon ran into trouble when financial difficulties prevented Mausoleum from releasing a finished double live album, Still Alive in ’85, and, despite sporadic activity like a tour of Poland, Killer effectively split up at that time. Shorty recorded a solo album, Too Wild to Tame, in 1987 (released under the name of Van Camp), but eventually reassembled Killer with old partner Spooky, plus drummer Rudy Simmons and second guitarist Jau Van Springel, for 1990’s one-off reunion album, Fatal Attraction. Shorty spent much of the next decade playing with local band Blues Express and participating in very occasional Killer reunion gigs, but he only gave serious thought to another revival after a performance for Mausoleum’s 20th anniversary celebration. Two brand-new studio albums have followed (2003’s Broken Silence and 2005’s Immortal), recorded by a re-energized Killer lineup featuring the ubiquitous Shorty plus new henchmen Ken Van Steenbergen (bass), Vanne (drums), and, surprisingly, Dave Powell (keyboards). ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
First speed metal band in Belgium!