Allegiance (Australian band)

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Allegiance
Origin Perth, Australia
Genres Thrash metal
Years active 1990 – 1997
Labels Polygram Records, Mercury Records
Associated acts Black Steel
Members Conrad Higson
Jason Stone
Tony Campo
David Harrison
Glenn Butcher

Allegiance was an Australian thrash metal group. They formed in 1990 in Perth, Australia and disbanded in 1997. They released two studio albums, D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n in 1994 and Skinman in 1996. They built up a loyal following, won numerous awards and toured with some of the biggest names in heavy metal at the time.[1]

History[edit]

Pre-1994[edit]

In 1990 Allegiance formed with Dave Harrison, Tony Campo, Conrad Higson, John Mihos & Steve Hidden as the original line-up. Their music was much heavier than anything around at the time and after doing as many shows as they could, they built up a loyal local following. After a few months of touring, the line-up wasn't working out so a few changes were made. Conrad, who originally was the drummer switched to lead vocals replacing John Mihos, Glenn Butcher replaced Dave Barry on drums and Jason Stone replaced Steve Hidden on guitar. This line-up remained the same until the band's demise. The band's first award came at the West Australian Music Industry Awards where the band won the public choice award for 'Most Popular New Band'.

In 1991 they headed into a small studio to record a demo with $250 that they had saved up from live shows. Make The Pledge was released in October and although it was rough, the straight forward thrash metal sound helped it go on to sell 2000 copies. The next month Allegiance won one the 'Most Popular' band award at the local WA music industry awards.

In February 1992, Allegiance played at the annual 'Bindoon Rock' outdoor concert festival for the first time to a crowd of 10 000 people. In March, they released their second demo 'Torn Between Two Worlds'. The recording featured improved production and song writing, which demonstrated the bands progress. This demo went on to sell over 3500 copies, won the 1992 local industry award for most popular WA cassette and praised as one of the most impressive demo tapes of 1992 by many major magazines, fanzines and radio shows as widely as places like Japan, Argentina, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Germany, Canada, USA and the UK. In July Allegiance won the state final of the 'Yamaha Rock' competition and flew to Melbourne to represent WA in the Australian final. They competed against 7 other top unsigned acts and won the competition. The event was broadcast nationally on MTV. The band headed to ABC studios in August to put together a few demo tracks. 5 songs were recorded live in the studio in one take with very few overdubs. These songs were released as a demo in October entitled Studio Live. It was limited to 500 copies, sold out in one day and is now a highly sought after collectors item. In September, Allegiance performed a powerful show at the 'Australian Metalfest' at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney with the track 'Twisted Minds' featured on the CD sampler. Reviews stated Allegiance to be the most impressive bands on the bill which helped to establish their reputation as a formidable live act outside their home state. At the end of the year, some of their tracks were selected for inclusion on the Def Records Australia Metal compilation and local talent showcase The Western Front compilation CD’s. Allegiance was voted the 9th best Australian band and 5th best new band in Hot Metal Magazine's annual readers poll. The band once again ended the year by winning the most popular band award at the '92 WAMI awards.

In 1993, Allegiance continued their upward spiral with yet more touring including a second appearance at the annual 'Bindoon Rock' festival, performing in front of 15,000 people at the national Big Day Out Festival as well as touring nationally with big name artists such as Kreator and Fear Factory which furthered their reputation as Australia's leading heavy metal band. Allegiance also had tracks included on the Roadrunner records Australasian compilation RedRum and Studio 52's While My Guitar Gently Kills Your Mother and Polygram heavy metal promotional cassette. Legendary Judas Priest front man Rob Halford took a keen interest in the band with statements in the international metal press claiming Allegiance to be a dynamite band. His management company EMAS were managing the band helping increase international exposure.

1994-1997[edit]

In March 1994, Allegiance toured nationally with Rob Halford's band Fight and also placed in 10 different categories in the HM Magazine readers poll, including 10th best band of all time! In April, Allegiance secured an Australasian deal with the ID Phonogram label. Their debut album D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n was recorded in Australia by American producer Dave Pinsky. They met Dave whilst playing with the Beastie Boys whom he was working with at the time. The album was mastered in the Netherlands by Attie Bauw who has worked with artists such as Fight and Judas Priest. In May, D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n was released and although it received no mainstream radio or video exposure, it went straight into the W.A. mainstream ARIA chart at No. 1 and remained in the top 5 for 3 weeks. The band continued touring with their very successful 'Destitution' headline tour taking in all capital cities and then touring nationally with Australian hard rock band The Poor. The D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n album topped nearly every metal chart in the country and has been one of the best selling, home grown, hard music releases in many years. In July, Allegiance appeared on the cover of HM magazine. D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n started to receive amazing reviews in the overseas metal press including an impressive KKKK review in the famous UK publication, Kerrang!. They also shot two music videos which aired on several music video programs. In November the band recorded Time To React – Live!, a special live recording at the ABC's JJJ studios to an audience of die hard Allegiance fans. It contains no overdubs and shows the uncompromising raw power of the band in the live environment. 1995 was a busy year for Allegiance with the release of Time To React – Live! and touring big names such as Slayer, Biohazard, Machine Head and Channel Zero. They also appeared at the Big Day Out concert festivals in both Australia and New Zealand. At this stage, Allegiance were the undisputed biggest metal band in the country. In 1996 the band started work on their next album, Skinman. The album title was inspired by the tragic suicide of a member of Allegiance's road crew whose nickname was "Skinman". It was recorded in Western Australia on 48 track digital and was produced by John Villani who handled their debut. The album showed a progression in Allegiance's sound but still retaining raw power that made them popular in the first place. It was released in November through the Mercury label and debuted on the ARIA charts at No. 11. In 1997 the band was continuing to tour, playing shows and festivals with many big name international bands. However, tension between band members began to arise and while shooting a video for the track "Give Yourself" from the Skinman album in late '97, Dave Harrison left the group. Allegiance disbanded soon after.

After the break-up[edit]

Fans were not happy with the break-up of the band so the legacy of Allegiance continues on to this day. In November 2000, Allegiance did a massive "one-off" reunion concert in Perth and showed that the band's popularity hadn't dipped over the years. In 2003 Allegiance returned with another re-union for the 'NYE Kikstart' concert and were also inducted into the Western Australian music hall of fame. Then in 2004 Allegiance re-united once again to play with Kiss at the WACA.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Demos and Live[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allegiance bio, 26 December 2008.