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|Years active||1982–1996, 1998–1999|
|Associated acts||Psychrist, Kill for Satan|
Rowan Powell />Russell Ruszinski
Armoured Angel was a Thrash/Death Metal band from Canberra, Australia. They pushed the musical boundaries of the thrash metal scene and were one of the earliest bands to play what later came to be known as death metal. The group was also responsible for the foundation of Australia's biggest metal festival, Metal For The Brain.
Armoured Angel was formed in 1982 as Metal Asylum by Lucy (bass) and Rowan Powell (Guitars). After renaming the band in Armoured Angel the first line up 1984 was completed with Dave Davis (drums) and Rik Wayy (vocals). After recording a demo in 1985 called Baptism in Blood, Powell was replaced by Tony Sheaffe & after the "Heavy Metal Holocaust" Concert Wayy was replaced with Russell Ruszinski. The band split shortly after and reformed as a trio with Lucy and Brothers Joel Green (drums, vocals) and Matt Green (guitar) in 1987. Armoured Angel recorded a second demo titled Wings of Death in 1989 that garnered a strong cult fanbase. A demo called Communion was then released in 1990. An east coast tour of Australia followed, plus a re-release of Wings of Death on English record label CCG in 1991. Both the Wings of Death and Communion demos featured Armoured Angel in a very early thrash metal sound, akin to the European thrash bands of the 1980s.
1991 also saw the inaugural Metal For The Brain festival. Joel Green had organised the festival as a benefit concert for his close friend Alec Hurley, who had been savagely beaten in an assault in 1990 and left severely brain-damaged and permanently disabled. The group continued to organise the festival until 1996.
Armoured Angel released the Stigmartyr EP in 1992, securing a distribution deal through Id records, a development arm of Polygram and supported Morbid Angel. Australian heavy metal magazine Hot Metal awarded a five out of five review for the EP.
The band's music style had slightly changed, incorporating more of a death metal influence, and less of the thrash metal sounds from their earlier demos. Matt Green described the labels for the scene morphing from "straight heavy metal", to "power metal", then "thrash metal", and finally "death metal".
During the band's national tour in 1993, Edward Berridge (spokesman for Sydney-based Citizens for the Christian Awakening) issued a statement that the death metal cult denigrated Christian beliefs. He was countered by Reverend George Davies (youth affairs consultant in The Uniting Church) to focus on building positive relationships with young people rather than simply condemning their music.
During an Armoured Angel performance at the Coogee Bay Hotel in October 1993, Kane Jarvis of band Volatile became the first Australian heavy metal enthusiast to fracture his skull in a moshpit.
The Mysterium EP followed in 1994, showing yet again another step towards the death metal sound, with some more slower, mid-paced songs.
Four songs were compiled as a pre production demo which was never commercially available.
Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke produced the band's first full-length release, recorded in Sydney in 1996. Armoured Angel featured at the Melbourne leg of the Big Day Out shortly after, and then split up soon after. The album was never released!
Lucy reformed Armoured Angel in 1998 with guitarist/vocalist Yuri Ward of fellow Canberra act Psychrist and drummer Steven Luff. In early 1999, the full-length album Angel of the Sixth Order was released on Sydney's Warhead Records. The long-delayed full-length album showed Armoured Angel returning to their earlier thrash roots while still heavily in the death metal vain, but suffered from poor production. More touring followed, but the original success of Armoured Angel could not be repeated, and the band split again in 1999 after Luff decided to leave the band. Warhead Records had folded up just as the album had been released, which also led to the band's demise. Ward continued to be a member of Psychrist until the band folded in 2003 and is now a member of Kill For Satan. Lucy was a member of Reign Of Terror for a short period.
Lucy and the Green brothers reunited in late 2006 to remix the pre-production demo of the shelved 1996 album & remaster all other tracks. Hymns Of Hate, a compilation album featuring all of the Green/Luck/Green line-up's material was released in 2013.
In late 2007, Armoured Angel's name was added to the line-up of a proposed Sydney concert date by Testament in early 2008; this caused many fans to believe that the group had reformed but was later shown to be unsubstantiated. In an April 2008 interview with Pyromusic.net, former member Yuri Ward mentioned that such a reunion was unlikely as Matt Green now lives in England and has not played guitar since 1997.
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