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Grim Reaper

Led by the inspired guitar work of Nick Bowcott and the powerful lungs of Steve Grimmett, Grim Reaper's tough, raw, but melodically charged music embodied British heavy metal's most popular devices (and clichés) throughout the mid-'80s. The fact that Grim Reaper was capable of combining the above attributes so competently, yet truly excelled at none of them resulted in an exceedingly swift "rags to glory and back to rags" story, which somehow was as surprising as it was strangely fitting. Add to this a far from attractive visual aesthetic (i.e., they were four crusty English dudes with handlebar moustaches, bad hair, and even worse teeth) and it was clear Grim Reaper was doomed to enjoy a limited afterlife in the newly established MTV regime.

Guitarist Nick Bowcott founded Grim Reaper in Droitwich, England, circa 1979, working with a number of different lineups before teaming up with singer Paul DeMercade, bassist Phil Matthew, and drummer Angel Jacques in time to record his song "The Reaper" for 1981's very influential Heavy Metal Heroes compilation. Despite its brooding power chords and rough-hewn sonics (or perhaps because of them), the song stood out from the album's other New Wave of British Heavy Metal hopefuls and landed the group increased touring commitments up and down the U.K. club circuit. But by the time Grim Reaper finally landed a record deal with independent Ebony records a year later (on the strength of a three-song demo made with studio time won in a battle of the bands competition), Bowcott had scrapped the entire band once again and was now flanked by vocalist Steve Grimmett, bassist Dave Wanklin, and drummer Mark Simon.

Originally issued in November 1983, Grim Reaper's debut, See You in Hell, was far more polished than the band's first single and initially seemed fated for historical oblivion, since European fans steeped in heavy metal history found little merit in the band's energetic but rather ordinary metal style. But to metal-starved American audiences, the album (which giant RCA released worldwide the following year) actually sounded somewhat fresh; at once accessible and aggressive, it went on to sell a quarter of a million copies and reached a very respectable number 73 on the U.S. charts. Extensive touring stateside followed and the conservative media's unfounded allegations of satanic worship due to Grim Reaper's sullen looks; leather-bound wardrobe; and sinister, demonic imagery almost had them feeling like bona fide rock stars by year's end. Once back home in England, the band needed only nine days to record 1985's sophomore Fear No Evil, which nearly matched its predecessor in terms of quality (and competent unoriginality), but nevertheless failed to replicate its commercial success. The bands fair-weather friends at RCA quickly lost interest and Grim Reaper's career suddenly stalled in America.

Bowcott and company spent much of 1986 attempting to regroup and after welcoming new drummer Lee Harris, Grim Reaper finally announced its return with a make-or-break third effort, 1987's somewhat redundant Rock You to Hell. Unfortunately, "break" would be the final verdict, for though the album actually showed some early promise in the U.S., where it climbed to 93 on the charts, sales soon plummeted and it vanished from site. When ongoing discussions to re-utilize some of its songs in a film soundtrack also fell through, Grim Reaper slowly ground to a halt and everyone eventually went their separate ways. Grimmett temporarily joined power metal outfit Onslaught before founding a new band, called Lionsheart, while Bowcott found some notoriety as a regular columnist for Circus Magazine and other guitar publications. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I had fear of the dark on cd
jamieb12871
Saw them accidentally in person, at a record store (they actually used to have those everywhere back in the day) where they were signing autographs/g i v i n g away a cassette EP (HELL ON WHEELS) ! FEATURING : ARMORED SAINT; HELLOWEEN ; & GRIMM REAPER '87,10-31
someone upload fear of the dark without any extra cds on it.
I love the music videos these guys made in the 80s.
Bad a** !!!
The lead singer looks like Benny Hill with a wig. I still think they rock though.
They're like anvil, forgotten
Almost everybody forgot how fucken bad these guys were ...fear no evil my friend...Roc k e n . . .
See you in hell my friend!!!!;- ) ; - ) ; - ) ; - ) ; - ) ; - ) ; - )
riverman172
Rock you to hell? Where is it? Not the place but the song. I know hells in jersey.
Can I make you an offer you can't refuse. See you in hell my friend. Great track. Cool video.
best ban ever
The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
I do remember those good ol days I wish you were back then I miss you guys
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you do not post this to at least three songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works.
a2007nomad
Anyone remember seeing these guys play the club "Pulsations" (no longer in existence) in the Glen Mills PA area in the late 80's (possibly 88 or 89)? I do!
centexlogan
Steve Grimmet is effin majestic !!! Some of the best vocals I've ever heard. I can definately say that he tops many of today's powermetal vocalist by far. It's almost criminal on how underated Grim Reaper is. These two albums are solid. It's badass metal song after badass metal song!



I wish Rock you to Hell was in here. It has Lust for Freedom!
eagleheart43 3 3
Yeah, Pandora needs to get Rock You to Hell as it has Waysted Love on it
Only one disc!? I wish Pandora had more of thier discography.
flamefox49
Grim Reaper kicks a**, enough said. One of the best bands I've ever heard. Too bad they never really made it.
Meatloaf with bad teeth and hair. Gotta love it. Night of the vampire rules
odinscross69
I always thought the singer looked like Benny Hill with long hair. Anybody else see it???
anthonysk8r
They were definnitelly heavy. Just a bit too late for their time is why they didn't stay big for long. The exact opposite of Diamond Head, which was too early for it's time.
ROCK YOU TO HELL!
saw them live back in the 80s with armored saint and jag panzer. great band, metal or death!!
one band uderated because ,stupidity only they cranked good for the knowledge of you fair weathers
Dude, look at that dude!!!!!!! Damn!!!!!!
i always thought this band sucked.

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