As crucial as they became to advancing the cause of heavy metal in the early '90s via such influential movements as grindcore and doom/death, English bands generally struck out completely during the preceding years, when pure thrash ruled the roost. Acid Reign ranked among the more distinctive U.K. also-rans in this category, if only because their Monty Python-esque humor set made them so inherently English, but this still wasn't enough to secure the band any lasting legacy.
Acid Reign was formed in Harrogate, England, circa 1986 by vocalist H, guitarists Gaz Jennings and Kev, bassist Ian Gangwer, and drummer Ramsey Wharton. Their cleverly named Moshkenstein demo soon had anxious music critics labeling them as the U.K.'s answer to tongue-in-cheek mosh titans Anthrax, and the group eventually signed to the thrash-intensive Under One Flag imprint. Despite its deceptively grim title, 1989's The Fear (combining a set of new tracks with the previous year's demos) boasted goofy song titles such as "You Never Know (With Ringo Starr)" and found the band lampooning before the British press as expected. The comedy hi-jinx were soon brought to a halt, however, when bassist Gangwer almost single-handedly botched an important European tour by losing his passport, leading to his permanent replacement by one Mac. Guitarist Jennings soon became fed up as well (quitting to form doom gods Cathedral) and was supplanted by Adam Lehan in time for 1990's Obnoxious LP; by which time Acid Reign had greatly overstayed their welcome, no thanks to their unconvincing cover of Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone" of a few months earlier. Realizing they'd run out of gimmicks, the band splintered in early 1991, with Lehan and Ramsey also briefly joining Cathedral and Kev moving on to greater infamy with schlock-rock clowns Lawnmower Deth. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
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