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Metal Heart
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This German heavy rock quintet originally comprised Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Gerhard Wahl (guitar) and Wolf Hoffman (10 December 1959, Mainz, Germany; guitar), Frank Friedrich (drums) and Peter Baltes (bass). Formed in 1976 in their home town of Solingen, Jorg Fischer replaced Wahl in 1978. The band’s power metal sound was characterized by Dirkschneider’s guttural howl and the speed drumming of Stefan Kaufmann, who replaced Friedrich after their 1979 debut. Fischer left in 1982 following a tour supporting Judas Priest (although he did return briefly in 1983). Restless & Wild, from 1983, epitomized their blitzing style, which had an undeniable influence on the thrash movement that developed during the late 80s. Metal Heart adopted a more melodic approach, but, unhappy with this style, Dirkschneider left and formed his own outfit, Udo. A series of replacement vocalists came and went, including Rob Armitage (ex-Baby Tuckoo), David Reece and Jim Stacey (Stacey stepped in to complete tracks on Eat The Heat after Reece and Baltes had a physical confrontation on tour in the USA). Several lacklustre albums were released during these years that received little critical acclaim or commercial reward. Internal problems persisted, with Kaufmann contracting a muscular disease and being replaced by Ken Mary (House Of Lords). However, the band eventually disintegrated in 1989. Reece went on to form Bangalore Choir while old sparring partner Baltes contributed to Dokken. The band reunited in the 90s with a revised line-up including Dirkschneider, Hoffman, Baltes and Kaufmann, releasing several low-key albums before disbanding once more.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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