AFTER DARK

NWoBHM • United Kingdom
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UK band AFTER DARK was formed in 1979 by Steve Annetts (vocals). Along with Mick Hare (guitars), J. C. (guitars), Ian King (bass), John Metcalfe (drums) and Andy Harris (keyboards) they started plying their trade in the live circuit in the early 80's, and released the single "Evil Woman" in 1981. Sometime after this release J. C. and Harris left the band, who continued on as a quartet with Annetts plying the guitar in addition to providing the lead vocals.

In 1983 After Dark hooked up with indie label Lazer Records, and a promo single from their forthcoming album "Masked By Midnight" was sent out to the usual crowd of such releases. By 1984 the album was finished, but sadly for the band the same thing was the case for their label. Unable to release their album due to the label going bust, After Dark folded in 1985.

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AFTER DARK Discography

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AFTER DARK Masked By Midnight album cover 2.25 | 2 ratings
Masked By Midnight
NWoBHM 1996

AFTER DARK EPs & splits

AFTER DARK live albums

AFTER DARK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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AFTER DARK singles (2)

.. Album Cover
3.28 | 3 ratings
Evil Woman
NWoBHM 1981
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 3 ratings
Deathbringer
NWoBHM 1983

AFTER DARK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

AFTER DARK Reviews

AFTER DARK Evil Woman

Single · 1981 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Evil woman...

Genre: NWoBHM

This release starts out with a really really good track "Evil Woman" which is a hard rock song which rivals post-Dio Rainbow (in terms of ideas and creativity, not in terms of musicianship), and it contains a nice twin guitar melody riff and a catchy chorus. "Johnny" is an uptempo rock which starts out with a fast chugging riff and then kicks into an energetic fast song which, probably becaise of the use of what sounds like a Hammond, reminds me a bit of Deep Purple. "Lucy" is a power ballad of sorts, which never cheeses over - it's notreally up to scratch compared to the other tracks on the album - and I tend to favor "Call of the Wild" from "Deathbringer" over this one.

In all this is a fine release and worth getting your hands on if you like hard rock and traditional metal, and especially if you are an NWoBHM aficionado.

AFTER DARK Deathbringer

Single · 1983 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Call of the wild...

Genre: NWoBHM

The first track, "Deathbringer", has everything that a good old metal song should have: a cool intro, catchy riffage all the way through, and nice catchy melody lines. The other track, "Call of the Wild" is a mellow ballad of the type that Guns 'n' Roses wish they could write (well, I'm thinking "Use Your Illusion" of course) with epic tendencies without cheesing over and some quite heavy parts as well. It's actually a quite good track, I think.

As Certif1ed points out in his review of the same release, the musicianship is not exactly virtuosic, but I think it adds to the listening experience here, and in the light of the DIY spirit of the NWoBHM movement, I think it even adds some authenticity.

In any case a nice release (I think I might even like this one better than "Evil Woman") which should appeal to fans of traditional metal and hard rock.

AFTER DARK Deathbringer

Single · 1983 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Certif1ed
A kickin' intro that makes you sit up and take notice straight away gives way to a somewhat patchy affair - a main riff that sounds like it ought to be really strong, but is weakened by poor technique.

That said, there are also some really good, fresh ideas in here, even if they are slightly beyond the abilities particularly of the bass player and drummer.

Countering this is the fact that the drummer is generally lacking fire, the singer's techniques leave much to be desired - and, to be fair to the sub-technical players which pervade the NWoBHM, I say this in the context of the piece being delivered - as things that come across as being apparent as negative qualities to me. It has to be said that I've heard far worse players, but in many of those cases, the lack of ability is made up for with pure metal energy, and the stuff I like to call fire, which overrides anything as base as technique.

Flip the single, and you have a down-tempo piece, which the band carry off with far more aplomb, falling only a little short of a full-blown epic classic, mainly because of the single note synth drone, which adds a nasty waspish buzziness in the instrumental, and a really cheap pretend string sound in the verses.

Other than that, its a cool song!

In summary, a patchy follow-up to Evil Woman, with moments that verge on greatness, showcasing a band with real potential.

AFTER DARK Evil Woman

Single · 1981 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Certif1ed
Classic!

After Dark's legendary (and only) 7-inch is an undiscovered classic - largely because it's so hard to find a copy!

The style of Evil Woman is quite hard to pin down - in the best NWoBHM tradition, it mixes in a bit of everything, and After Dark were one of the few NWoBHM acts to feature a keyboard player.

I guess the closest comparison would be the heavier side of Journey, with all the attendant melodic catchiness you'd expect - but imagine that with Joe Elliot of Def Leppard on vocals and Michael Schenker on lead guitar.

Yup - it's a great guitar solo worthy of the great man himself, with dynamic, melodic shape, a precise, cutting, metal edge like a laser in coal shed, and plenty of "blues note" action in the pentatonic shredding. Not your average bluff.

And the short melodic interjections in the verse and chorus sections are worthy of note - the chorus counter-melody is so strong it makes you wonder why this didn't become more widely known.

Flip the single and you're presented with not one but two more slabs of quality British rock. Not quite up to the standard of Evil Woman - but then, this is the B-side after all.

Johnny is an uptempo chugger in A, with a sensuous wah-drenched solo and dramatic slower-tempo piano-driven mid section, again showing a strong Def Leppard inspiration.

Lucy begins with an acoustic guitar and crunching power chords, with a Hammond-sounding backing adding a touch of the Deep Purple flavour. It doesn't descend predictably into a ballad - although it does have balladic moments. The tempo is raised again for the solo, naturally, but sadly, this solo lacks inspiration - and there are moments in the song, despite its creative use of tempo changes, in which it drags.

This single really is a lost classic - and brings with it a sense of real sadness that the band didn't go on to record much more material.

If you ever see a copy in a second-hand vinyl shop, pick it up and buy it, whatever it's condition. You'll need a record player - but this is one 7" that practically justifies the purchase of such a device!

Keep on Rockin'

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Windhawk wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Nice to see this addition - made on a whim after googling a band on chance - was one apparently so eagerly awaited :-)

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