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  • Artist: Hailmary
  • Label: Eonian Records
  • UPC: 798576130695
  • Genre: Heavy Metal
  • Release Date: 2022

    The origins of HAILMARY go back to the early 1980’s. Formed in 1981, a young heavy metal band from Huntington Beach named Leatherwolf emerged on the scene sharing bills with fellow Southern California metal acts such as Metallica, Witch, and Slayer at venues like the Woodstock and Radio City. The group was also nicknamed the “Triple Axe Attack” for pioneering the use of a 3-guitar line-up. Leatherwolf quickly caught the attention of Enigma Records affiliated indie label, Tropical Records, who financed the band’s eponymous 1984 five-song EP, produced by Randy Burns. Leatherwolf would eventually sign a major label record deal with Island Records. Over the next several years, Leatherwolf would release “Leatherwolf” in 1987, and then “Street Ready” in 1989 with Kevin Beamish producing.Shortly after the release of their third album ‘Street Ready’, the legendary Leatherwolf and their “Triple Axe Attack” of Geoffrey Gayer, Michael Olivieri, and Carey Howe sensed that their rhythm section was becoming indifferent towards the band. The decision was taken by the trio to start afresh and after acquiring the dynamic duo of Marco Forcone on drums and Patrick Guyton on bass, continued to work and perform as Leatherwolf until legal issues arose with a former bandmate over the name.This rift caused the quintet to seek out a new moniker and feel the need to throw the “long-ball” into the end zone, the re-birth of Leatherwolf as HAILMARY was used as the launchpad to thrust the band into a new musical direction. With fists clenched and a relentless “take no prisoners” attitude, HAILMARY would either live triumphantly or leave a hell of a scar trying.Calling Huntington Beach, California home, HAILMARY saw the raw energy from a lot of the new bands coming through as a refreshing change to the bombastic glitter of the eighties, but this outfit also had another weapon in their armory - a rabid existing fanbase. In fact, when the line-up of Leatherwolf that would go on to become HAILMARY booked their “return” performance, the show at the Marquee Club in Westminster, California would break records.Having put out mountains of fliers for the show with just the venue, date, and a line-up photo, but no actual band name, when Geoffrey, Michael, Carey, Marco, and Patrick arrived on the day of the gig, they were shocked to see that the line to get in was wrapped completely around the building, five people deep. And that was only those who couldn’t gain entry due to the sold-out venue already being overfilled to capacity. Amazingly, the amassed throng outside stayed to listen through the walls, and that night The Marquee ended up shattering its all-time attendance record, which had formerly been held by Skid Row.A historic and epic night without doubt, but as their singing guitarist Michael Olivieri remembers, not all the shows HAILMARY would play together would be recalled for quite such joyous reasons. “To cut a long story short,” he begins ruefully, “we were once hoodwinked into playing an outlaw biker club anniversary party in the middle of the desert, under armed guards who all had machine guns. There were vicious German Shepherd dogs everywhere as we were ushered behind an 8-foot chain-link fence among three thousand not-so-nice folks. Our lives were threatened by hanging if we stopped playing before they allowed it and I was beaten with flashlights at the end of the night… others fled for their lives.” But thankfully, most of the time the band spent together was much more tranquil. “Hanging out at the Colorado River, drinking all day in the desert sun trying to come up with our new name,” is one of the singer’s fondest memories of HAILMARY. “We really had a tight bond and were more of a family than a rock band.” With a fearsome live reputation, HAILMARY would regularly delight their fans at venues such as the world-famous Roxy Theatre, The Troubadour, Madame Wong’s, the Whisky a Go-Go, and of course The Marquee, which was virtually their second home. When not thrilling audiences, rehearsing or keeping the bar staff in The Marquee on their toes, HAILMARY could, of course, be found with a bucket of wallpaper paste as they plastered fliers for their upcoming shows all over town. And with the band highly respected right across Orange County, which has long supported both HAILMARY and Leatherwolf, it was only a matter of time before they became regulars on KNAC radio and local TV. With magazines such as BAM, Screamer, and RAW all getting behind them, all HAILMARY lacked to take them over the top was that ever-elusive record deal. With anything up to a dozen A&R reps being a regular sight at their shows, the five-piece entered talks and even went into pre-production with both Epic Records and MCA. But with grunge acts becoming more and more prevalent on every label’s roster, both pulled the plug on HAILMARY halfway through recording.The band did, however, track multiple pro demos, including a development deal with Epic alongside producer Tom Fletcher and ‘E’ from For The Record. However, the breakthrough never did quite materialize in the way their music was deserved and the core guitar trio of the band instead reformed the much-loved Leatherwolf in 1999. Looking back now it could be said that HAILMARY was ahead of their time and maybe that explains why it’s taken the best part of thirty years for this outstanding album to see the light of day.

Hailmary - Disturbing The Peace (CD) (2022 Eonian Records)

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