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In their time, Witchfinder General was considered one of the less-important bands to emerge from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, but they have become a popular early influence among bands in the doom metal scene. Formed in 1980 by Zeeb Parkes (vocals), Phil Cope (guitars), Woolfy Trope (bass), and Graham Ditchfield (drums), the band was heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and released only two albums, 1982's Death Penalty and the following year's Friends of Hell, before breaking up. Ironically, these became more notorious for their comical covers (featuring the band in medieval costumes torturing semi-naked women) than the band's raw, post-Sabbath grind.