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One of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's somewhat late, mid-'80s arrivals (along with Grim Reaper, Cloven Hoof, and others), East London's Chariot comprised vocalist/guitarist Pete Franklin, lead guitarist Scott Biaggi, bassist John Smith, and drummer Jeff Braithwaite. Originally formed as a five-piece, in 1981, the group (then still featuring French transplant Olivier le Franc on drums) was reduced to a foursome when their singer quit just minutes before they were due on-stage, forcing Franklin to move center stage. Thus they remained, and although Chariot soon became regulars in on the London club circuit, neither a burgeoning local following nor their serviceable first demos were enticing enough to draw record company attention. In fact, so quickly had the N.W.O.B.H.M. fallen out of favor (despite having its own fair share of success stories in Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Def Leppard), that it wound up taking the supportive staff at local record store Shades to start a label simply for the purpose of releasing the group's 1984 debut, The Warrior. This, along with the following year's All Alone Again EP, contained professional, polished, but rather unoriginal N.W.O.B.H.M., along the same stylistic lines as contemporaries Elixir and Tysondog. And even though Chariot remained a popular club draw in the next few years (even opening for Venom on select U.K. dates), 1986's Burning Ambition met with similar indifference because it was simply not inventive enough to make an impression this late in the game. Not even a positive reception at the 1987 Reading Festival and a free promotional EP given away by Metal Hammer magazine could save the band from a speedy and unheralded demise by 1988. A brief reunion took place around 1991, but when nobody seemed to even notice, Chariot's musicians once again moved on to other projects. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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