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Newcastle, England's Avenger was formed in late 1982 by singer Brian Ross and bassist Mick Moore following the collapse of their former group, Blitzkrieg (yes, that band, whose eponymous song was later famously covered by Metallica). Recently relocated to Newcastle from their original home base in the town of Tyneside, the pair met up with guitarist Steve Bird and Gary Young and quickly set about recording their first demos as Avenger; although it must be said they never hesitate to recycle leftover Blitzkrieg songs like "Too Wild to Tame" and "Hot 'n' Heavy Express" in the process. The latter was soon earmarked for inclusion in Neat Records' One Take, No Dubs EP and led to a proper Avenger debut single featuring "Too Wild to Tame" (b/w "On the Rocks") that the group recorded with new guitarist John Brownless. But then, just as the band's no-fuss, blue-collar brand of New Wave of British Heavy Metal was starting to establish their name, singer Steve Ross abruptly exited to join Satan, whose own vocalist, Ian Davidson Swift, oddly enough took his place in Avenger -- a clean swap, but one that nevertheless confused many fans. In any case, the new-look Avenger (now featuring guitarist Les Cheetham) carried on about their business of touring and demoing material, eventually entering Neat Studios in 1984 to record their debut album, Blood Sports. This, as it turned out, was perhaps a bit rushed and, along with its 1985 successor, Killer Elite, failed to balance out the group's high-energy proto-speed metal with anything approaching consistent songwriting. Even so, Avenger actually managed to tour the U.S. in 1986 (with yet another new guitarist, Greg Reiter, and drummer Darren Kurland), but fell apart for good shortly after their return, with Swift presently turning up in Neat labelmates Atomkraft. As for the officially defunct Avenger, all that remained was having their entire body of work collected into Sanctuary's 2002 anthology Too Wild to Tame. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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