HELLWITCH arose from the depths of HELL in October 1984. Formed by guitarist Patrick Ranieri and drummer/vocalist, Harry Tiyler. An inaugural recording session, conducted in the living room of their apartment in Gainesville, FL. produced the immortal 1984 'Nosferatu' demo. The project expanded into a full band set up in February of 1985 with the introduction of current PRECIPICE drummer Dave Silverthrash (Silverstein), replacing Tiyler, and Andy Adcock on bass/guitar. That July, HELLWITCH played it's first show ever with local Punk band ROACH MOTEL. This signaled an intensive live campaign spanning the next three years, which saw HELLWITCH sharing the stage with such heavies as CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, G.B.H., CORONER, DARK ANGEL, KREATOR, DEICIDE, DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, ATHEIST, AGNOSTIC FRONT, D.R.I., ANTHRAX, NUCLEAR ASSAULT and many others.
The first official studio demo, 'Transgressive Sentience', was recorded in January 1986. Taken from this recording was a remixed version of the track 'Torture Chamber' which appeared on the compilation album 'Thrash Metal Attack', released by New Renaissance Records in July of 1987. The band's second studio demo, 'Mordirivial Disemanation', was released in June of 1987.
In July of 1988 Pat relocated to Fort Lauderdale and reformed HELLWITCH, drafting Frank Watkins on bass and Steve Rincon on drums. This trio recorded a three track rehearsal/demo in March of 1989. This effort included a cover version of DEATH's 'Archangel'. This line up was the band's weakest, so new members were sought in mid 1989. Pat then enrolled bassist Jesse Trevino and Joe "Witch" Schnessel on drums. That June, Flight 19 Records (Switzerland) issued two cuts from the 'Mordirivial Disemanation' demo as a limited edition 7". That August, Trevino was replaced by bassist Tommy Mouser.
October of 1989 brought about a contract with Wild Rags Rec. for the debut album 'Syzygial Miscreancy', recorded at the renown Morrisound Studios with veteran Thrash producer Scott Burns. Released in March 1990 the album sold strongly and made a sizable impact on the international underground Metal media. In mid 1990 HELLWITCH acquired Jim Nickles as the band's first ever second guitarist and undertook a successful tour of the East Coast, culminating in an appearance at the 'Milwaukee Metal Fest' . In February of 1991, Jesse Trevino returned to the band, re-debuting for a Texas tour. Further changes in 1991 found Craig Shattuck as replacing Nickles as second guitarist.
In August of 1991 HELLWITCH entered Morrisound Studios once again to cut the three track EP 'Terraasymmetry' for Lethal Records. Schnessel left the ranks in mid 1992, returning fleetingly the following year before departing once again. With Trevino relocating to Texas, Shattuck was switched to the bass role. Pulling in drummer Joel Suarez in early 1994 HELLWITCH laid down the 'Anthropophagi' demo as a 2 piece band with Pat playing all stringed instruments and vocals. In late 1994 J.P. Brown joined as second guitarist. The following year Gabe Lewandowski took over drum duties and in 1996 the band signed to Nazgul's Eyrie Productions. No end product was forthcoming though and HELLWITCH folded after a Halloween show with Deicide in 1998. Progressive Arts Records issued the 2003 release, 'Final Approach'. This release featured bonus cuts from previous demos and 1998 rehearsal recordings.
The band broke a six year hiatus by playing a comeback gig at the Culture Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 24, 2004 alongside MALEVOLENT CREATION and DIVINE EMPIRE. The line-up for this show was comprised of vocalist / guitarist Pat Ranieri and drummer Joe Schnessel with bass player Craig Shattuck.
In 2005 HELLWITCH cut a new promotional CD, featuring Pat Ranieri, JP Brown, Craig Shattuck and Joe Schnessel. The promo CD was comprised of tracks 'Final Approach' and 'Epitome of Disgrace', (both originally found on the 'Final Approach' CD) and two new songs 'Opiatic Luminance' and 'Mythologicalies'. This CD would lead the band to sign a deal with Spanish label Xtreem Music in February 2006 for the release of their long awaited sophomore album 'Omnipotent Convocation'. With the existing line up from 2005’s ‘Epitome of Disgrace’ promo, Hellwitch began recording in mid 2008. It took much longer than expected, spanning over 9 months. This new album marked the second coming for HELLWITCH. At the same time the band's debut album was being re-reissued along with all their pre-'Syzygial..." demos through Displeased Rec. and in 2015 with the "Terraasymmetry" EP on the band's own Seismic Slaughter Records and again with various bonus material in 2018 through VIC Records (Holland) and Poizon Records (Ukraine). The second full length CD, 'Omnipotent Convocation' , came out in August 2009 on Xtreem Music. This album marked the second coming of HELLWITCH.
The band completed a successful, full length, 30th Anniversary U.S. tour, in June 2014 with fellow thrash legends, SOLSTICE. This was followed in November by another tour of the N.E. U.S.. Finally, to round out the busiest year the band has ever seen, HELLWITCH played December 7th with Death, Obituary, and Massacre. Continuing the furor, the band co-headlined the April 2015 NYDM Spring Bash in Milwaukee with such bands as Whiplash, Deceased, Artillery and many others! This appearance marked the debut of the newest Witch, Brian Wilson, on drums. With Brian behind the kit, the band hit the studio in August and recorded 2 new songs with veteran producer Dennis Munoz (Solstice, Demolition Hammer). By November the band was on the road again doing a headlining tour of the Midwest with new live bassist Julian Guillen. Based on that success, Hellwitch did another Midwest tour in 2017, a tour of Asia, the Northeast U.S. and shows in Texas in 2018. The release of the 30th Anniversary, 10-LP (!) box set on Germany's IRON BONEHEAD Records, was another milestone for the band and has been selling briskly! Currently, the release of the NEW HELLWITCH album on Listenable Records is on the black horizon. This new aural expedition will feature 9 songs that create an incomprehensible meteoric maelstrom. Recording is finished. "Annihilational Intercention" will be released April 2023. A tour is in the works for June as well as several festival appearances later in 2023! Clean the blood out of your ears and prepare as HELLWITCH extolls it's 39th year (2023) as the undisputed purveyors of fear and harbingers of hatred!
P.O. Box 2341 Hollywood, FL 33022 USA
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