A war of words has erupted between former members of the legendary NWOBHM band ANGEL WITCH and the group's founder, Kevin Heybourne, who recently announced plans to carry on in an all-new version of the band.
In a brief message posted on the official web site for the group's previous incarnation, www.angel-witch.com, guitarist Keith Herzberg, bassist/vocalist Richie Wicks and drummer Scott Higham pointedly write that "ANGEL WITCH are no longer together!!! We apologize to all of those metal fans around the world who looked forward to seeing ANGEL WITCH. We would also apologize to those event organizers who may have been affected. Keith Herzberg, Richie Wicks and Scott Higham disassociate ourselves from the unprofessional manner in which Kevin has acted. Details of the e-mail circulated by Kevin Heybourne to the rest of the band will follow — you can make up your own minds!" Meanwhile, a message on ANGEL WITCH's recently-launched "new" official web site, www.angel-witch.net, states simply, "angel-witch.com is no longer the ANGEL WITCH official site...don't be fooled."
The current version of ANGEL WITCH features Heybourne as well as San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans Tom Hunting (drums — EXODUS), Lee Altus (guitar — HEATHEN, DIE KRUPPS), and Jon Torres (bass — WARNING SF, ULYSSES SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT). Hunting and Torres are no strangers to the ANGEL WITCH camp, having previously played with in a late '80s/early '90s Bay Area-based version of the group that released a critically-acclaimed demo. According to an official press release, "The new lineup is not just another lineup for ANGEL WITCH — it is the last line-up. ANGEL WITCH are in the process of writing a new album together that will bring ANGEL WITCH back to its roots and back to the metal front." A tour is currently being planned for the summer and will include an appearance at Germany's Bang Your Head 2003 festival. ANGEL WITCH will follow up with an additional tour after the new album is released.