It all started back in 1979 when Magnus (guitar) first met Anders (vocals) and Tommy (bass) at the local music store where Magnus worked at the time. These 3 rockers formed a band called HAZY and together with drummer Rolf Holmström they began playing mostly covers by RUSH, JUDAS PRIEST and UFO along with the first batch of original tunes. They spent most of the time in their rehearsal studio until the band called it quits in 1980.


While Anders kept the name HAZY and continued with a new lineup, Magnus and Tommy decided to stay together and start out anew under the the banner of IRON HAZE an outfit which later evolved into BLACK STONE. They tried their luck with several musicians, but failed to find the ultimate match they were looking for.
Meanwhile Anders got to meet Michael (guitar) and Mats (drums) again in the music store. The agreed on joining forces with HAZY and where quickly seen playing gigs around their hometown. HAZY, however , went nowhere fast. These three men took the next obvious step and formed a new band luring Tommy into their ranks during the process. Both Anders and Michael were strutting their guitars at the time and in early 1981 they convinced Magnus into becoming a member of the new troop as well. Upon his arrival Anders only took over lead vocalist duties and AXEWITCH was officially born...


They immediately started writing their own songs, as well as playing various covers by bands like TRUST and JUDAS PRIEST. Initially they mostly gigged in their hometown but later quickly built up a good reputation resulting in bookings all over Sweden.


In January 1982 they went into a local studio to cut their first demo featuring three songs- two originals "Axewitch" and "Nightmare" and a remake of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "Beyond the realms of death". The tape recieved an encouraging response from both magazines and record companies though at the time none of the A&R men seemed to be willing to offer them the cherished recording contract.
Undeterred, AXEWITCH re-entered the studio in the summer of 82 to lay down sessions for their first 12" EP called "Pray for metal". As an entirely self-financed affair, it was soon released on the band's own label AXE RECORDS imprint in a limited an highly collectable 500 copies pressing and sporting no less than 6 different colours of vinyl variations the red ones being the scarcest of the bunch. Suffice to say, these differing versions have since become very sought-after items.

Finally, in late 82 a Stockholm-based record company called ”Web records” approached the band with the intent of re-releasing "Pray for metal" and while the ink on the newly signed deal with WEB subsidiary "Fingerprint records" was still drying another 1000 EPs were pressed. Shortly thereafter "Pray for metal" soared straight in at number seven of the heavy metal charts as one of the ten best selling import metal records in England.
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