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In 1988, Warwick, London and Monroe (together with guitarist Tantrum) would assimilate all these influences in The Almighty, a tough, no-nonsense working class band at odds with the image-obsessed, glam-metal poseurs in vogue worldwide at the time. Shining like rough cut diamonds among shit, the quartet were snapped up by Polydor Records after just a handful of gigs. Now the shit was truly about to hit the fan.
The Almighty's debut album Blood, Fire & Love (1989) was a blinding statement of intent, mixing ferocious soon-to-be-classic hard rock ("Destroyed", "Wild & Wonderful", "Full Force Lovin' Machine") with the title track's anthemic rough-edged balladry. Within six months the quartet were the hottest new rock band in Britain. Following the release of a raw, warts 'n' all live album (1990's Blood, Fire & Live), The Almighty achieved their first commercial breakthrough with the storming Soul Destruction (1991) featuring "not a whiff of a compromise, just the taste of salty sweat and the solid satisfaction that the band are fulfilling all our expectations" according to UK rock bible Kerrang! magazine. With Tantrum replaced by Canadian guitarist Pete Friesin (ex-Alice Cooper), the band toured ceaselessly, establishing a hardcore, devoted following which would be the envy of their peers.
By 1993, the band's unrelenting road work began to reap real dividends as the edgy, grunge-flavoured Powertrippin' stormed into the UK Top 10. In typically uncompromising fashion the band reacted to their new-found celebrity by pushing their sound to new aggressive extremes, stripping off excess fat and distilling their rage in the most potent manner on the following year's brutally streamlined Crank which, in snub-nosed anthems such as "United States Of Apathy", "Jonestown Mind" and "Welcome To Defiance", saw Warwick's songwriting attain sublime new heights. On a roll creatively, the band would re-enter the studio within twelve months to begin work on what would become Just Add Life. A confident, bold and diverse album, it established The Almighty as the most powerful British rock band of the decade, and set them up nicely for a real tilt at global domination. And then Ricky Warwick dropped his bombshell...
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