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Formed circa 1985 in the city of Düsseldorf by vocalist Robert Gonnella, guitarists Dinko Vecic and Scholli, bassist Lulle, and drummer Danger (later re-baptized Psycho), Assassin were one of Germany's first thrash metal bands. A set of demo tapes, 1985's Holy Terror and 1986's The Saga of Nemesis, led to a deal with German label Steamhammer and the release of the band's The Upcoming Terror LP in 1987. Received with lukewarm reviews and even milder fan response, the album's raw energy and basic thrashing style were already somewhat behind the times, so fast was metal's evolution during the 1980s, so Assassin tried to keep busy with occasional concerts opening for more established Teutonic acts like Kreator and Warlock. Come 1988's Interstellar Experience, all but Gonella and Vecic had departed, making way for new members Michael Hoffman (guitar), Markus Ludwig (bass), and Frank Nellen (drums). Here too, the band's generic thrash simply failed to impress when compared to true innovators like Testament and Death Angel, with whom Assassin toured Germany later that year. Plans for a third album moved forward apace, but then all of the band's equipment was stolen, effectively leaving them high and dry. Hoffman accepted an invitation to join countrymen Sodom soon thereafter, and Assassin were officially toast -- although they later re-formed in 2001.
© Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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