(Photo c/o Re-Animator)
1987 – 1993; 2013 – present
Kev Ingleson (lead guitar, vocals)
Mike Abel (lead guitar)
Mark Dennis (drums)
John Wilson (bass)
Graham Dixon (guitars, vocals)
Adam Clark (lead guitar)
Lee Robinson (vocals)
Tony Calvert (vocals)
Re-Animator were formed in 1987 by guitarists Kev Ingleson and Mike Abel. Together they wrote “Push The Button” and “Follow The Masses”, which would later form their first (and only) demo tape. At this time the band still had no drummer or bass player, though this was soon remedied with the addition of old acquaintances Mark Dennis on drums and John Wilson on bass.
In March 1988 the band went into Animal Tracks studio in Hull to record the Push The Button / Follow The Masses demo, with Tony Calvert drafted in to handle vocal duties – though due to other musical commitments, Calvert would not join the band on a full time basis.
The resulting demo tape led to a number of support slots for the band, notably supporting Acid Reign at the Frog & Toad in Bradford. Acid Reign were impressed with Re-Animator and kindly took a copy of the demo to play to their label, Under One Flag (part of the renowned Music For Nations organisation). The label shared their enthusiasm – in due course a three-album deal was on the table, and Re-Animator were duly signed to Music For Nations, the label that had released early albums by Metallica, Megadeth and others.
Deny Reality – a six track mini LP – was released in 1988 to considerable acclaim. Full length debut Condemned To Eternity followed in 1989 to equally favourable reviews.
Throughout this time the band were performing and touring alongside some of the big names of the thrash scene, including Dark Angel, Nuclear Assault, Xentrix and Exodus.
Third album Laughing (1990) included signs of a possible change in direction as the band embraced the new funk metal trend and started to move away from pure thrash metal. The album also included a perhaps surprising choice of cover with a creditable version of the Dead Kennedys’ classic “Too Drunk To Fuck”.
After Laughing, major changes were afoot as Kev Ingleson, lead vocalist and chief songwriter opted to leave the band. The others chose to carry on – drafting in Graham Dixon (guitars) and Lee Robinson (vocals) to replace the departing Ingleson. The new line-up recorded one final album in the shape of That Was Then This Is Now (Under One Flag, 1992). In truth the band’s journey was essentially over, the tour promoting the final album never materialised, and in 1993 Re-Animator officially split.
That – for twenty years at least – was the end of the Re-Animator story. Or was it?
In 2013, the band were asked to appear in a documentary about the UK thrash scene – A History Of A Time To Come – and shortly after, social media was suddenly awash with rumours that Re-Animator were about to reform. The rumours were true and in 2013, the band performed live – with the classic line-up that had performed on those first three albums – for the first time in 20 years at Nottingham Rescue Rooms, supporting old friends Lawnmower Deth. The performance was outstanding – have a look on YouTube for the evidence (the full gig is on there if you look for it), even if the hair was a bit shorter and the headbanging a little more restrained…
The reformed Re-Animator returned to the studio in 2017 and a new EP, One More War, finally emerged in 2019.
(Hull Music Archive with thanks to Mike Abel and Re-Animator)
Follow The Masses / Push The Button (Cassette) – Self released, March 1988
Deny Reality [mini album] (LP) – Under One Flag, 1988
Condemned To Eternity (LP, Cassette) – Under One Flag, 1988
Condemned To Eternity / Deny Reality (CD) – Under One Flag – 1990
Laughing (LP, Cassette, CD) – Under One Flag, 1990
That Was Then… This Is Now (LP, Cassette, CD) – Under One Flag, 1992
One More War [EP] (CD, digital) – self released, 2019