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Categories: Hard Rock, Melodic Rock

KINGDOM COME

Current Members

Past Members

Biography

A band project formed in North America by German born vocalist Lenny Wolf following his critically acclaimed but commercially untenable band STONE FURY, which released a brace of albums on MCA Records. The initial line-up comprised Wolf, guitarists Danny Stagg and Rick Steier, bassist Johnny B. Frank and the BLACK SHEEP credited drummer James Kottak. Both Stagg and Frank had previously been members of WW III.

Derek Shulman signed the band to Polydor Records. The eponymous debut album, recorded at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, Canada and produced by Bob Rock, arrived in 1988. For an unknown band, KINGDOM COME scored straight out of the box, achieving a number 12 position on the US charts. Sustained sales were generated by the impact of radio hits 'Get It On' and 'What Love Can Be'.

KINGDOM COME emerged amidst a blaze of hype and publicity, openly cited as LED ZEPPELIN replacements. As usual the media was off the mark as despite some obvious Plant-esque vocal leanings and Eastern riffs ala 'Kashmir', KINGDOM COME actually sounded extremely similar to the debut STONE FURY album. Nevertheless, the LED ZEPPELIN copyist tag was never to leave the band and continued to provoked harsh criticism. GARY MOORE and OZZY OSBOURNE actually went to the effort of teaming up to record a track 'Led Clones' attacking KINGDOM COME.

Still, the controversy failed to prevent KINGDOM COME from securing a valuable place on the American 'Monsters Of Rock ' touring package which also included METALLICA, SCORPIONS and headliners VAN HALEN. Further dates followed with BON JOVI and RATT in Japan and a trip to Britain opening for MAGNUM. The following year KINGDOM COME toured America promoting the 'In Your Face' album supporting the likes of WHITESNAKE, CHEAP TRICK and FLEETWOOD MAC.

However, things were not all a bundle of roses within the camp and the original band split in August 1989 with Kottak forming WILD HORSES and eventually going on to join WARRANT for a brief spell. James subsequently became the frontman for KRUNK, a group co-founded with his wife Athena, the tub-thumping sister of MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee. Kottak then stepped up into the big league by joining Germany's biggest Rock act the SCORPIONS.

Having had time to think about the future of the project, prior to the recording of eventual third album 'Hands Of Time', Lenny Wolf worked with Los Angeles session guitarist BLUES SARACENO, later to join POISON, drummer Steve Burke and keyboard player Koen Van Baal. Indeed, Saraceno played on three tracks that made the 'Hands Of Time' album and the record also featured guitar-work from Wolf along with Marco Moir and Bert Meulendijk. The record, engineered by Gary Lyons, had been crafted at both Wisseloord Studios in Holland and The Hit Factory in New York. Wolf had been notably aided in the lyrical department by Carol Tatum. Unfortunately for KINGDOM COME, despite the undoubted strength of the album, the interest level in the band had declined sharply and 'Hands Of Time' failed to chart in the USA.

Wolf returned in 1993 with a new recording contract, with WEA Records, and a brand new album, the critically acclaimed 'Bad Image', which found KINGDOM COME in a heavier mood and having worked with an all-new, German based group that included ex-STORMBRINGER, ZERO and PAGANINI guitarist Angi Schiliro. Also included on guitar was Heiko Radke and drummer Mario Brodtrager. Following recording of the album Radke forged TWORK with GAMMA RAY drummer Thomas Nack. Brodtrager meantime joined Thrashers DESERT STORM, DR. SHIVAGO and latterly Nu Metal band RISING DOWN. 'Bad Image', produced again by Lenny Wolf but aided by Stefan Galfas, having been recorded at both Kiva West Studio in Los Angeles and Chateau De Pape Studio in Hamburg, arrived in stores in 1993.

In 1995 Wolf had assembled an all German band comprising of guitarists Markus Dehmel and Oliver KieÃ?ner, bassist Mirko 'Mike' Schaffer, keyboard player Bernd Fitzen and drummer Kai Fricke and came up with the slightly more experimental but still commercially successful 'Twilight Cruiser' album. The Schaffer / Fricke rhythm section axis would also create a side project with former guitarist Heiko Radke dubbed DIFFERENT GREEN. This act, retaining Fricke but losing Radke and Schaffer, evolve into SUB ORANGE FREQUENCY. Radke's next move was to found BABYLON 27 in union with ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Riad 'Ritchie' Abdel-Nabi.

KINGDOM COME undertook a headline tour of Germany in early 1996 supported by CROWN OF THORNS. These dates culminated in the release of the band's first live product, September 1996's 'Live And Unplugged', a two CD set comprising of straight live recordings and an acoustic set.

In 1997 the group would return with a superb new studio album entitled 'Master Seven', with renewed contributions from Schiliro on the production front and a new bass player in Mark Smith. Session drums were handled by Dion Murdock. The album, recorded at Eastern Pacific Studios in Basle, Switzerland, saw major sales in Europe. Subsequent touring found SHORTINO as support act. Meantime early members Stag & Frank resurfaced in 2000 as part of BILLIE D. ST. JAMES band for the 'St. James Infirmary' album.

Lenny Wolf re-emerged with KINGDOM COME in October of 2000 touting the 'Too' album and a brand new band too boot. Retaining Smith the singer also pulled in guitarists Oliver KieÃ?ner and Mirko Michalzik, keyboard player Bjorn Tiemann and former SPITFIRE and NIGHTFALL drummer Mark Cross, on loan at the time from METALIUM. The record would witness three re-works of early STONE FURY songs. For touring, former GLAM SLAM, LACRIMOSA and THERION lead guitarist Eric Förster was drafted for dates that kicked off in Oslo in March of 2001.

Wolf would donate his services to the GERMAN ROCK STARS October 2001 song 'Wings Of Freedom' in honour of the September 11th World Trade Center victims. There would be no let up in quality on subsequent KINGDOM COME albums, even though the 2002 'Independent' opus was composed, recorded and produced entirely by Lenny Wolf. For touring packaged with GOTTHARD Wolf assembled an all new look band comprising lead guitarist Eric Förster, rhythm guitarist Yenz Leonhardt - a veteran of Danish acts BRATS, GEISHA and Y, VAIL bassist Dirk Wolff and ROYAL HUNT's Allan Tschicaja on the drums. Leonhardt would subsequently join Power Metal band IRON SAVIOR as bassist.

KINGDOM COME laid down a new studio album in the latter half of 2003, Eric Förster once again contributing guitar solos. A new rhythm section of bassist George Achour and the ASSIGNMENT and AVELON credited drummer Hendrik Thiesbrummel would then be installed.

Lenny Wolf marked a return in August of 2004 with the new studio album 'Perpetual', KINGDOM COME putting in European festival shows upfront of touring in October. February of 2005 found the band announcing a tour of the USA, their first dates on the continent in over a decade. However, these gigs would be cancelled due to visa problems. Meantime, ex-KINGDOM COME guitarist Oliver KieÃ?ner announced his new band formation billed as AMITAV, a collaboration with former KANE and AVANTASIA singer Ralf Zdiarstek.

KINGDOM COME, being rejoined by bassist Frank Binke, announced plans for US tour dates, packaged with HELLOWEEN, for October 2006 to coincide with a new album 'Ain't Crying For The Moon'. This set featured a re-recorded version of the hit 'Get It On'. In mid November 2006 the band, alongside a guest cast comprising GLENN HUGHES, RICK WAKEMAN, BLACK SABBATH's TONY IOMMI, KEN HENSLEY, NAZARETH, THE ANIMALS and BONNIE TYLER, performed at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia as part of the 30 year anniversary of Russian act ZEMLYANE.

DOKKEN and KINGDOM COME teamed up for the 2007 "Defenders of Rock" double headliner tour of Europe between September 26th and October 22nd.

The group wrapped up fresh album recordings in late November 2008. Russian 'Monsters Of Rock' shows in 2009, alongside SCORPIONS and THE RASMUS, were highlighted by the international media when a 20th June concert in Novosibirsk was cancelled as the stage collapsed under the weight of lighting and PA rigs.

Garry Sharpe-Young

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