FAITHFUL BREATH were originally formed in the German city of Bochum in 1967. In 1974 the band released their debut album “Fading Beauty,” a private pressing much sought after today. The album was a mixture of krautrock, progressive rock and psychedelic music. Six long years later the follow-up album “Back On My Hill” saw the light of day.
Band founder Heimi “Heinrich“ Mikus, vocalist/guitarist of FAITHFUL BREATH, does not see the album as a transitional record between the band’s initial krautrock period and the later hard rock/metal phase: “No, I wouldn’t say so. ‘Keep Me Away’ was a transitional song but that was about it. The rest had nothing to do with our later material.”
“Rock Lions” (1981) and “Hard Breath” (1983) followed, before FAITHFUL BREATH released what many think is their finest album, “Gold ‘N’ Glory” from 1984. Heimi “Heinrich“ Mikus comments: “’Gold ‘N’ Glory’ was recorded by Michael Wagener and Udo Dirkschneider. It was great fun. It was very relaxed in the studio, a really nice atmosphere. Wagener did push me vocal wise but I did survive. I am still satisfied with the record today.”
“Gold ‘N’ Glory” made way for “Skol” in 1985. Also a good record, but maybe not on par with its direct predecessor. Heimi “Heinrich“ Mikus explains: “The original plan was for Michael Wagener to once again handle the production of the record. But this proved to be difficult. He had moved to the US and was doing one production after the other. The timing just didn’t work. So we recorded the album with Gert Rautenbach at Dierks Studios near Cologne. But we had problems within the band. Our second guitarist Bubi wanted to leave. He had received a tempting offer from another band. He did finish recording ‘Skol’ with us but somehow the chemistry inside the band had gone for good. Thilo Herrmann later replaced Bubi.”
The title of the record “Skol” neatly tied in with the band’s Viking image. Nobody had this kind of image at the time, it was after Heavy Load and way before bands like Amon Amarth. Very unique… “Yes, we did stick with our Viking image,” confirms Heimi “Heinrich“ Mikus. “We had so many ideas for our stage show. If any other band had used this Viking image at the time, they would have been mere copycats of FAITHFUL BREATH.”
However, after a final live album on Noise Records (of all labels…) FAITHFUL BREATH morphed into Risk. But that’s another story…
Read our review here.