- FLAMES is a thrash metal band, which was created by Chris Kirk 1984. Since then they have released many albums and they have participated in many gigs as headliners or guests often next to great bands.
At the moment the band is active and never stopped working over new music tracks, preparing its new album.
The band lives between Athens Greece and Munich Germany. FLAMES (since 1984) have changed their form several times but the Kirx brothers are the core.
In the very first year of their beginning FLAMES managed to record and release two albums. “Made in Hell” and “Merciless Slaughter”
“Made in Hell” was the first work of FLAMES. Recorded in summer 1985 from Chris (guitars), Nigel (guitars – vocals) Ted and later Andy Kirk (bass). Since the studio capabilities were limited (only 8 channels!!) the band use computer drums instead of a drummer. The result considering the conditions was…epic. The album released 1985 in Greece from FM rec. and from Babylon rec. in Germany, introduced FLAMES to the European metal audience.
“Merciless Slaughter” like “Made in Hell” recorded in very sort time just after the first album release in the same studio with the same bad conditions. At this time the band had more experience and better songs. The line up was Nigel (guitar – vocals), Chris Kirk (guitars), Andy Kirk (bass), Gus Collias (drums). Right after the record Gus for personal reasons left the band and for the needs of the upcoming live shows in this year, the drummer George Andrian (Andreakos) join Flames. The music here is more aggressive pointing the way which later Chris will lead the band. The sound is better than the first album and the songs are a mix of power and speed – thrash metal. The LP released 1986, from “FM. Rec”. in Greece and from “Magic Music rec”. in Germany
The LP front Art-cover was a choice from FM rec. It’s a brutal pic of a wax head with an anti war message… After this LP Nigel wend out from the band to follow his personal career, so Flames change their singer and the German Alex Ossek join the band.
This line up with Alex fixes the band for the next years after ’86, making great history. Flames for the upcoming years worked hard for many live shows and the following albums.
1987: The “Live in the Slaughter House” is limited released EP It’s a live performance with four songs of the band with their ex- singer Nigel. This year Flames had already their new singer since 1986 Alex Ossek and drummer George who plays also drums in this live.
1988: The album “ Greatest Hits “ released from FM rec. It was an obligation of the band with the company so after that to be free of rec. contract.
1988: With the album “Summon the Dead” begins for FLAMES a very successful era with new songs and sound and the band considers this album as a new beginning. With a solid line up and strong bonds between them. The band with their new singer since 1986 Alex Ossek, have more aggressive and better sound. The band plays now pure thrash metal and also performs in many live shows. The album released 1988 internationally by French rec. company Black Dragon and made Flames worldwide known. Flames were the first metal band in their land then that makes an international release with a foreign record company! This movement promotes the Greek metal scene out of the country and after that many thrash metal live shows start to take place in Greece.
1989: Only one year after the Summon The Dead album, FLAMES released independently and distributed from FM rec. their next album, called “Last Prophecy”. The musical changes are not very big this time. The band still plays fast, aggressive and also progressive Thrash Metal. The music composition is more matured, the songs more elaborate, well thought and a bit more complex. Great songs, as Revenge, Deathra, Agnostic Front, Red Terror, Drinking All the Night (intro is a Bavarian beer hymn!) left their music mark for the band. The production is the best, that Flames ever had up to date, making the band competitive to the international thrash scene. With this album the band continues their live shows making thrash metal scene to grow steady in their land.
1991: The album “Nommen Illi Mors” It s very hard to find it because released in very short number of copies. Attended to be a demo but end up to released very limited only in Greece, after its really good songs, meanwhile became famous from the live shows of the band.
Recorded by (Chris, Andy, Tom and George) as some promo rehearsal songs just to experiment for their new album and over the singer Tom Trampoyras, who did the vocals in the studio. Flames normally do not include this material in their official discography since the material taken off from the rec. studio before the final remixing and released prematurely without the awareness of the band from an independent producer … Because of this the sound is very bad. Also the cover photo does not represent the true people who recorded this work since bass and drums recorded from Andy and George.
For this reason this LP is not promoted ‘ cause it is in the mind of Flames to re recording this material with better sound and release it properly.
This time period Flames did many live shows and temporally and for the needs of the gigs Andy (bass) replaced by Elias who performance live with Flames for that short period time.
1993: After a short time of a brake since 1991 the original band members Chris Kirk (guitars-vocals) and Andy Kirk (bass) are together again. Together enforce the band the guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and Angelos Asimakopoulos in the drums.
1996: Soon after some gigs the band went into the studio for the next album “In Agony Rise” recorded and released 1996 from the independent company “Poco records”. It’s a personal production of the band with great tracks and even greater sound. With this album introduced an older friend and co member of the band the German singer Flo Gebhardt who did the vocals in this product.
1997: The band participates among many other local bands in a new album named “A Tribute to the Bathory” Flames recorded the cover song “The Return of Darkness and Evil” adding their personal style and some intro of their own, just to make a unique cover song. The album released from the official magazine “Metal Invader” as a tribute to the band Bathory
In the mid time Flames removing their base in Germany and avoiding to release another new album they do for a long time only some gigs.
This time period Tassos left the band and create a successful career on his personal music style in guitars. Until the present time he remains in contact and he keeps brotherhood bonds with the band. Chris, Andy Flo and Angelo continue the music trip of the band.
2010: Flames went out on stage on tour, celebrating the 25th Anniversary with music from all of their history. After those live shows Flo Gebhardt, after many years since 1994, gave the place on vocals to the previews singer of the beginning of Flames, Alex Ossek. Flo keep a place as an honoured and eternal member of the band. His music cooperation with the band until he present time (2015) is still on
2011: the band wends to studio for a “best of” album from all their old songs. So after work over the sound and some re-mastering finally the album “Legacy” released at 11-11-2011.inclunding 20 of the best songs from the history of the band.
2012: is an official reunion year of the band and is celebrating on stage, with a one and unique live show, since they are all together again with the singer Alex Ossek. Once again with the original line up of 1986 and the “Summon the Dead “album era…
2014: The band makes preparations for the re-release of “Summon the Dead», “Last Prophecy” (this is planned to be about Spring 2016) and “ In Agony Rise” albums in vinyl LP form. (out now in June 2015 ). For this reason there is also a studio work over the sound and work for the LP covers.
2015: in June 2015 after studios work over the sound, the cd “ In Agony Rise” is out again! This is an anniversary limited edition cd for the 30 years after the first album release of the band! Is dedicated to all Flames friends who support the band thru all those music years.
In September 2015 this work will be also out in vinyl as LP, with a different art cover as “an item for collectors” LP.
2015: Chris,(g) Andy (b), Alex (v) and Angelo(d) working in studio for the new album of the band. Meanwhile it is planned a promo sample of this work to be released late 2015 as 7’ LP (from floga records)!
From us FLAMES : Chris (R.B. Lee) Kirk, Andy Kirk, Alex Ossek, Nick Samios thank you all for your support!
“ YOU KEEP THE FLAMES BURNING”
The music trip is going on ….
NICK SAMIOS (Drums
FLAMES would like to thank all the ex-members who participated in this music journey since 1984.
Nigel Foxxe (1985-86)
Tom Trampoyras (1991-1992)
Flo Gebhardt (1993 – …. our brother and eternal honored member of the band)
Athan Skitsos (1987-88)
Tassos Spiliotopoulos (1996-97)
George Andreakos (1985-eternity)
Also the great friends and musicians we met on stage in so many live shows.
Ted Pope bass (1985), Hlias Pavlioglou bass and George Papageorgiou drums (1991-1992), Aggelis Georgiopoulos vocals and Michael Vazeos drums (2000-2002), Alex K. drums (2010-1012)