Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Holocaust were formed in the late '70s, and featured vocalist Gary Lettice, guitarists John Mortimer and Ed Dudley, bassist Robin Begg, and drummer Nicky Arkless. Like many New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands, Holocaust cut their teeth in local clubs during the waning days of punk, before finally scoring an independent record deal and issuing 1981's seminal The Nightcomers. Though commercially unsuccessful, the album has remained a favorite of the genre and was later cited as a major influence by members of Metallica, who covered the song 'The Small Hours' from the band's subsequent release, 1983's Live -- Hot Curry and Wine.
The band was already experiencing internal strife and fell apart before the recording of 1984's disjointed No Man's Land, which featured sole surviving original member John Mortimer handling vocals, guitars, and bass, and backed by drummer Steve Cowen. Five years would pass before the duo (along with bassist David Rosie) resurrected Holocaust once again, going on to release a number of solid efforts, including 1989's The Sound of Souls, 1992's Hypnosis of Birds, 1996's Spirits Fly, 1997's Covenant and 2000's The Courage To Be. 2003 saw the band's work collected on the anthology Smokin Valves as well as the full-length record "Primal". In 2013 John Mortimer gathered the Primal-line-up for the yet-to-be-released "Sweet Liberty", touring heavily and releasing a digital EP called "Expander".