Following Jag Panzer's debut EP ?Tyrants? from 1983, Azra/Iron Works quickly issued the first full-length album entitled ?Ample Destruction? a year later. With its iconic artwork, ?Ample Destruction? surely rates as one of the Top 10 US Metal album of all time.
Just in time for ?Ample Destruction? guitar wizard Joey Tafolla had joined the original line up of Mark Briody (guitars), John Tetley (bass), Rick Hilyard (drums) and Harry Conklin (vocals). Mark Briody welcomed the arrival of the then new 'guitar god' with open arms: 'We found Joey in the classified section of musicians looking for bands in Orange County, California. While we were living in California at the time, we were looking for a second guitarist and Joey drove up from Orange County and auditioned. Things took off from there. Joey was a really talented guitarist. Once we moved back to Colorado and played out and Joey was showing his skilled guitar playing, he was already being dubbed a guitar god. Joey's song writing skills also came in handy bringing expanded ideas to the table. He was heavily influenced by Rainbow and especially Ritchie Blackmore, so we were able to do guitar harmonies live.'
Comparing ?Ample Destruction? with ?Tyrants?, it quickly becomes evident that the sound on the album was far superior to that of the debut EP. Mark Briody explains: 'Well, the budget for ?Ample Destruction? was way bigger than what John and I had spent on the EP. We were also spending more time on ?Ample Destruction? in the studio as far as recording and mixing was concerned. The song writing on the album was also more mature in a lot of ways compared to that on the EP. There were some great melodies on there for sure.' According to Mark, however, the pool of songs to choose from was not as big as one could have imagined: 'Basically just the amount of songs that were on ?Ample Destruction?, songs we were already working on while we were living in California and before Joey was in the band. I am talking of numbers such as 'License To Kill', 'Symphony Of Terror' and 'Generally Hostile'. And once Joey got in the band I remember at the house we were living at in California, we were working on songs like 'Warfare' and 'Harder Than Steel'. Everything else was written at John's parents house back in Colorado. All songs were brand new compositions except 'The Crucifix' which we had been working on before with the demos.'
With "Black Sunday" the High Roller edition of ?Ample Destruction? contains a bonus track, which was written by Harry 'The Tyrant' Conklin (and added to the album at a later time). Mark comments: 'Harry had written 'Black Sunday' while we were still living in California. There was not enough room on the record to physically put that song on the original issue of ?Ample Destruction?. So we kept it off until we thought we could maybe use it as a B-side or something.'
The ?Ample Destruction? album was originally released in 1984 on Azra/Iron Works, the same label which had been responsible for the ?Tyrants? EP as well. Mark: 'Dave Richards said we should just go ahead and put out a full-length album of songs, so we just ended up staying with Dave. He was also going to pay for the recording this time, so we just stayed with Azra/Iron Works.'
The cover artwork for ?Ample Destruction? was once again absolutely brilliant, showing an indirect connection to that of ?Tyrants?. 'The artwork for ?Ample Destruction? had already been completed way before the cover for the EP was conceived and painted,' explains Mark Briody. 'When we were trying to think of something for ?Ample Destruction?, Keith showed us the artwork that he had done a year or two before and we thought it would be perfect since it was the same character concept. So we went with it.'