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Znöwhite logo.jpg

General information
origin Chicago , Illinois , United States
Genre (s) Speed ​​metal , thrash metal
founding 1981, 1990 renamed Cyclone Temple
resolution 1990
Founding members
Ian Tafoya (Greg Fulton) (1981–1990)
Sparks Tafoya (Tony Heath) (1981–1985)
Nicky Tafoya (Curtis Fulton) (1981-1984)
Nicole Lee (Sue Sharp) (1981–1988)
Last occupation
Electric guitar
Ian Tafoya (Greg Fulton) (1981–1990)
E-bass, sometimes drums
Scott Schafer (1985-1990)
John Slattery (1989-1990)
Brian Troch (1989–1990)
former members
Electric bass
Amp Dawg (1994)
Electric bass
Alex Olvera (1987–1988)
Debbie Gunn (Debbie Gunderson) (1988-1989)

Znöwhite was an American speed and thrash metal band from Chicago that was active in the 1980s.


In 1981 brothers Ian ( guitar ) and Sparks Tafoya ( bass ) formed their own called Snowhite with their cousin Nicky Tafoya ( drums ), who had been in local Chicago bands for some time . The name means "snow white" in German (in English also the name for Snow White ) and was an ironic allusion to the black skin color of the band members. They played a fast, hard version of speed metal. Managed the trio of Ian Tafoya himself and one of his former was fellow at the Music Academy in Columbia College Chicago , the White Nicole Lee. After a short time she was won over to the post of singer. Both used their real names for business matters (which is also given as the contact address on the first records), but a pseudonym for their musical activities . This distinction was necessary because record companies and agencies often do not want to negotiate directly with the band. The other band members went with them and indicated their relationship by means of identical surnames.

They recorded their first demo in 1981 within just six hours. Because it was the band's calling card for a longer period of time, it is also cited as the '83 demo . When they sent it to Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records in 1983 , he liked it so much that he placed their less than two-minute song Hell Bent on his Metal Massacre III sampler alongside audio samples from Slayer , Virgin Steele and Tyrant , for example .

After disappointed expectation of a contract offer from Megaforce Records , the band decided to have a self-financed Flexi single pressed, pretending to be with a German label (the invented "EMA Germany"). It contains two pieces from the first demo as well as one from the second demo, which was created at the same time but was circulated as demo '84 . The strategy behind the initiative was to sell the inexpensive, thin and light sound foil in large numbers to fanzines as booklet supplements and to record stores as promotional items , which should be made into multipliers in terms of awareness. The new recordings and the resulting wider attention finally brought her a contract with Enigma Records . The band wrote her name now Znöwhite (in the logo "Znöwhite") and released their first album All Hail to Thee in January 1984. The seven titles representational album was successful enough to the band's performances as the opening act of bands like Metallica and Raven to gain . Back then, Znöwhite tried to establish itself as a “faster Metallica and tougher Motörhead ”.

Before and after the release date of the second Kick 'em When They're Down, a mini-album due to only five songs contained (three newly written plus two remaining from the Hail recordings) , Nicky and Sparks Tafoya left the mini-album in April 1985 Tape. Nicky Tafoya was replaced by Amp Dawg in 1984, which was replaced by Scott Schafer in 1985. Dissatisfied with her record label, Znöwhite switched to the Californian Erika Records . She released a live album there called Live Suicide , which was recorded during a show in Cleveland and contains three new tracks. Between 1986 and 1987 Nicole Lee renounced her stage name and was part of the cast under her real name Sue Sharp. During this time, intensive touring was the order of the day. A few times they joined DRI events and a Celtic Frost concert is said to have been combined with theirs. All of this was self organized. When the band found out in Los Angeles that their record company had not even taken accompanying measures such as promoting the live album, they were angry and dejected about the now ineffective tour strain.

Back from the tour in their hometown, the musicians began to work on a new album and to send test recordings to companies that might be considered for a label change. Live and in the studio during this phase Scott Schafer filled the vacant drummer position as an interim solution, and Alex Olvera had become the new bass player, albeit without any involvement on the album. On this, Schafer exercised the double function of drummer and bassist, with two songs it was Tafoya who also played bass. On April 1, 1988, Act of God was released on Roadrunner Records , on the front of the case the lettering Znöwhite had lost its heavy metal umlauts and Olvera was allowed to appear on the group photo on the back. Then there was a break with Nicole Lee. Ian Tafoya was looking for a new singer and found it in the person of Debbie Gunn (actually Debbie Gunderson) of Sentinel Beast , while Scott Schafer returned to bass and John Slattery was taken on as drummer. Olvera was no longer part of Znöwhite. A few months after Debbie Gunn joined the band, she left Znöwhite again to join the Swedish women's thrash band Ice Age. She had only taken part in one tour that she hadn't been able to fully convince. In addition to the unfortunate personal band situation, there was a personnel restructuring within the Roadrunner label, combined with a reorientation to the approaching death metal wave from Florida . At the end of 1988 Roadrunner released a compilation with their Thrashy or related contract bands, including Mucky Pup , Paradox , Slayer, Sacred Reich and Znöwhite (Baptized by Fire) . But for a band from the "second row" it was difficult to stay in the focus of interest of the label supervisor, which is why it came to a more or less forced farewell.

Thus, in April 1989, the plans for the album Land of the Greed, Home of the Depraved , were dashed for the first time. The album , which was announced again in October 1989, came to nothing. Ian Tafoya's first choice for the singer was Dawn Crosby, who was, however, tied to Détente . He then hired Brian Troch as the new singer, but the band had now lost all optical unusualness (mostly black musicians, front woman), so that a new beginning under a new name seemed appropriate. The performance in November 1990 in the Central Park Ballroom in Milwaukee as part of the “Fourth Annual Speed ​​Metal Festival” was one of the last under the name Znöwhite. Znöwhite / ZnoWhite was subsequently " Cyclone Temple ". And Ian Tafoya himself dropped his pseudonym and carried on under his real name Greg Fulton. For everyone involved, that meant starting from scratch in tiny New York clubs. A year after the last attempt to finally make Land of the Greed, Home of the Depraved available to the public, the press reported that Znöwhite would release the next CD on Combat under a new name , which actually happened in 1991. The song list is almost identical to the unrealized Znöwhite project, but is called I Hate Therefore I Am after the one added song, while the other added, Words are Just Words , became the single and video release .

In 1998, their first two releases, All Hail to Thee and Kick 'em When They're Down , came out on one CD on Ax Killer Records .



At Allmusic the style is clearly defined as Speed ​​Metal. Musicmight.com describes it as a powerful Speed ​​Metal variant inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal . Act of God is their best work and also one of the choicest Thrash albums ever. Matthias Herr sees it similarly in his Heavy Metal Lexicon Vol. 4 . Znöwhite was a speed and thrash metal band with the last "splendid speed" at the thrash milestone Act of God . The Encyclopedia of Popular Music assumes Power Metal , which soon became heavier and thus Thrash Metal. In the volume US Metal Vol. 1 , based on the debut album Znöwhite, the art of producing thrashing thrash without "boring speed bumps" is attributed.

In the Metal Hammer , Metal Mike Blim compared the band to Hawaii . On All Hail to Thee Speed ​​Metal is offered with a breather (Never Felt Like This) . His colleague Oliver Klemm praised the “skillful mix of hardness, aggressiveness and speed”.

Regarding Kick 'em When They're Down , Metal Harry (also in Metal Hammer ) noted that there was speed metal and heavy metal alternating. Too Late move in exciter speed mode. Overall, however, everything is "very simple-minded".

Andrea Nieradzik said in Metal Hammer about Act of God that it was Speed ​​Metal, which had to be recognized that one rarely hears musicians who play cleanly and precisely at such a speed. The distinctive vocals are aggressive, sometimes reaching into the punk. He is in the foreground, which means that the guitars cannot adequately demonstrate their power.

Martin Popoff wrote in his book The Collector's Guide of Heavy Metal Volume 2: The Eighties about All Hail to Thee that it was a mixture of Thrash and Speed ​​Metal that corresponded to the then current standard. Kick 'em When They're Down is significantly worse and is much harder to get than the debut album. On Act of God the speed of the songs is usually very high, with the use of double bass being characteristic. The music sounds like a mix of Metallica and Shrapnel Records releases . From today's perspective, this seems a bit old-fashioned, but still has to be assessed as technically demanding.

On the inner sleeve of Act of God , the band thanks Phil Lynott for the inspiration.


Matthias Herr certifies that the texts are politically active. He highlights Pure Blood , which deals with the neo-Nazis that can also be found in America. Successful texts with the content of war (War Machine) , injustice, the cult film Mad Max (Thunderdome) , social problems and the Nazi ideology (Pure Blood) , and which also went perfectly with the driving, boisterous and angry music, writes metalinvader.net .


The cover design of All Hail to Thee was done by Tim Fornier and Brian McBean, who u. a. had designed a cover of 45 Grave for Enigma Records the year before . A diagonal divides the area of ​​the record sleeve from the back through the back to the front into two areas, one of which is black and the other red. Only on this cover is there a fairy tale reference, otherwise the association with Snowhite (Snow White) is nowhere made or reinforced. On the back there is an initial above the occupation information : The angular scroll Z of the front logo is mounted above the black silhouette of a lock , this time in contrasting white. The skull drawing on Kick 'em When They're Down is more in keeping with the iconography of the metal scene. The latter motif was chosen for the combined new CD edition of both albums.

The cover artwork of Act of God was again rather untypical : An old woman with a pink reflective bathing cap, whose face is illuminated in bright yellow, is mounted in front of a gray-blue beach impression, holds an 8- billiard ball in front of her chin and, so to speak, towards the viewer. Rüdiger Abend writes about this in US Metal Vol. 1 that it is a "bizarre" sight and basically a weak point. "Nobody has deciphered [T] en meaning to this day," he notes. Matthias Herr even claims that with this cover even “Metallica would not have sold a record. The almost completely unknown Znowhite certainly not. "


  • 1981: Demo '81 / '83 (also under the title Hell Bent ) (Demo, as Snowhite)
  • 1983: Metal Massacre Vol. III ( compilation , contribution Hell Bent , Metal Blade Records)
  • 1983: Live for the Weekend (8 ″ single, as Snowhite, EMA Germany)
  • 1984: Demo '84 (also under the title Do or Die ) (Demo)
  • 1984: All Hail to Thee (Album, Enigma Records / Steamhammer)
  • 1985: Kick 'em When They're Down (mini-album, Enigma Records)
  • 1986: Live Suicide (Live album, Erika Records)
  • 1988: Act of God (album, as ZnoWhite, Roadrunner Records)
  • 1988: Stars on Thrash (compilation, contribution Baptised by Fire , Roadrunner Records)
  • 1998: ZnöWhite (contains the two Enigma releases from 1984/85, Ax Killer Records)
  • 2007: ZnöWhite (contains the two Enigma releases from 1984/85 and also the live album from 1986)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Znöwhite. (No longer available online.) In: metalcon.de. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015 ; accessed on February 28, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.metalcon.de
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Rick: Znowhite. In: metal-rules.com. August 15, 2007, accessed February 28, 2015 .
  3. a b c d e f g Rüdiger Abend: US Metal Vol. 1 . Ed .: Matthias Mader, Otger Jeske, Arno Hofmann et al. (=  Iron Pages ). 1st edition. IP Verlag Jeske / Mader, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-931624-01-3 , Znöwhite, p. 189 .
  4. a b c d e f g h i j Znowhite. Biography. (No longer available online.) In: musicmight.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016 ; accessed on February 28, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.musicmight.com
  5. a b c d e Matthias Herr: Heavy Metal Lexicon Vol. 4 . Verlag Matthias Herr, Berlin April 1994, Znöwhite / Cyclone Temple, p. 199 f .
  6. ^ A b c Eduardo Rivadavia: Znöwhite. Biography by Eduardo Rivadavia. In: allmusic.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .
  7. ^ A b Claudio Flunkert: Cyclone Temple. In the eye of the storm . In: Horror Infernal . December 1994 / January 1995, No. 56 , p. 29 (New Year double issue).
  8. a b Keidra Chaney: Metal Man of Mystery: Greg Fulton's Journey from thrash icon to the party band Circuit. In: newcity.com. September 2, 2014, accessed February 28, 2015 .
  9. a b c d Roadrunner Records (Ed.): Bio. Znowhite - Act of God . Amsterdam 1988 (promo sheet).
  10. a b c d e f g h i Holger Stratmann (Ed.): Rock Hard Encyclopedia . 700 of the most interesting rock bands from the last 30 years. Rock Hard GmbH, Dortmund 1998, ISBN 3-9805171-0-1 , Znöwhite, p. 474 f .
  11. a b Znöwhite * - Live for the Weekend. In: discogs.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .
  12. a b without title . In: Aardschok . A tough rock magazine. February 1984, Kurz + Kräftig, p. 38 (untitled within the rubric).
  13. a b Colin Larkin (Ed.): The Encyclopedia of Popular Music . 3. Edition. Volume 8 Wilde, Kim - ZZ Top. Macmillan, London 1998, ISBN 0-333-74134-X , Znowhite, pp. 6000 .
  14. a b c d e Giorgos Tsekas: Znöwhite: Act of Lesser God. In: metalinvader.net. August 27, 2014, accessed February 28, 2015 .
  15. Nowhite. Act of God. In: roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .
  16. a b Sentinel Beast: Performance Footage of New Song Posted Online. In: blabbermouth.net. April 20, 2009, accessed February 28, 2015 .
  17. Stars on Thrash and Vinyl… In: Metal Hammer . October 1988, p. 24 .
  18. Various - Stars on Thrash. In: discogs.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .
  19. Znöwhite . In: Metal Hammer . No. 22/1989 , October 20, 1989, "Hot & heavy" News, p. 7 .
  20. ^ John Sutherland: Fourth Annual Speed ​​Metal Festival. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Central Park Ballroom . In: Metal Hammer . No. 23-24 / 1990 , December 1990, Live, pp. 144 f .
  21. Neil Jeffries: Kerrang! The Directory of Heavy Metal . Virgin Books, London 1993, ISBN 0-86369-761-5 , pp. 246 .
  22. Nowhite . In: Rock Hard . No. 44 , November 1990, pp. 5 .
  23. ^ Metal Mike Blim: Znöwhite. "All hail to three" [sic!] In: Metal Hammer . November 1984, p. 66 .
  24. [Oliver Klemm]: Znöwhite . In: Metal Hammer . December 1984, p. 13 (the author Klemm is not mentioned here, in the next issue, p. 5, the band photo and article author were submitted later).
  25. Metal Harry: Znöwhite - "Kick 'em When They're Down" . In: Metal Hammer . July 1985, p. 70 .
  26. Andrea Nieradzik: Znöwhite - Act Of God . In: Metal Hammer . May 1988, p. 53 .
  27. Martin Popoff : The Collector's Guide of Heavy Metal Volume 2: The Eighties . Collectors Guide, Burlington, Ontario, Canada 2005, ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5 , pp. 426 .
  28. 45 Grave - Sleep in Safety. In: discogs.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .

Web links