Heavens Gate was formed in Spring 1987, playing at the time under the name Carrion. Their first demo featuring Thomas Rettke (voc.), Bonny Bilski (guit.), Ingo Millek (guit.), Manni Jordan (bass) and Thorsten Muller (drums) soon came to the interested ears of Frank Bornemann, the leader of the legendary German rock band Eloy and owner of Metromania Publishing.
After signing up with Warner Chappell / Metromania, Ingo Millek left the band in Summer 1987 and was immediately replaced by Sascha Paeth. No Remorse Records placed the band under contract in October 1987 and the signing was following by a session in Hannover's Horus Sound Studio, where they recorded their debut album "In Control", produced by Frank Bornemann and Tommy Hansen (Victory, Pretty Maids).
The album was released in January 1989 and soon afterwards the band were on the road as much hailed support for W.A.S.P, as well as on their own, well-attended headliner tour through Germany. A mini-album, "Open the Gate and Watch!" was released in April 1990 and Heavens Gate again went on tour throughout Germany, this time with Lawdy. Japan were quick to appreciate the Wolfsburgers' fast, heavy and furious style. JVC/Victor released both products in August 1990 as a "two in one" CD. The reactions to this release was so euphoric (positions in the Top 20 in several magazine charts) that the two top Japanese metal magazines, Burrn! and Metal Gear send their journalists to Germany, in order to further the cause of this new German metal band in the land of the rising sun. Japanese radio was also hit by Heavens Gate fever - cult DJ Captain Wada devoted an entire hour to a Heavens Gate Special. February 1992 saw the band signing a new contract with Steamhammer / SPV, following the close-down of No Remorse Records. "Livin' in Hysteria" had been released six months before, after having been recorded at Horus Sound and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind. Some of the songs on this album, "Best Days Of My Life" and "We Got The Time" amongst others, were selected by two German TV stations for their educational, anti-drugs video, "Gefährliche Sehnsucht" (Dangerous Desire) which was shown in schools all over the country. MTV Europe taped a Heavens Gate show in Munich and began showing successive portions of the film shortly afterwards. But above all in Japan it seemed as though the enthusiasm for Heavens Gate knew no bounds. Thomas Rettke and Sascha Paeth gave dozens of interviews there and played acoustic versions of three songs at the Second German Metal Seminars in Tokyo and Osaka, whilst in January the 4-track EP, "More Hysteria", originally released only for the Japanese market and including three new songs and an acoustic version of "Best Days Of My Life" went on sale. Heavens Gate were amongst the leading bands in the annual polls of the biggest Japanese magazines and the readers of Burrn! named Thomas Rettke "Best Vocalist" ahead of superstars Alice Cooper, Vince Neil, Sammy Hagar and Jon Bon Jovi. Their third album, "Hell for Sale" was released in November 1992 and documents the astounding progess that the Wolfsburgers had made. Just a year later saw the release of the headbanging "Live For Sale" album, which had been recorded in February 1993 in the Club Citta' in Tokyo's Kawasaki district. The band had played four sold out shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya and the second Tokyo show, in front of 2,500 deliriously happy fans, had served as the basis for the "Live For Sale" opus. Heavens Gate had thus been able to fulfill the promise they had made to their Japanese tour promoter after the release of "Livin' In Hysteria" - to go to Japan on tour. The trip to Japan was followed by a tour with Dream Theater and several one-off gigs until the end of the year. Guitarist Sascha Paeth built up his reputation as producer from Spring 1994 by working together with Charlie Bauerfeind for numerous metal bands. This caused Heavens Gate to slip into the background for eighteen months. But from the end of 1994 the band began the construction of their own studio in order to have more independence in scheduling and financial matters. Bass player Manni Jordan left the band for personal reasons in Summer 1995 and was replaced by Robert Hunecke who, from January 1996, also helped to write the songs for the planned album, "Planet E". The five musicians recorded the work from March to August 1996 and now stand at the starting gate of presenting their latest material. It goes without saying that the announcement of a new album has caused great excitement in Japan and elsewhere.
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