Hobbs' Angel of Death was one of the first Australian bands to play a distinctly European form of thrash metal (in the manner of bands like Kreator, Destruction and Celtic Frost). Peter Hobbs conceived the band in January 1987, recording two demo tapes, Angel of Death and Virgin Metal Invasion from Down Under, with help from three members of fellow Melbourne band Nothing Sacred. The demos attracted the interest of German label Steamhammer.
Steamhammer signed Hobbs' Angel of Death, and flew the band over to West Berlin to record its debut album at Musiclab Studios with producer Harris Johns. Hobbs and Woolley recruited fellow Melbourne musicians Phil Gresik (bass; from Mass Confusion) and Darren McMaster-Smith (drums; ex-New Religion) for the album sessions. The resultant self-titled album (issued July 1988) became a best-seller in Europe, but was only available locally on import. With the release of the album, Hobbs' Angel of Death made its live debut in Melbourne (supporting Sydney thrashers Mortal Sin). In 1989, Hobbs and Woolley recruited a new rhythm section comprising Dave Frew (bass) and Bruno Canziani (drums) and began touring. It was to be another six years before Hobbs' Angel of Death delivered a follow-up album, Inheritance. In the meantime, Woolley and Frew had formed their own band, Hatred.
Of the original band members, Woolley (ex-Heresy), Karl Lean (ex-Vengeance, Heresy) and Sham (ex-Vengeance, Heresy) had played with one of Melbourne's most popular heavy metal bands, Nothing Sacred. Mick Burnham (vocals; ex-Vengeance, Heresy) and Richard `Buddy' Snape (lead guitar; ex-Heresy) completed the line-up. The band's influences included Motorhead, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, Hawkwind, Venom, Van Halen and Metallica. Nothing Sacred recorded an excellent 12-inch EP, Death Wish (1986), and the album Let Us Pray before Woolley left to join Angel of Death. Snape also left and Nothing Sacred recruited guitarists George Larin (ex-New Religion) and Terry Cameron (ex-Nemesis). Let Us Pray came out in May 1988 on the Cleopatra label. Larin later joined Taramis. Buddy Snape went on to join progressive metal band Mandrake Garden, which issued one impressive mini-album, Picturesque, in early 1990.
Phil Gresik also played with Melbourne thrash/hardcore band Mass Confusion which comprised Darren `Dog' Walsh (vocals), Steve `Slob' Maidment (lead guitar) and Chris Phillips (drums; ex-Tyrus). Mass Confusion issued a self-financed album, Confusion Intrusion, in 1991, supported overseas visitors like Motorhead and Sepultura, added James Morse on bass (Gresik switched to rhythm guitar), but broke up in 1993 without making significant headway.