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Valhalla were a heavy metal band formed at Hillcrest High School, which gained some notoriety, featuring Glyn Morgan (lead guitar and vocals), James Campkin (lead vocals, drums), Chris Baillie (lead guitar, vocals) and Gareth Pemberton (bass, vocals). Originally called Septic Death, with Bill Wallnutt on bass, they settled on Valhalla just before the 1990 Rockquest in Rotorua where Glyn, Bill and James had to play without a drummer; Ben Pere wasn't allowed to attend and James was playing guitar and vocals at the time. Their car broke down on the way also and they had to hitchhike to the gig with guitars at the age of 14.

In 1992 the band played briefly as a three piece after Chris moved on before recruiting Ben Thomas to join as front-man.

Initially a Thrash Metal band, playing originals and covers of Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Sepultura, the band evolved towards Death Metal with heavy influences from Obituary, Morbid Angel, Carcass and Death.

After placing second at the Waikato Smokefree Rockquest in 1991, they came fourth in the national competition (gaining some television exposure). Three tracks were recorded, The Sun, The Real Me, and Tommyknockers, all of which received airplay on Contact 89FM. They went on to win the 1992 Regional Rockquest.

Valhalla played extensively around the North Island and recorded multiple EPs. All was the opening track on the Atrocities One compilation put out by Dave Whitehead and Dave Lowndes.

Chris Baillie went on to join the Tim Armstrong band for a brief time, and has been a solo artist since 1995. Gareth Pemberton now records as Terrorball. Glyn and James joined up with Bill Wallnutt to form Dirty Spider. James, Bill and Gareth then teamed up to create Leithe with Campbell Elliott.

Published Articles[edit]

  • Valhalla interview, Zone Issue 2, September/October 1992, P21-22