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Mike Coates is no stranger to Progaor, in fact his bands are the genesis of this label, first with the megacult ASIA CD release that combined the two albums, then with pre-Asia band White Wing lone album, and finally the trilogy is complete with Solomon Kane unreleased recordings! Solomon Kane is Mike Coates basically recording with female singer Deb Marquart. Expect Epic Progressive/Pomp Metal of the highest caliber! The recordings were remastered recently from the original Dat Tape and the results are excellent! We are thrilled to announce this exciting release, as Mike has a very special place on this label.
Complete with 12-page booklet with lyrics, band bio, rare photos and song-by-song comments by Mike Coates.


Solomon Kane was a Progressive Hard Rock band from Rapid City, South Dakota (1981 - 1983).  It was formed by members of the midwestern supergroup ASIA (1976 - 1981), which in turn had been formed from the remains of WhiteWing (1968 - 1975).  ASIA independently released two albums, “ASIA" and "Armed to the Teeth", which have since been re-released as CDs by several labels including Progaor.  WhiteWing was originally on a Minneapolis label called ASI. Progaor also released that album on CD in 2017. The demise of ASIA was a tumultuous one.  Almost immediately after "Armed to the Teeth" was released it was announced over the NBC newswire that a European supergroup was forming and was calling itself ASIA.  Negotiations began with lawyers from both camps and culminated in Brian Lane, manager of Yes and the new band, flying to Rapid City to see our ASIA.  We had been told that the European ASIA had negotiated with at least seven other North American ASIAs and that they had purchased the name from all of these bands.  I personally heard Brian Lane’s attorney read off the trademark numbers from all those bands over the phone and then Lane posed an offer: $5000 cash (we had asked for $100,000 or back-up in a global tour) and that he would take me and our band manager, Michael Chambers, to meet with four major labels on the west coast.  We felt powerless at this point so we acquiesced.  However, months went by with no word from Mr. Lane, and then during that same period our exclusive trademark ownership arrived in the mail!  We contacted Lane and told him the contract with his folks was null and void-fraudulent!  We spent the next two years touring relentlessly as Solomon Kane striving to generate capital for the battle with their attorneys to get the case tried in the US and hopefully in our jurisdiction.  

Shortly after "Armed to the Teeth" was released Larry Galbraith (voice and guitar) had quit the band. His was a very difficult role to replace--an outstanding talent with an incredible range. The rest of the band, Michael English, Doug Johnson, and myself were all from ASIA. At the time, Mike Chambers was co-owner of a bar in Rapid City called the Barbarian and it served as our center of operations. We practiced in an adjacent space that previously had been a marina shop. At night we would go next door to the Barbarian to listen to singers in all the bands that passed through. After witnessing one particular band who had a female lead singer we huddled together and considered shifting paradigms. We set up an audition with Deb Marquart and it seemed like perhaps (?) we had found our singer. Michael English played bass and sang much of the lead vocal work, so a complement to his sound -a strong female vocalist- seemed viable.  

Deb had been in more of a contemporary Pop band, so when we first talked i was pretty skeptical. She had never really even heard Ian Gillan or Ronnie James Dio. So, one night I left her at my house with a stack of records and I left (probably to tune my stage piano which took several hours!). When I returned her face was ashen and I thought, well . . . this isn’t going to happen. But much to her credit she accepted the gig! At first we tried to do material more in her wheelhouse, e.g. Heart, Rossington-Collins, Smith, Jefferson Airplane, but she soon launched into Rainbow, AC/DC, Black Sabbath (Dio), Zeppelin, and my originals. And she could wail! Deb also learned basic keyboard skills which added greatly to our band trio sound. We traveled with a sound man, a light man, a very large sound system, full stage lighting, full stage gear, and band--all in a large, black truck. So, the overhead was pretty high and the schedule was intense. We would go out for four to six weeks and then return home to play the Barbarian. In early ‘83 when we returned home, Mike English informed us he was leaving the band. Doug gave his notice as well. I was devastated. I was coming up on my 30th birthday and this was all I had ever done. By this time I was madly in love with Deb. I’ll never forget the day the truck pulled out to take her back to Moorhead, Minnesota. I just died. Within months i left Rapid City to be with her. When I got to Moorhead I immediately started teaching guitar. Then that fall I enrolled at Moorhead State University and was soon teaching for them as well. They had a new music industry program so I felt that maybe I had found my place. Deb had her old job back as a secretary/router at a big equipment (Crane) company. She had been appearing as a lounge singer for a while (a la Rickie Lee Jones) and then in a band (the Debonaires). The following year we got married. I had lots of band offers but nothing of the quality of ASIA/Solomon Kane so I just focused on school and teaching. The MSU facility had been building a recording studio, but nobody really knew how to run it let alone wire it all up.  So I spent several years overseeing that operation (in no small part with Mitch Gallagher now of Sweetwater Sound). And as we got it up and running I began to record my guitar method book -”Chase the Dragon” (my master’s thesis)- and the Solomon Kane songs I had written. I taught at MSU from 1984 - 1995 and was constantly recording. The following songs were recorded in that humble little 8-track studio with me performing all the instrumental parts and Deb singing everything.  My good friend, Adam Lien, created my new website last year and I opted to include all the Solomon Kane originals. In truth, most of those pieces were written during ASIA’s final year. So I have always thought of this collection as ASIA III. (Mike Coates)


File Under: Pomp Rock. Epic Progressive Metal. 

For fans of: Lordian Guard, Legend (U.S.), Heart and Kansas.  

SOLOMON KANE-Die By The Sword - 1986/1991 - CD

£12.00 Regular Price
£10.00Sale Price
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