Forged in a Canton, Ohio, musical instrument depot in 1970, Wrath combined guitarist Ralph Minocchi, bassist Glen Sikora, and singing drummer Rick Page— an ore unparalleled in the seat of Stark County. In a North Canton Battle of the Bands, Wrath clashed with a then-unknown Joe Walsh; in Akron, they opened for Ted Nugent, years prior to that warlord Detroiter’s eponymous debut LP. Neighborhood garages served Wrath as practice spaces, before Sikora got warehouse keys from his generous boss, a Wrath fan in his own right.
“Warlord”—penned by Minocchi, who wrote most of Wrath’s martial and darkly metaphysical material— summoned up Satan, sea snakes, and the titular combatant forced to dig his own grave. Originally conceived to showcase his vocals, “Warlord” was taped during Page’s bout with laryngitis. In his stead, Sherry Minocchi—Ralph’s wife at the time— took a one-time lead-singing stint...and nailed the double-tracked speak-sing vocal to Wrath’s mournful instrumentation. But Sherry never sang “Warlord” again, yielding to Page’s delivery during live sets, and a subsequent “Warlord” master tape featuring Page’s vocal take was stolen, likely lost forever. 1975 saw the release of Wrath’s “Warlord” b/w “Rock n’ Roll Fever” 45 on Stone Cold Records, founded by Wrath itself on the advice of a shrewd attorney.
In touring afterward, Wrath stuck to its Rust Belt roots. Sikora’s army photographer brother brought the band to an Atlanta, Georgia, military base for a Black Sabbath concert, before which Wrath and Sabbath briefly warmed up together. But in the early part of the 1980s, Wrath’s membership, no longer unencumbered teens, lost hope in touring enough to support family needs. Minocchi and Page moved on to the far less wrathful Holiday Inn gigging circuit.