Formed in 1983, the metal band Wretch has few rivals on the local scene when it comes to longevity. Not that its career hasn’t been without its ups and downs. After releasing “Life” on Auburn Records’ 1989 Heavy Artillery
compilation album, the group disbanded in the wake of an unsuccessful bid to land a major record contract. In 2006, the group reformed to release Reborn
; it signed with Pure Steel Records in 2014, releasing Warriors
that same year.
Now, after the amicable departure of vocalist Ron Emig the band just announced the addition of new singer Sunless Sky/Dark Arena/Attaxe's Juan Ricardo (pictured).
“We were shocked when Ron informed us that he was going to step-down,” says guitarist Mike Stephenson in a press release. “We will always hold a special place for Ron – in addition to being a great vocalist, he’s a dear friend. The timing for this change is right, as we had only just begun recording vocals. Juan will be able to step into the studio and begin laying down tracks as soon as he’s ready. We’re excited to hear what Juan brings to the mix musically. I believe Juan’s soaring vocal style will be a perfect compliment to the Wretch sound.”
Ricardo echoes Stephenson’s sentiments.
“I'm excited and proud to join the legendary Wretch and look forward to singing live for their fans and recording the new CD,” he says. “But I do so with a heavy heart over the departure of Ron Emig, who is a 30-year friend. I am and will always be his greatest supporter and wish him the best.”
Ricardo will continue to front Sunless Sky. Emig will perform two last shows with Wretch on Saturday, April 30, at the Cleveland Agora with Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, Primal Fear and Olathia, and on Friday, May 6, at the Empire Concert Club in Akron with Olathia, Iron Kingdom, Sparrowmilk and Klashing Black. Ricardo will also front the band at its scheduled appearance at Germany’s BÄÄÄM Festival in Kierspe, Germany, on August 6.