Today we want to tell you about an Israeli metal legend named the late Sami Shmoulik "The Horse" Avigal.
1. Sami (Shmoulik) Avigal was born in Morocco in 1944 (his Facebook page mentions his birthday as August 5, 1954).
2. In 1955 he immigrated to Israel with his family and as a child, he lived in Bat Yam.
3. In his youth, Shmoulik admired the rock and roll stars of the era, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard.
4. From the 1960s onwards, Shmoulik was a member of several "rhythm bands" in Israel, including "The New Wave", "Coco and the Parisians", "Hanemerim", "HaNezirim", "Hasus Halavan", and more.
5. Most of the bands played rock music on which Shmoulik grew up on, but also Greek and Oriental music.
6. In addition to his powerful singing, Shmoulik also played bass guitar in some of the bands.
7. In 1973, Shmoulik formed the band "HaTzabarim", which included refugee members of the bands "The Monks" and the "HaOranim". Shmoulik was the one who gave the band its name. The band recorded a floppy disk with cover versions of the songs of the band "Kaveret" which was banned from broadcasting.
8. Due to his large face and body, Shmoulik was nicknamed "the horse".
9. In 1979 Shmoulik moved to the Netherlands and joined the band "Mover" with whom he recorded several demos.
10. In 1980 he moved to the Dutch band "Hammerhead" of which he was a member until 1982.
11. In 1982 he joined one of the first heavy metal bands in the Netherlands - "Picture", as a replacement for the singer and one of the band's founders - Ronald van Prooijen.
12. Together with "Picture" Shmoulik recorded the excellent album "Diamond Dreamer" which was released in 1982 and is considered to this day it's the best album. The album was a great success in the Netherlands and Europe and gave the band a lot of publicity, with the help of which it got to warm artists like "AC/DC", "Ted Nugent" and "Saxon".
13. The same year, Shmoulik came with the band to Israel for a mini-tour that included 5 performances.
14. After recording the album, Shmoulik suggested that the band will add another guitarist to thicken its sound, and thanks to his advice, guitarist Chriz Van Jaarsveld was recruited.
15. After the end of the tour and the recruitment of the new guitarist, Shmoulik got into an argument with the band manager and as a result was fired.
16. In 1985, Avigal joined another Dutch metal band - "Horizon" with which he recorded the album "Master Of The Game".
17. In 1986 Shmoulik left the Netherlands and moved to New York. He stayed at Tom Jude's family home in Long Island, NY, and joined his band "Warhead" - a thrash metal band formed in 1984, Neil Benderman (Titan) bass, Mike Gallino (Minute Man) drums, Tom Jude (MX) guitar, replacing Ron Simmons (The Commander) vocals.
18. Later that year Avigal joined the metal band "The Rods", with whom he recorded the album "Heavier Than Thou". This band also included guitarist David "Rock" Feinstein, a cousin of Ronnie James Dio who also played with him on "ELF".
19. After that Tom Jude and Avigal Formed "Vision". The band was based in Cortland NY and included Schmoulik Avigal (Picture, Horizon, Rods) vocals, Tom Jude (Doro Pesch, Holy Water, American Mafia) guitars, Jose Ferro (Screaming Lords) bass, Chris Crooken (Battalion) drums. "Vision" recorded a demo that included 4 songs.
20. In 1997, Avigal and guitarist Danny Shetrit (guitar) formed the band "Moonrock" with Eric Klaastad (bass), Dennis Monroe (drums) and Ken Distin (keyboards). The band recorded a 12-track demo.
21. Avigal's widow - Mrs. Gwen Avigal - owns the master-tapes for "Moonrock" and "Vision" Projects and finally these songs will be released with the help of "Classic Metal Records", on the album "Mindless Creatures", which will include the 12 tracks by "Moonrock" and the 4 tracks by "Vision", as bonus tracks.
22. In 1990 Avigal joined a new band called "HARPO" with whom he recorded a demo with three songs. The demo did not mature into an album and the band disbanded. You can see a rare performance of the band together with Shmoulik here:
23. In 2003 Sami moved to Florida, he settled in Jacksonville, and recorded the album "Under A Savage Sky" with Jack Starr and the band "Guardians Of The Flame".
24. Avigal then decided to set up his own band. He moved to Cortland New York and formed "Avigal" with which he recorded, among other things, the album "Unbroken" which was released in 2011.
25. On July 30, 2020, Avigal succumbed to cancer. He was 76 years old at his death.
God bless his memory!
To listen to the great album "Diamond Dreamer" choose a link: Spotify, Apple Music