Named after the fifth ‘Great Khan’ of the Mongolian Empire, the bands exports, much like Kublai’s, were rivalled by very few in terms of their quality, with their debut album ‘Annihilation’ being matched by very few. However looking back the name may not have been aptly chosen, Kublai Khan was famous for his long reign and strong influence on culture and history, while the case of the band, their reign was very short, lasting only five years.
The band were founded in 1984 by guitarist and vocalist Greg Handevidt, who was part of the original Megadeth line up before leaving, and fellow guitarists Kevin Idso. After establishing a stable line up, the band released their first demo, entitled ‘Rape, Pillage and Destroy’ in 1985 which led them to open for some of the biggest Metal bands over the 80’s including ‘King Diamond’, ‘Kreator’ and ‘Metal Church’. The band then signed to ‘New Renaissance Records’ in the US and to ‘Heavy Metal Records’ in the UK/Europe, releasing their debut album ‘Annihilation’ in 1987. However after conflicts within the band and issues with management the band split up shortly after.
Upon listening to their album, the influences of Metallica and Megadeth are clear to see, however towards the end of the 80’s the strength and popularity of Thrash was diminishing, and the band appear to be a victim of this, perhaps just emerging a few years to late.