The act started in 1984 Jeff Hatrix moved back to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, after a brief re-location to Chicago and a stint as lead singer of White Heat. After a period with Mike Tucker on 2nd guitar they continued as a 4-peice, recording their self-titled debut EP and a 6 song demo, before recruiting Randy Gonce in 1986 and recording their first and only full-length Tied To The Trax (1986), an album of fair creation in its day, although sounding dated now. But, shortly before the release of that album both guitarists would leave the band, leaving a new formation to record their entire second album, Dark Alley Surgery, before replacing Hatrix himself in 1989. The act would record an EP with new singer Andy Boyer before splitting in early 1990.
Not far into 1990, 3/4 of the original line-up joined with half of the original members of Chemikill to form Victor Fist. Kenny Easterly went on to also join Mystik.
After his 1989 departure from Purgatory, Jeff Hatrix founded his own project called Hatrix.
After his 1986 split from Purgatory, Greg Perry joined Attaxe shortly before briefly re-joining Purgatory alongside new guitarist Frank Romano (replacing Dave Felton). This was short-lived however, and after only a single show and a few promo photos Perry left again to be replaced by Tony Ross. Perry then rejoined Attaxe in 1988, and stayed through their conversion to Zyklóne.
Shortly after the 1991 split of Victor Fist, Purgatory played their first reunion show. This attempt didn't last. It would be in 2003 when the four original members of Purgatory decided to get together and jam, leading to a full scale reformation that lasted only a year. 2018 would see Alexander, Easterly, Perry and Hatrix join with Kenny Easterly Jr. (yes... the son of...; drums) to try again.
Footnote: Not to be confused with the Purgatory from Tampa, Florida, which later became Iced Earth, or with the death metal band from Moosup, CT, the death metal/thrash metal band from Memphis, Tennessee, the death metal/thrash metal band from Texas, or the version of Indonesia!