Deicide (1987-present): a Death Metal band from Tampa, Florida, USA.
uly 21, 1987 would witness the birth of Deicide, after Brian Hoffman (guitar) called bassist/vocalist Glen Benton, replying to an advertisement the latter had placed in a local music magazine. Hoffman, his brother, Eric, along with Steve Asheim (drums), had previously played together as the band Carnage needing a bassist and vocalist to play covers of Slayer, Exodus, Celtic Frost and Dark Angel. The new band was not called Deicide, however, but Amon, and within a month, they recorded Feasting the Beast 8-track demo in Benton's garage; the second demo Sacrificial followed in 1989.
They would then sign to 'Roadrunner' to unleash their self-titled debut in the summer of 1990 now assuming the name Deicide by the request of the label. The album itself wasn't overly exciting, but they earned their fame more from their extra curricular activities, such as their strong satanic beliefs. These "activities" brought them into the line of fire of the right-wing religious advocacy groups, as well as animal rights groups. One such incident was when Benton mentioned in an interview about how he spent his leisure time "mutilating God's creatures". Many believe it was animal rights groups who took exception to these comments, Benton, however, blamed the Norwegian black metal scene, where Deicide's brand of death metal was despised. Nonetheless, someone took it upon themselves to meet words with violence in the form of death threats, and allegedly bombing a gig in Stockholm during the band's 1992 tour. The bomb exploded, blowing out a fireproof door behind the stage shortly before their set.
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Musically, both Hoffman brothers tended to play technical solos at fast speeds and with overlapping riffs, which gave Deicide the definitive heavy sound and complex song structures.
Their follow-up 1992 album, Legion, was a marked improvement on the run-of-the-mill death metal featured on the debut. Unlike most bands who quote Satan as an inspiration, these guys at least appeared to be more of the real thing, or certainly acted the part well. Benton expressed his beliefs by repeatedly (12 times) branding an inverted cross on his forehead; he would then save himself the embarrassment of explaining it in his old age by entering into a suicide pact that would see him dead by age 33; this pact was to "mirror" a lifespan opposite that of Jesus Christ. The pact was not fulfilled with him rebutting it in 2006 at age 39.
Further "fame" came when the band was banned from playing in several venues, in particular Valparaiso, Chile over a promotional poster featuring Jesus Christ with a bullet hole in his forehead. Bans also were in place with various festivals such as Hellfest, after several graves had been spray-painted with the words "When Satan Rules His World", a reference to a song from their 1995 album Once Upon the Cross.
The remaining of their career featured more musical endeavors instead of 'extra curricular' ones on Once Upon The Cross (1995; featuring tracks from their original Amon demo sessions (originally titled Feasting The Beast (1990) and Sacrificial (1990) respectively)), and Serpents Of The Light (1997); the middle one being their biggest hit reaching UK 66, appropriately enough [maybe they like the number 6]! When Satan Lives (1998; live), Insineratehymn (2000), In Torment In Hell (2001) have been released to less acclaim but in no way softening their gory and anti-Christian death metal style, a style renewed on their new label 'Earache' for the follow-up Scars of the Crucifix (2004).
Brian Hoffman then collaborated with Neal Moser to design the "Beast Master" guitar for the Moser Custom Shop in 2004.
The line-up went through a change when increasing animosity between Glen Benton and the Hoffman brothers in regards to royalties and publishing; the brothers subsequently left in 2004 to reform Amon. Shortly after, the guitar roles were then filled by ex-Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen, and Vital Remains guitarist Dave Suzuki. Following the tour, Suzuki was replaced by Ralph Santolla, (ex-Death/Iced Earth/Sebastian Bach).
The Stench of Redemption (2006) followed to fair reviews.
January 2007 saw Benton leave the European tour to return home to the US to settle legal issues. Asheim then announced announced that Seth van Loo, from the tour's opening act Severe Torture, and Garbaty "Yaha", from the Polish death metal band Dissenter (Poland), would be replacing Glen Benton until Benton could rejoin the tour. Benton did rejoin the tour in Paris on January 13.
On May 24, 2007, it was announced Ralph Santolla had left.
Soon after Till Death Do Us Part (2008) came out, Benton considered retiring from music due to personal matters including a custody battle, but did not in the end.
2016 would see Owen replaced by ex-Monstrosity guitarist Mark English without an official announcement made by the band; Owen went on to join Six Feet Under in early 2017.
Overtures of Blasphemy followed in 2018.
On June 6, 2018, former guitarist Ralph Santolla of complications following a heart attack.
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