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A punishing American death metal group with a penchant for pairing uncompromising decibels with controversy, Deicide emerged in the late 1980s alongside contemporaries like Cannibal Corpse and Carcass. Based out of Tampa, Florida, the band poisoned the mainstream in 1992 with their sophomore effort Legion, which became one of the best-selling death metal LPs of the Nielsen Soundscan era. Employing a lethal mix of sonic heft and Satanism, Deicide's championing of animal sacrifices and anti-Christianity rhetoric yielded attacks from religious organizations and animal rights groups -- bomb threats from the Animal Militia culminated in an explosion at a Stockholm venue in 1992 -- and helped make them one of the more prominent social and sonic antagonizers in the '90s death metal scene. The group continued to mine the depths of depravity and despair well into the 2010s, occasionally tempering their death metal assault with forays into more melodic forms of extreme metal, which they did in the late 2000s, but 2013's In the Minds of Evil and 2018's Overtures of Blasphemy marked a return to the brutality of their Legion days. Formed in 1987 under the name Amon by guitarist Brian Hoffman, bassist/vocalist Glenn Benton, guitarist Eric Hoffman, and drummer Steve Asheim, the quartet released their first demo, Feasting the Beast, in 1987 followed by second demo, Sacrificial, in 1989. Shortly after the release of the latter, the band inked a deal with Roadrunner Records and changed their name to Deicide at the label's request. Their eponymous full-length debut dropped a year later, and featured re-recorded versions of the songs from Sacrificial, as well as two new cuts. Pugilistic in its ferocity, Deicide would go on to become one of the more revered death metal LPs of the decade. 1992's Legion saw the band upping their technical game, delivering a brutal barrage of complex riffs and intricate song structures that helped make it one of the group's most respected and profitable outings. Subsequent Roadrunner efforts like Once Upon the Cross (1995), Serpents of the Light (1997), Insineratehymn (2000), and In Torment, In Hell (2001) followed suit, but the band's relentless pace, both in the studio and on the road, eventually took its toll. By the time Deicide released Scars of the Crucifix via Earache in 2004, the band's inner turmoil had grown to match their combustive aural attack, resulting in the departures of both Hoffman brothers -- the siblings who would later re-form Amon. After cycling through potential players, the band settled on ex-Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen and six-stringer Ralph Santolla, formerly of Death and Iced Earth, both of whom made their studio debuts on the group's eighth long player, 2006's The Stench of Redemption. The LP proved to be Deicide's most successful outing to date, peaking at number 11 on the Heatseekers chart. 2008's Til Death Do Us Part saw the band experimenting with elements of doom metal, as did 2011's To Hell with God, the latter of which saw the group move from Earache to Century Media. Santolla left the fold in 2012, and was replaced by Kevin Quirion, who made his first studio appearance on 2013's In the Minds of Evil, which marked a return to the inexorable, old-school death metal attack of past outings. It would be the last Deicide album for Owen, who left in 2016. The band tapped Monstrosity guitarist Mark English for album number 12, 2018's reliably unrelenting Overtures of Blasphemy.
© James Christopher Monger /TiVo


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