Deicide Biography

This controversial Satanic metal outfit was formed in 1987 in Florida, USA, as Amon, with the line-up of Glen Benton (bass/vocals), guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffman, and Steve Asheim (drums). The band became notorious owing to their conflict both with the Christian establishment in America, and with animal rights groups, because of Benton’s outrageous statements concerning the mutilation of small animals. Repeated bomb threats from the Animal Militia during European tours culminated in an explosion at a Stockholm venue in 1992 during support band Gorefest’s set. The fact that the outspoken Benton branded his own forehead with an inverted cross, created an air of evil charisma that their self-titled debut album’s workmanlike death metal struggled to match. Nevertheless, the publicity helped to establish them as a major death metal act.

The 1992 follow-upLegion saw considerable progression, with a more focused approach channelling Deicide’s aggression into better musicianship and songs. The band subsequently released two raw Amon demos, ‘Feasting The Beast’ and ‘Sacrificial’, as Amon: Feasting The Beast. The third Deicide album, Once Upon The Cross provided the best evidence to date of the musical talent that lurked somewhere beneath Benton’s ludicrous self-aggrandisement. Scott Burns’ production added clarity to a once murky sound, propelled by the superbly efficient twin guitars of the Hoffman brothers.

In 1997, Benton retracted his claim that he would commit suicide upon reaching the age of 33, saying: ‘The whole thing’s ridiculous’. The band released their first live album the following year, recorded at the House of Blues in Chicago. They switched to the Earache label for 2004’s Scars Of The Crucifix, which was also the last recording to feature the Hoffman brothers. Their places were taken by Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Ralph Santolla (ex-Iced Earth).

Deicide are unquestionably one of Satan’s leading propagandists of the mortal world, although their ability to win converts from the mainstream must still be limited by songs such as ‘When Satan Rules His World’ and ‘Kill The Christian’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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