Deicide is an American death metal band formed in 1987. Their first two albums, Deicide and Legion, are ranked second and third place in best-selling death metal albums of the SoundScan era.
As Amon/Carnage (1987–1989)
Glen Benton, 2009
Deicide was formed in Tampa, Florida on July 21, 1987, after guitarist Brian Hoffman called Glen Benton, replying to an advertisement the latter had placed in a local music magazine. They are influenced by bands such as Destruction, Sodom, Venom, Bathory, Mayhem, Possessed, Death, Autopsy and Slayer. The band consisted of Benton (bass/vocals), Hoffman, Hoffman’s brother Eric (guitars) and Steve Asheim (drums). Within a month, they had recorded crude Feasting the Beast 8-track demo in Benton’s garage and had started playing the occasional gig in the Tampa area. In 1989, Amon recorded their second demo, Sacrificial, at Morrisound with producer Scott Burns.
After a number of lineup changes, Benton assumed the additional role of vocals and the band was renamed Carnage.
Malevolent Creation guitarist Phil Fasciana recalls an early Carnage show: “It was like Slayer intensified a thousand times.” “I guess Carnage had hollowed out a mannequin and filled it with fuckin’ blood and guts from a butcher shop… and then they threw the fuckin’ thing on the floor. Morbid Angel had these pit bulls with them back then and they were just tearing the meat up. It was a really weird scene, man. There was blood and meat everywhere.”
Steve Asheim, 2009
Benton reportedly stormed into Roadrunner Records’ A&R man Monte Connors’ office and presented him with the demo, saying, “Sign us, you fucking asshole!” The next day contracts were issued to the band. In 1989 the band’s name was changed to Deicide at the request of Roadrunner Records.
Deicide then released their self-titled debut album, also produced by Scott Burns at Morrisound, in 1990. Their debut featured re-recorded versions of all six of the Sacrificial tunes that had secured them their record deal.
Both Eric and Brian tended to play technical solos at fast speeds and with overlapping riffs, which gave Deicide the definitive heavy sound and complex song structures. This lineup remained intact until November 25, 2004 in the wake of increasing animosity between Glen Benton and the Hoffman brothers allegedly in regards to royalties and publishing.
They performed as Deicide before this, at least as early as 1986 in Amsterdam.
 Post-Hoffman brothers period (2004–present)
Jack Owen, 2009
Kevin Quirion, 2010
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, formerly of Death, Iced Earth and Sebastian Bach. Santolla stated he is a Catholic and this has received a small amount of shock and ridicule from some metal fans. In spite of this, Deicide’s eighth studio album The Stench of Redemption album received rave reviews, and is one of their biggest sellers yet.
On May 24, 2007, it was announced Ralph Santolla had left Deicide.Subsequently, he joined Florida’s Obituary and appears on their album Xecutioner’s Return as well as the tour. Then on July 20, 2007 guitarist Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse) announced that Deicide is “on hiatus” and he has joined Ohio based death/thrash combo Estuary for touring purposes. The band did a Balkan tour, dubbed “Balkans AssassiNation Tour”, in October 2007 alongside Krisiun, Incantation and Inactive Messiah.
By November 2007 Deicide began work on its ninth studio album at Florida’s Morrisound Studios. Entitled Till Death Do Us Part, the follow-up to 2006’s The Stench of Redemption promised to be Deicide’s “most savage and aggressive [offering] to date,” according to a press release. Drummer Steve Asheim recorded drum tracks and Benton started recording vocals in December.By April 2008 two songs off this album were posted online. It was finally released on April 28, 2008.
On January 6, 2009, Deicide posted a blog on their official Myspace page saying they had signed a worldwide record deal with Century Media, with Ralph Santolla returning to the band for a European tour. They were said to be working on material for a summer 2010 release.
Guitarist Kevin Quirion of Order of Ennead joined the band in the summer of 2009.
In early 2009 they toured with Vital Remains and Order of Ennead.
In June 2010, Glen Benton revealed that the next Deicide album was to be titled To Hell with God. It was produced by Mark Lewis at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida and was finally released on February 15, 2011.
Deicide has received considerable controversy relating to their albums and lyrics, which include vehement anti-Christian themes, such as “Death to Jesus”, “Fuck Your God”, “Kill the Christian”, “Behead The Prophet” and “Scars of the Crucifix”, among others. Drummer Asheim said, “The whole point of Satanic music is to blaspheme against the Church”, “I don’t believe in or worship a devil. Life is short enough without having to waste it doing this whole organised praying, hoping, wishing-type thing on some superior being”.
Most of the controversy surrounded frontman Benton for a rash of shocking interviews and wild statements. Benton has repeatedly branded an inverted crucifix into his forehead on at least 12 different occasions. During an interview with NME Magazine, he shot and killed a squirrel with a pellet gun to prevent any further damage to his electrical system in the attic at the location the interview was held. Often taken out of context, this act garnered negative attention from critics and some animal rights activists. Benton had professed beliefs in theistic satanism during Deicide’s early years, claimed to slaughter rodents for fun, and that he held beliefs in demonic possession and that he was possessed. Such statements had eventually been concluded as tongue-in-cheek and little more than sensationalism by band members questioned alternatively. Additionally, Benton claimed in the early 1990s that he would commit suicide at the age of 33 to “mirror” a lifespan opposite that of Jesus Christ (however, he passed that age in 2000 and did not commit suicide, rebutting in 2006 that these statements had been “asinine remarks” and that “only cowards and losers” choose to kill themselves).
Deicide has been banned from playing in several venues (such as Valparaiso, Chile over a promotional poster featuring Jesus Christ with a bullet hole in his forehead) and with various festivals such as Hellfest, after several graves had been spray-painted with “When Satan Rules His World”, which is a song from Deicide’s 1995 album Once Upon the Cross. More recently, their music video for “Homage for Satan”, which features blood-splattered zombies on a rampaging mission to capture a priest, was banned from UK music TV channel Scuzz.
In the early 1990s, Deicide was on tour in Europe with Gorefest, a Dutch death metal band. In Stockholm, during the Gorefest set, a bomb was discovered on-stage. It exploded in the club in which they were playing. The bomb was located to the rear of the stage, behind a heavy, fireproof door. The explosion was big enough to deform the door and blow it off its hinges. Deicide managed to play three songs before the police decided to stop the concert and evacuate the club. At first, Benton blamed that attack on the Norwegian black metal scene, where Deicide’s brand of death metal was despised. This however was not the case since many of the key members of the black metal scene were present at the show, including Mayhem’s guitar player, who was not only at the concert but also working as a DJ. Many people blamed animal rights activists who were angered at Deicide’s lyrical themes of animal sacrifice.
- Glen Benton – lead vocals, bass (since 1987)
- Jack Owen – guitars (since 2004)
- Ralph Santolla – guitars (2005–2007, 2008 (session), since 2010)
- Steve Asheim – drums, percussion, occasional guitars (since 1987)