Artwork by Edward J. Repka
|Origin||Los Angeles, California|
|Years active||1987–1996, 2008–2012|
|Associated acts||Body Count, Abattoir, Agent Steel, Pumpjack, Testament, Slayer|
Evildead was an American thrash metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1987. The band was originally composed of members of two former bands, Agent Steel and Abattoir, including guitarist Juan Garcia, who is their only permanent member. During their initial eight-year run, Evildead made two studio albums (Annihilation of Civilization and The Underworld), and a live album titled Live ....From The Depths of The Underworld and an EP. Although their commercial success was limited, their music is still highly regarded amongst metal fans. Evildead had been plagued by extended inactivity due to lineup changes and problems with making a follow-up to The Underworld. This resulted in their official breakup in 1996. They reunited in 2008, but eventually broke up four years later.
Formation and rise to near fame (1987–1992)
Evildead was formed in 1987, after guitarist Juan Garcia and bassist Mel Sanchez left Agent Steel and Abattoir; with the intention to write heavy music with more hardcore and thrash metal elements; more so than their previous bands. Evildead paved new ground with their ferocious approach to songwriting, but also followed a Vio-lence/Sacred Reich style, with lyrics exploring political and social themes mixed with horror and nuclear war topics. Their band name was inspired from the Sam Raimi horror film The Evil Dead.
In 1988, the band signed a recording contract with the European label Steamhammer Records and released RiseAbove (a 3-track EP featuring the songs "Sloe-Death", "Run Again" and the title track which is a cover version of Black Flag) in the same year. They followed it up with their debut full-length album Annihilation of Civilization in 1989 to rave reviews. A promotional videoclip was launched for the title track, and it received airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball.
In 1990, the band returned to the studio to record their second album with producer Warren Croyle, The Underworld, which was released in the following year. The album was not as successful as Annihilation of Civilization. They released a live album taken from the tour, Live ....From The Depths of The Underworld, in 1992, but was their last release due to the grunge movement that was emerging at that time, which was displacing many forms of 1980s heavy metal and hard rock in America.
Unreleased third album and breakup (1993–2007)
Following the The Underworld tour, Evildead went on an extended hiatus. The band headed back into the studio in 1993 to begin work on a third album, and wrote several new songs including "Humano", "Immortal" and "Dia de los Muertos", which also appear on the band's 1994 demo tape Terror and would be recorded again for the only Terror album Hijos de los Cometas (1997). However, the album was left unfinished and Evildead soon broke up.
After the split, Karlos Medina, and Juan Garcia reformed Agent Steel, but still play together with Evildead members Danny Flores, and Eddie Livingston, (who played on their live release) in a band called Terror, which has one full-length album; with all songs in Spanish that was released on BMG in Mexico; which is not out of print. Former drummer Joe Montelongo was in Evildead for a short stay during their final years also went on to play with MX Machine.
In 2008, Evildead announced that they would reunite in the summer of 2009 for shows. They also began rehearsals for the Thrasho De Mayo event that was held in Los Angeles in May, 2010. The band also performed at the "Way of Darkness Festival" in Germany later that year. The current line up features new vocalist, Steve Nelson (Winterthrall, Noctuary), Rob Alaniz (original drummer), Albert Gonzalez (original guitarist), Mel Sanchez (original bassist), and Juan Garcia (original guitarist).
By May 2011, Evildead had been writing new material for their what would be their third studio album. In addition, they posted a new track called "Blasphemy Divine", which was produced by George Pajon and is available for free download here. The new album would have been Evildead's first full-length album since 1991's The Underworld and the first new music from the band since writing and demoing songs for an unreleased album in 1993-1994. It would also have been the first Evildead album to feature the return of Albert Gonzalez on guitar, Mel Sánchez on bass and Rob Alaniz on drums since 1989's Annihilation of Civilization as well as Steve Nelson's debut album with the band.
Despite their plans to record a new studio album, it was announced on October 17, 2012 that Evildead had disbanded once again.
- Steve Nelson - Vocals (1993–1995, 2010–2012)
- Juan Garcia - Guitars (1987–1995, 2008–2012)
- Albert Gonzalez - Guitars (1987–1989, 2010–2012)
- Mel Sánchez - Bass (1987–1990, 1993–1995, 2008–2012)
- Rob Alaniz - Drums (1987–1990, 2008–2012)
- Phil Flores - Vocals (1987–1993)
- Mark Caro - Guitars (1987)
- Dan Roe - Guitars (1989–1990)
- Dan Flores - Guitars (1990–1995)
- Karlos Medina - Bass (1990–1993)
- Doug Clawson - Drums (1990–1991)
- Joe Montelongo - Drums (1991–1993)
- Jon Dette - Drums (1993–1994)
- Eddie Livingston - Drums (1994–1996)