13 May 1966 |
Odessa, Ukrainian SSR
||Thrash metal, speed metal, industrial metal, heavy metal
||Combat, Capitol, Nuclear Blast
||Heathen, Exodus, Die Krupps, Angel Witch
Lee Altus, born 13 May 1966 in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, is an American heavy metal guitarist. Altus first came to public attention in the mid-80s with his original band, Heathen, where Altus displayed his virtuosic and highly technical neoclassical guitar playing style. He is principal songwriter and founding member of Heathen as well, playing on all three of their LP's, Breaking The Silence, Victims of Deception and The Evolution of Chaos. In 1990, Altus was considered for the position in Megadeth vacated by Jeff Young, but declined due to Megadeth's potentially dangerous drug-heavy life style, and the job was given instead to Marty Friedman.
After Heathen broke up in 1992 Altus moved to Germany along with his fellow ex-Heathen members Doug Piercy and Darren Minter. Altus and Minter played in the industrial metal group Die Krupps for much of the remainder of the 90s. He also participated in a reunited version of Angel Witch.
Returning to America around 2001, Altus reunited Heathen along with Minter, vocalist Dave White, bassist Mike Jastremski and guitarist Ira Black. The band put out an EP entitled Recovered, made up of rare material and, with a new second guitarist and bassist, in 2010 released The Evolution of Chaos. In 2005 Altus replaced Rick Hunolt in San Francisco thrash metal band Exodus, with whom he still currently plays, performing on their Shovel Headed Kill Machine, The Atrocity Exhibition, Let There Be Blood, Exhibit B: The Human Condition and Blood In, Blood Out albums. Altus is currently working on a new album with Heathen.
Lee currently endorses ESP Guitars, though he used to play Jackson King V guitars. Altus was a long time user of Mesa/Boogie Amplifiers as well, but is currently an ENGL endorsee.