Deicide (band)

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Deicide performing at Metaltown Festival 2011
Deicide performing at Metaltown Festival 2011
Background information
Also known asCarnage (1987)
Amon (1987–1989)
OriginTampa, Florida, U.S.
GenresDeath metal
Years active1987–present
Past members

Deicide is an American death metal band formed in Tampa, Florida in 1987 by drummer/composer Steve Asheim and guitarist brothers Eric and Brian Hoffman as "Carnage", then hiring bassist/vocalist/lyricist Glen Benton and becoming "Amon". They would later change the band name to Deicide in 1989. The band rose to mainstream success in 1992 with their second album Legion,[1] and is credited as the second-best-selling death metal band of the Soundscan Era, after Cannibal Corpse.[2] Since their debut album in 1990, Deicide has released twelve studio albums, one live album, two compilation albums and two live DVDs. In November 2003, their first two albums, Deicide and Legion, were ranked second and third place respectively in best-selling death metal albums of the SoundScan era.[2] Deicide is known for their lyrics, which cover topics such as Satanism, anti-Christianity and blasphemy. Their lyrics have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticism from religious groups and the public.


Early days as Amon/Carnage (1987–1989)[edit]

Bassist and vocalist Glen Benton is one of the two constant members of Deicide.

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. Hoffman and his brother, along with drummer Steve Asheim, had previously played together as the band "Carnage", which was in need of a bassist and vocalist.[3] Carnage played cover songs by Slayer, Exodus, Celtic Frost and Dark Angel.[4]

The new band, called Amon, consisted of Benton (bass and vocals), Hoffman, Hoffman's brother Eric (guitars) and Steve Asheim (drums).[5] Within a month, they had recorded the Feasting the Beast 8-track demo in Benton's garage and had started playing the occasional gig in the Tampa area. [6] In 1989, Amon recorded their second demo, Sacrificial, at Morrisound with producer Scott Burns.

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."[7]

As Deicide (1989–2004)[edit]

Drummer Steve Asheim is one of the two constant members of Deicide.

Benton reportedly stormed into Roadrunner Records' A&R man Monte Conner's office and presented him with the demo, saying, "Sign us, you fucking asshole!" The next day contracts were issued to the band.[8] In 1989 the band's name was changed to Deicide at the request of Roadrunner Records.[citation needed]

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 the Hoffman brothers 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 Hoffmans allegedly in regards to royalties and publishing.[9] The Hoffman brothers later went on to reform Amon.

Post-Hoffman brothers period (2004–present)[edit]

Guitarist Jack Owen joined Deicide in 2004, replacing the Hoffman brothers, and remained as a member of the band until 2016.

Shortly after, the guitar roles were then filled by former Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen, and Vital Remains guitarist Dave Suzuki. Following the tour, Suzuki was replaced by guitarist Ralph Santolla. Santolla stated he was a Catholic, which had 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, which was released on August 22, 2006, received rave reviews.[10][11][12][13]

In January 2007, Benton left the European tour and returned home to the United States as a result of legal issues at home. Asheim announced that Seth van Loo, from opening act Severe Torture, and Garbaty "Yaha", from the Polish death metal band Dissenter, would be replacing Benton starting on January 9 in the Netherlands, until Benton could rejoin the tour. Benton rejoined the band in Paris on January 13.[14][15] On May 24, 2007, it was announced Ralph Santolla had left Deicide.[16] Subsequently, he joined Florida's Obituary and appears on their album Xecutioner's Return as well as the tour. On July 20, 2007, guitarist Jack Owen announced that Deicide would be "on hiatus" and he had joined Ohio based death/thrash combo Estuary for touring purposes.[17] The band embarked on a Balkan tour, dubbed "Balkans AssassiNation Tour", in October 2007 alongside Krisiun, Incantation and Inactive Messiah.

By November 2007, Deicide began work on their ninth studio album at Florida's Morrisound Studios. Entitled Till Death Do Us Part, the follow-up to The Stench of Redemption, promised to be the band'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 2007.[18] In April 2008, two songs off the album were posted online.[19] It was finally released on April 28, 2008. As the record was coming out, Benton considered retiring from music, in the midst of personal matters including a custody battle.[20]

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. In early 2009, they toured with Vital Remains and Order of Ennead. Guitarist Kevin Quirion of Order of Ennead joined the band in the summer of 2009.

In June 2010, Glen Benton revealed that the next Deicide album was to be titled To Hell with God.[21] It was produced by Mark Lewis at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida, and was released on February 15, 2011.

Deicide released their eleventh studio album, In the Minds of Evil, on November 26, 2013.[22]

In November 2016, it was apparent that guitarist Jack Owen had been replaced by Monstrosity guitarist Mark English without an official announcement made by the band.[23][24] Owen went on to join Six Feet Under in February 2017.[25]

On October 9, 2014, The Village Voice reported that Deicide had started working on new material for their twelfth studio album.[26] On March 10, 2017, Deicide announced a short U.S. tour which would begin in May and also issued an update on the album: "the new record is almost completed, right now its down to scheduling, this run of shows were setting up is to introduce and work in our new guitarist Mark English, that and I need a break from this thing called Florida…".[27] The album, titled Overtures of Blasphemy, was released on September 14, 2018.[28]

On June 6, 2018, former guitarist Ralph Santolla died due to complications following a heart attack and was taken off life support since being in a coma for a week.[29]

In February 2019, Deicide parted ways with guitarist Mark English and replaced him with Autumn's End vocalist/guitarist Chris Cannella.[30]

On April 17, 2021, the band performed in front of an audience of full capacity at The Verona in New Port Richey amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as all restrictions for businesses were lifted and mask mandate enforcements for local cities in Florida were removed as the state was moved into Stage 3 in late September 2020.[31] A U.S. tour followed soon after, with Kataklysm, Internal Bleeding and Begat the Nephilim.[32]

On January 19, 2022, it was announced guitarist Chris Cannella had left the band and was replaced by Taylor Nordberg.[33]


Guitarist Kevin Quirion has occasionally been a member of Deicide since 2008.

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".[34]

Most of the controversy surrounded frontman Benton for a rash of shocking interviews and wild statements. Benton has repeatedly branded an inverted cross into his forehead on at least 12 different occasions.[35] 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. 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.[36] Such statements had eventually been concluded as tongue-in-cheek and little more than sensationalism by band members questioned alternatively.[37] 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.[37]

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[38]) and with various festivals such as Hellfest, after several graves had been spray-painted with "When Satan Rules His World", a reference to a song from Deicide's 1995 album Once upon the Cross. In addition, 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.[39]

In 1992, Deicide was on tour in Europe with Atrocity from Germany and Gorefest, a Dutch death metal band. In Stockholm, during the Gorefest set, a bomb was discovered on-stage.[40] 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. Many people blamed animal rights activists who were angered at Deicide's lyrical themes of animal sacrifice.[41]

Band members[edit]

Recording timeline[edit]

Role Album
Once upon the Cross
Serpents of the Light
In Torment in Hell
Scars of the Crucifix
The Stench of Redemption
Till Death Do Us Part
To Hell with God
In the Minds of Evil
Overtures of Blasphemy
Bass/vocals Glen Benton
Guitars Eric Hoffman Ralph Santolla Kevin Quirion
Brian Hoffman Jack Owen Mark English
Drums Steve Asheim




  1. ^ "Deicide - Awards". Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "It's Official: CANNIBAL CORPSE Are The Top-Selling Death Metal Band Of The SoundScan Era". November 2003. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  3. ^ "DEICIDE Interview with Eric Hoffman". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  4. ^ "Interview with Steve Asheim". February 18, 2008. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Mudrian, Albert (2004). Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore. Feral House. ISBN 1-932595-04-X. pp. 90-91.
  6. ^ Mudrian (2004), as above.
  7. ^ "Behind the Crooked Cross." Decibel: 72-78.
  8. ^ Mudrian (2004), as above, p. 162.
  9. ^ Rini, Frank (November 22, 2013). "Interview with Amon guitarist, Eric Hoffman". All About the Rock. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  10. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Deicide - The Stench Of Redemption Review" Archived August 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 25, 2011. "With this new lineup Deicide sounds better than they have in years."
  11. ^ Prato, Greg. "The Stench of Redemption - Deicide". AllMusic. Retrieved October 25, 2011. "Despite the lineup juggle, Deicide's trademark extreme metal sound has remained intact, as evidenced throughout The Stench of Redemption."
  12. ^ Alisoglu, Scott. "DEICIDE - The Stench of Redemption (Earache)" Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Blabbermouth. Retrieved October 25, 2011. "'The Stench of Redemption' is sure to become a U.S. death metal favorite among both fans and critics."
  13. ^ Herzebeth. "Deicide - The Stench Of Redemption review". Metal Storm. Retrieved October 25, 2011. "The Stench Of Redemption is one of the most intense experiences in modern metal [and] a masterpiece and it will surely become a classic record in the future;"
  14. ^ Deicide soldier on without Glen Archived July 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Metal Hammer. January 9, 2007.
  15. ^ Deicide Frontman To Rejoin Tour Archived November 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Encore. January 12, 2007.
  16. ^ "DEICIDE Parts Ways With Guitarist RALPH SANTOLLA". May 24, 2007. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  17. ^ "DEICIDE Guitarist JACK OWEN To Tour With ESTUARY". July 20, 2007. Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  18. ^ "DEICIDE's GLEN BENTON Recording Vocals For 'Till Death Do Us Part'". December 12, 2007. Archived from the original on April 22, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  19. ^ "DEICIDE: Another New Song Posted Online". April 17, 2008. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  20. ^ [1] Archived June 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Panagiotis, K (June 6, 2010). "Deicide (Glen Benton) interview". MetalPaths. Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  22. ^ "DEICIDE: 'In The Minds Of Evil' Release Date Announced". September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  23. ^ "DEICIDE Quietly Replaces Guitarist Jack Owen With MONSTROSITY's Guitarist". Metal Injection. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "DEICIDE Drummer On JACK OWEN's Departure: 'He Kind Of Left One Day And Just Never Came Back'". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  25. ^ "Guitarist Jack Owen Joins Former Cannibal Corpse Bandmate in Six Feet Under". Loudwire. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  26. ^ Turman, Katherine (October 9, 2014). "Proudly Satanic Deicide's Secret to Success? "Surrounding Yourself With Positive People"". Retrieved November 4, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "Deicide Announce Spring Tour". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  28. ^ "DEICIDE To Release 'Overtures Of Blasphemy' Album In September". Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  29. ^ Bellino, Vince (June 6, 2018). "Ralph Santolla: 1969-2018". Decibel. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  30. ^ "DEICIDE Parts Ways With Guitarist MARK ENGLISH, Announces Replacement". February 14, 2019. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  31. ^ "Watch DEICIDE Play 'Full-Capacity' Concert In Florida Amid Pandemic". April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  32. ^ "DEICIDE Kicks Off U.S. Tour In Tampa (Video)". August 6, 2021. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  33. ^ "DEICIDE Parts Ways With Guitarist CHRIS CANNELLA, Announces Replacement". January 19, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  34. ^ "Death-metal gods Deicide are the yin to Barry Manilow's yang". The Sydney Morning Herald. December 1, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  35. ^ "Glen Benton answers crowd questions at Deicide show". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  36. ^ "Glen Benton Interview 1990". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  37. ^ a b "DEICIDE Frontman On JON NÖDVEIDT's Suicide: 'Only Cowards And Losers Choose That Option'". September 7, 2006. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  38. ^ "Deicide banned in Chile". Metal Hammer. February 23, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  39. ^ "'Homage For Satan' off the air". Metal Hammer. August 23, 2006. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  40. ^ "Deicide Biography". MTV. 2008. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  41. ^ Ekeroth, Daniel (2006). In Swedish Death Metal, Tamara Press, ISBN 91-974334-2-X, page 274.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mudrian, Albert (2004). Choosing Death:The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore, Feral House, ISBN 1-932595-04-X.

External links[edit]

Media related to Deicide at Wikimedia Commons