Slaughter of Angels is an American metal band from Minnesota that formed in 1978 and currently signed under Earache Records.
In 1973, David Vornesberg moved from Norway to Minnesota with good friend Marcus Berzin and they decided to form a two-piece band called Chaotic Force, a heavy metal band, with David as the lead guitarist and Marcus as the vocals and bass, while recruiting Devon Michaels as drums. They released a demo tape called "Adrenaline Rush" in 1974, it caused much fame in the tape-trader world, enough to be found by Epic Records, but they were rejected as being too simple and not enough talent yet. The next year, they released "Malevolent Creation", which garnered minor attention in the metal scene and they were turned down again by Epic Records. Two years later, they released "Cradle of Destruction", which featured more a darker and heavier style, which they were picked up by Rise Records and were given a three-album deal. In 1978, which they changed their name to Slaughter of Angels, and started working on their first studio album, "Reigning Terror", a concept album about the Antichrist and World War III, it was finally released in 1980 and garnered some controversy for it's lyrics and was considered a sleeper hit in the metal scene.
A new member, Contagious Matter and Abominations of Life Edit
David & Marcus recruited a new member, Glen Miles in 1981, so they could finish touring with a second guitarist. Glen Miles originally was part of a failed project, Deathly Sickness, a doom metal band from Minnesota. On February 3rd, 1983, the band released their newest album with Glen Miles called "Contagious Matter", which the lyrical topics were less controversial than their debut album and was panned by critics for being "too subtle". The record label was disappointed with the outcome of the album sales, which reached 10,000 by the end of month. The band then made a comeback with "Abominations of Life" in 1985, which critics enjoyed the thrash-elements used, and praised the albums lyrics for being "cruel", "indomitable" and "ruthless without shame". The sales were less disappointing, reaching about 40,000 within a month and reaching 900,000 by 2009. This being the last with Epic Records and moving onto Metal Blade for a five-album deal.
Broken, Within the Soul and personal problems Edit
With the greater success of "Abominations of Life", they soon started to follow a thrash metal sound indirectly with heavy metal influences still present and extensive touring made the album sell up to 500,000 units, which is their most successful album to date. Fours after the touring for their 1985 release, they started recordings for a new album in 1988 and released the album, "Broken" in 1989, which garnered much controversy for it's lyrics and it's album case which featured a mother killing her child with a saw. The album lyrics were about abortion, controversial topics about torturing humans and desecration of human and animal rights, which saw more of a death metal-like release. But was still praised by critics for their lyrics and "how they knew what people wanted". 2 years later, in 1991, was the released of "Within the Soul", which was the last album with Devon Michaels, their original drummer. "Within the Soul" is a concept album about the Gulf War and the pirates in Somalia. The album was universally acclaimed by critics and received an award for "Best Metal Album of the Year" and sold up to 300,000 units by the year 2000, making it the third most successful release. Devon soon quit after the release due to drug problems and personal problems with the band. But the band used Pete Sandoval of Morbid Angel as a live member until the end of the tour.
Terror Machine, a new drummer and bassist Edit
"Terror Machine" was their fourth most successful album and their second most controversial to date. They released the album in 1997 with their new drummer, Aaron Reed and a bassist, Kyle Reed. This time, the album follows a death metal sound, removing their heavy metal influences. The album received mostly positive reviews from critics, praising the dark and violent lyrics. The bands new direction was not well-received by critics that well, due to the new style of influence. The band also had a personal friend produce this album, which gave it a more modernized sound. The album sold 130,000 units by 2009 and became their trademark sound.
2000 to present Edit
"Destruction of Civilization" was released in 2000 and Kyle Reed and Glen Miles quitting the band left a mark after the release, which returned Marcus as bassist. The band decided to stay as a three-piece band ever since. But the album garnered minor attention and featured a more groove inspired sound. The album was received mostly positive reviews, praising it's lyrical themes and production quality. The album sold up to 70,000 units by the end of the year. The next year, they released an extended play called "Malformation", a concept album about neglect and domestic abuse. It sold decently well during the tour, up to 20,000 units sold. In 2004, after touring, the band decided to tour around the world touring and re-released their first album which sold 50,000 units and re-released older material as well, such as "Malevolent Creation".
In 2008, the year seen the release of their next release, "Cadavers of Nations", which is a concept album about nuclear war and National Socialist themes. The album was more of a death/groove sound overall. The album was the last under Metal Blade and they signed a deal with Earache for a four-album deal.
The next year in 2009, they released "Book of the Dead", their most controversial album to date. Selling about 60,000 units and became their most well-known work. The albums lyrical themes are about the zombies, horror fiction and war It was universally acclaimed by critics and fans alike, praising the albums lyrical themes and creative sound, saying used more "soul from the heart" than any of their previous work. A new yet-to-be titled album with be released in November, 2011.
- Marcus Berzin - lead vocals, bassist
- David Vornesberg - guitarist
- Jason Marks - guitarist (2012-present)
- Aaron Reed - drums (1997-present)
- Devon Michaels - drums (1973-1991)
- Glen Miles - rhythm guitar (1981-2000)
- Kyle Reed - bassist (1997-2000)
- Reigning Terror - 1980
- Contagious Matter - 1983
- Abominations of Life - 1985
- Broken - 1989
- Within the Soul - 1991
- Terror Machine - 1997
- Destruction of Civilization - 2000
- Cadavers of Nations - 2008
- Book of the Dead - 2009
- Dear Agony - 2011