ONCE DEAD, the Christian metal band featuring former members of VENGEANCE RISING, has issued the following update:"It is with shock and dismay that we are forced to announce that Larry Farkas [guitar] has decided to leave ONCE DEAD. After the band recorded a majority of the [new ONCE DEAD] album ['Visions of Hell'] and made a commitment to sign with Open Grave Records, Larry decided he did not want to work with that label after all, and elected to quit. Larry's desire was to release the album through Bryan Jay and iTunes, which the remaining members of the band had agreed was not a viable alternative. Larry's decision came as a great surprise to everyone involved, and was very unexpected. The remaining members of ONCE DEAD share the same vision and devotion for this album and are committed to completing it for our incredibly loyal fans. We thank all of you for your continued support, and wish Larry well in all of his future endeavors." Commented Larry: "I had six songs for the CD, but I'm going to keep my songs and write two or three more and put it out because I already paid for the recording time. I don't know if anyone will want it but... I just need someone to sing on it. They don't need my songs — they have a lot of great stuff that everyone will love. They all can write songs so no need for my stuff. Everyone will be very happy when they get the 'Visions of Hell' CD. I wish them god's best." Added vocalist Devin Shaeffer: "We have to re-write the parts to which [Larry] contributed. There are also several songs that will need to be written or re-written. Hopefully we will be able to plug the lyrics into the new music assuming that fits a similar meter. In any case, all of us are writers/composers, so putting together songs is not a problem in this group." ONCE DEAD was formed when VENGEANCE RISING members Larry Farkas and Doug Thieme along with bass player Roger Dale and drummer Glen Mancaruso did a gig at the "Summer Madness" event in August of 2004 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California. Appearing as guest vocalist was none other than Scott Waters of ULTIMATUM. Under the threat of legal action from the absent Roger Martinez, the band quickly changed its name to ONCE DEAD. A DVD of this show was recorded, and the band landed a spot on the Cornerstone festival in 2005. During this time, various personnel changes occured, with ex-VENGEANCE RISING and HIRAX member Glenn Rogers joining the group in January 2006, and Scott Waters leaving the frontman position, to be replaced by Devin Shaeffer of FASEDOWN. The band's most recent lineup was completed with the addition of ex-HIRAX member Angelo Espino and Jim Chaffin on drums. ONCE DEAD guitarist Glenn Rogers recently announced his departure from HIRAX to focus on his duties as a ONCE DEAD member. He said in a statement, "I loved my time in [HIRAX], and I'm sorry it came to an end. Due to some personal reasons it is no longer possible for the band and myself to work together. I do wish them luck, and I'll leave it at that. As of now I have committed my time, and energy to the band ONCE DEAD. I have been personal friends with them for many years, and I'm looking forward to finishing the new CD with them. "For the fans, and friends of HIRAX I want to thank you for all the support over the years. I hope that you will carry that support over to my new band ONCE DEAD, and give us a chance. I look forward to seeing you on the road."
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