The revamped version of the classic late 1980s/early 1990s death metal band MASSACRE has changed its name from MASSACRE X to GODS OF DEATH.
GODS OF DEATH includes death metal pioneers Kam Lee (vocals) and Rick Rozz DeLillo (guitar). In 1983, they formed the band MANTAS which would later add Chuck Schuldiner and become DEATH. In 1985, Kam and Rick spearheaded yet another legendary death metal band called MASSACRE.
Back in December, Lee and Rozz — after trading verbal barbs and taunts for many years — announced that they were rejoining forces in a revamped version of MASSACRE, dubbed MASSACRE X (the "X" was said to represent the band's tenth lineup). The main objective of the group — which also features Rozz's THE END bandmates Michael Grim (bass/vocals) and Mike Mazzonetto (drums) — was said to be "to rekindle the sound, style, aggression, and passion that originally elevated MASSACRE to cult status in the death metal scene two and a half decades ago."
Within a couple of days of Lee and Rozz's announcement, former MASSACRE drummer Bill Andrews — who moved to Japan in the early 1990s — released a statement saying that he did not approve of this latest attempt to reform MASSACRE and threatening legal action if Rozz and Lee moved forward with their plans.
The new name, GODS OF DEATH, was chosen to represent the band as well as the Rozz and Lee as two of the "founding fathers of the death metal genre," according to a press release.
MASSACRE's last incarnation included guitarist Rozz and Mazzonetto alongside bassist Terry Butler and vocalist Ed Webb. That lineup lasted for four years and released a critically acclaimed album, 2014's "Back From Beyond", via Century Media Records.
Last month, Butler — who is now playing bass for OBITUARY — told Metal Wani that Rozz and Mazzonetto "destroyed" MASSACRE with their "behind-the-scenes backtalking and backstabbing." He went on to make it clear that Rozz and Lee's new band "cannot be called MASSACRE." He said: "They can do all they want and write all the songs in the world they want, but it's not gonna be called MASSACRE."
GODS OF DEATH's plan is to play songs from MASSACRE's "From Beyond" album, along with a few new tracks and old classics from DEATH and MANTAS.