ONCE DEAD, the Christian metal band featuring former members of VENGEANCE RISING, has inked a deal with Open Grave Records. The group is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on its debut album, "Visions of Hell", tentatively due this summer.

According to a press release, "ONCE DEAD boasts a refreshing dose of old-school thrash metal, combined with a triple guitar assault and a lineup of seasoned musical veterans. All of the members have impressive musical resumes, with high-profile acts under their belts such as DELIVERANCE, FASEDOWN, HIRAX, SIRCLE OF SILENCE, THE BLAMED and THE CRUCIFIED."

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 lineup was completed with the addition of ex-HIRAX member Angelo Espino and Jim Chaffin on drums.

In other news, ONCE DEAD guitarist Glenn Rogers has 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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