Vital Remains is an American death metal band from Providence, Rhode Island formed in 1988.
Created in 1988 by guitarist Paul Flynn, Vital Remains' first line-up consisted of guitarist Butch Machado, vocalist Mike Flynn, bassist Tom Supkow, and drummer Chris Dupont. Searching for better musicians, they added guitarist Tony Lazaro and vocalist Jeff Gruslin to the band. From there the band became a driving force in the local death metal scene. Lazaro and Flynn shared the writing duties in these early days.
Soon after their formation, the band released a pair of demos (1989's Reduced to Ashes and 1990's Excruciating Pain) which led to a contract with French label Thrash Records, who in turn released the single The Black Mass in 1991. Shortly after the release of the single, which proved to be the band's first and only release with the label, the band signed to Peaceville's subsidiary, Deaf Records. A pair of releases followed for the Peaceville label, 1992's Let Us Pray and 1995's Into Cold Darkness. However, after poor distribution and a lack of promotion from the label, the band requested that their contract be dissolved. At this stage, in 1997, the band's founder, Paul Flynn left Vital Remains.
Two years later the band signed a two-album deal with French label Osmose Records. In order to complete the line-up, Dave Suzuki was brought in. This led to the release of 1997's 'Forever Underground'. VITAL REMAINS toured throughout the states in 1997 and overseas this year being held reign as 'The Fastest Metal band on Stage with Unbelievable Wind-mills of satanic fury" by Metal Maniacs Magazine. 2000's Dawn of the Apocalypse marked a significant step towards a new, heavier sound which would become more prominent on their following albums.
Vocalist Thorns (Timothy Donovan), who had handled vocal duties on Dawn of the Apocalypse, was soon fired from the band. Joe Lewis explained in an interview, "We liked what he had to offer as a vocalist but we were not happy at all with his activities outside the band that included drugs and alcohol. We did not want to let these problems interfere with our band so we fired him. But we were happy with his performance on the album. He did do a great job with the vocals." Thorns' dismissal from the band led to the addition in 2003 of Deicide frontman Glen Benton on vocals along with original member Tony Lazaro on guitars and Dave Suzuki on drums, and lead guitars. The band's first album with Benton, 2003's Dechristianize, was released to much critical acclaim. The band's next album, released in 2007, was Icons of Evil, which followed in the same musical vein as Dechristianize'. Vital Remains also put out their first live DVD, Evil-Death-Live, the same year, in Europe on 9 July, and in the US on 31 July through Polish label Metal Mind Productions.
On November 21, 2007, Vital Remains announced they are seeking a bassist and lead guitarist. No further information was given. Since Dave Suzuki's dismissal from the band, Vital Remains have been touring endlessly with frequent lineup changes for several years, with original member Tony Lazaro and bassist Gaeton "Gator" Collier being the only two consistent members. In 2012 Brian Werner of Infernaeon joined as Vital Remains' new vocalist and has stayed in the band since then. Tony stated in several interviews in 2012-2013 that he's been writing lots of new songs and has "two albums worth of material".
In October 2014, Vital Remains announced they were seeking a lead guitarist, again delaying the new album's release to 2015, and were joined by new drummer James Payne (ex Hour of Penance).
Toronto based Dean Arnold, age 18, of Primal Frost ( Vocalist and Guitarist) became the lead guitarist of the band. Together with this lineup, Vital Remains toured through South America, Europe, and the USA in 2015.
The band has continued the writing process for the new album and will record it after their winter European tour. The new album should be finished in 2016.
In November 2015, a Sanford Florida police officer was fired for singing "Let the Killing Begin" with the band while he was on duty and in uniform. A video posted on YouTube shows Officer Andrew Ricks - in full uniform - making 'devil's horns' gesture and roaring the title words to the song.
Vital Remains earlier work was considered to be death metal, with minor use of keyboards and ambient noise. After Forever Underground they went for a purely death metal approach. Elements of their music that distinguishes them in their genre are the use of acoustic Spanish-style solos and their construction of very long songs, which is uncommon in the majority of death metal. Many of the songs on more recent releases approach eight or nine minutes in length. With the addition of Dave Suzuki to the band, the lead guitar work took a much more prominent place within song construction. He also chose to employ a neoclassical style of soloing.