The psychedelia-tinged metal outfit Steel Prophet was formed in Connecticut in the late '80s by guitarist Steve Kachinsky Blakmoor and vocalist Gary Stocking; the original rhythm section featured bassist Wayne Faircloth and drummer Harry Blackwell, the son of jazz drummer Ed Blackwell.
Blackwell soon departed owing to the poor quality of his drum kit and was replaced by John "J.T." Tarascio; Stocking, meanwhile, was kicked out after erratic, alcohol-fueled behavior. Blakmoor and Tarascio moved to California in 1988, where they recruited bassist Vince Dennis, vocalist Scott Lindsenbardt, and second guitarist Domenic Chavira. Lindsenbardt was soon given the boot in favor of ex-Ascendance singer Nick Mantis. Unfortunately, Mantis' drug problems led to his being replaced by Rick Mythiasin (who once spent several days as an early member of Pantera
), while Chavira's place was taken by Jon Paget. Steel Prophet hit the studios to record a demo and gigged extensively around L.A. from 1990-1992, after which Paget was replaced by Horacio Colmenares. The band signed a deal with the Foundations 2000 label; although they never released an album for the label, a demo titled The Goddess Principle was eventually issued in Europe in 1995. After a five-song EP in 1996, Continuum, both Tarascio and Colmenares left, with the latter going on to form New Eden
. Their places were taken by drummer Pete Parada and guitarist Jon Pons, respectively. Into the Void (Hallucinogenic Conception) was released in 1997, after which Steel Prophet signed with Nuclear Blast. Their label debut, Dark Hallucinations, appeared in 1999, and the band toured Europe in support. Before the 2000 release of the follow-up, Messiah, Parada left, and Kevin Cafferty was recruited as a temporary studio replacement; Karl Rosqvist eventually joined as the full-time drummer. Pons also departed after the album's release and was replaced by Jim Williams. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi