Oldschool Sunday: GAMMACIDE

Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway

The birth of Arlington, Texas’ GAMMACIDE occurred in 1986, out of the ashes of the disbanding Warlock.

Guitarist Rick Perry and bassist Eric Roy decided to carry on together in a new project, one that would play no-holds-barred thrash metal. The pair were soon joined by drummer Jamey Milford and vocalist Varnam Ponville and in 1986, the quartet issued a five-song, self-titled demo.

The demo quickly garnered the band attention in fanzines and the underground tape trading community. GAMMACIDE‘s raw, furious assault of guitar-driven metal, powered by rapid-fire drums and volatile vocals, was made even more lethal when second guitarist Scott Shelby joined them in 1988.

A year later, GAMMACIDE released their milestone introduction to the metal world, their cult worshiped full-length, “Victims Of Science“. Issued through Wild Rags Records, the album was originally available on vinyl and cassette only. It quickly became a fan favorite with metalheads everywhere for its ballistic contents and ferocious speed metal intensity.

Despite the welcoming reception to the album, GAMMACIDE would find their meteoric ascent beginning to wane by the start of the next decade. Between 1990 – 1992, the band went through bass player changes that included Rev. James Jones, Blade Parr, and Mark Powell. It was during the period with Blade that the band issued another four-song demo, ‘Gammacide ’91’.

With the early Nineties bringing about changes in the music scene, GAMMACIDE would officially break up in 1992. In the years since, GAMMACIDE‘s reputation would grow and grow, giving the band a cult legend status over time, with 2005 finally seeing ‘Victims Of Science’ released on CD. Unfortunately, founding bassist Eric Roy did not get to see this happen, having passed away in 2001.

GAMMACIDE briefly reunited at the time and toured, subjecting a whole new generation of fans to the band’s music. Guitarists Rick Perry and Scott Shelby would unite with Rigor Mortis vocalist Bruce Corbitt as Texas Metal Alliance in 2006, later changing their name to Warbeast and where Shelby is still shredding today.

In 2016, F.O.A.D. Records a comprehensive GAMMACIDE boxed set, ‘Contamination: Complete’, which consisted of the full-length album, both demos, the “Toxic Video Dump” DVD, and a single, “Against The Grain“, and its B-side, “Vapor Lock“. That single was made available as a digital stand-alone item earlier this year and GAMMACIDE remains active at this time.

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