With only a handful of other Christian bands developing music within the same scene at the same time (The Lead, Scaterd Few), The Crucified went on to make deep strides that effected a generation of bands to come.
The band formed in 1984 just outside of Fresno, CA. Four friends from church, drummer Jim Chaffin, guitarist Greg Minier, bassist Kirk Palmer, and vocalist Wayne Stonecipher started the band under the name KGB. In early 1985, though, Stonecipher departed the band and Minier asked Mark Salomon to try out. Salomon agreed and was promptly accepted into the band after singing a few songs originally written with Stonecipher.
That summer, KGB recorded a 10-song demo, but it was never circulated. Kirk Palmer left soon after and was replaced by his brother Trevor. It was about that time that Minier renamed the band, The Crucified.
In 1986, they recorded 15 songs and titled the demo Take Up Your Cross. It was distributed throughout the local area and worldwide via mail order. Nailed the band’s second demo, was recorded the following year and the band’s exposure continued to grow. Shortly after Nailed was released, the guys graduated from high school and Palmer left the group for college. He was soon replaced by a local guitar player named Mark Johnson. The band recorded Live at the New Order, their third demo tape, in March of 1989.
Greg Sostrum saw the band play a few shows and offered them a recording contract with his new label, Narrowpath Records. The band began recording at Casbah Studios in Fullerton, CA. The 15-track album was titled The Crucified and was released in late ’89 and sold about 12,000 copies. After the album’s release, the band started to play more through-out California and became “regulars” at the Christian Festival, Cornerstone near Chicago. Locally, they opened for D.R.I, G.B.H., and Pantera.
Bassist Jeff Bellew joined the band as Mark Johnson departed shortly after the album was released and the new line-up began writing their next album.
Sostrum called Salomon and recommended Ocean Entertainment as a new label for the band; a label he thought would help take the band to the next level. Freddie Piro of Ocean had seen the band play live and was impressed with their energy. A contract was signed and the band began to record the album, The Pillars of Humanity at the legendary Mama Jo’s recording studio in Hollywood. Pillars was released to stellar reviews in the summer of ’91.
Ocean, however, was unable to successfully market the Pillars album and sales never really took off. Two small tours to support Pillars happened in the summers ’91 and ’92 and the guys played several shows around the U.S.
By late ’92, they had written new songs, including what some say were their best music to date: Straining Life and Power of God. Three songs were recorded for a new Ocean release, but the guys had begun to grow apart and by the summer of ’93 the band was done.
Mark Salomon and Jeff Bellew went on to form the hard rock band Stavesacre.
In September 2008, The Crucified was able to acquire their music from Ocean Records and put together an extensive 25-year commemorative box-set titled The Complete Collection which was released through Tooth & Nail Records on June 30th 2009. The box-set included all their music, including the never-before-released KGB demo. On November 17, 2009, Tooth & Nail Records re-issued the band’s final full-length 1991 release, The Pillars of Humanity.
In 2011, the band entered a partnership with Veritas Vinyl and Vinyl Remains to re-issue their music on limited edition vinyl. The first release was The Pillars of Humanity, followed by Nailed, in 2012 and then finally their first self-titled album in 2013.
The Crucified resumed playing shows in 2009, including the Cornerstone Festival, as well as their first overseas show when they performed on October 31, 2009 at the Nordic Festival in Oslo, Norway.