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Imagika - Biography



Imagika was formed in late 1993 by guitarist Steven D. Rice and vocalist David Michael with the intention of playing music that was free of trends and would remain timeless. Taking their influences from the bay area thrash scene and mixing it with their love for classic bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Mercyful Fate, they recruited Henry Moreno on drums and Mike Dargis on bass.

Wasting no time, Imagika hit the studio and recorded a 3-song demo that showed the band in their infant stages but reflected the quality songwriting they would become known for. The band hit the live scene and found what had already been known: Metal was out, garbage/alternative was in! Undaunted, the band continued to play as many shows as possible and built up a reputation for providing kick-ass metal in those lean years. By late 1994, the band had begun work on their infamous debut CD that was finally released in 1995 to the un-expecting metal underground.

Taking a "Do It Yourself" attitude, the band pumped hundreds of CD to the worldwide press and radio and became known as a modern resurrection of the classic bay area sound. The CD contained a wealth of material that ranged from all-out brutal to beautiful and exhibited a huge leap forward in songwriting from the early demo. The band was able to sell 2000 copies on their own Headless Corpse label by word of mouth alone. By 1996, The band had attracted some interest in Europe and was able to secure licensing for the CD through ABS records who re-released the CD in Europe with the original 3-song demo added as bonus tracks.

By early 1997, the band had found management in Europe through Flying Dolphin Promotions, headed by Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger fame. The band had already finished their sophomor effort, "Worship", by this time and was prepared to unleash it on the masses. No label with balls in the US/Europe would touch the CD.

So the band was once again forced to make it happen on their own Headless Corpse label. This time, though, the band would have much better distribution through Radiation/Indigo and promotion with Flying Dolphin. Released in late 1998, the CD garnered fantastic reviews, which the band followed up by touring Europe with Grave Digger and Iron Savior in January of 1999. The band was well received and proved to the fans that the bay area thrash scene was still relevant. Buzzing from the tour, the band set to work on new material to follow up the success of the album and tour. Putting together a 3-song demo, the band was able to attract some much-needed label interest with Massacre Records finally securing the band a deal in 2000. "And So It Burns" was released in October 2000 and received much critical acclaim. Sadly, Mike Dargis had by this time decided to leave the band, which put to rest any touring the band was intending on doing to promote the release. The band had the unfortunate task of finding a suitable replacement. After six months, they found their replacement, Elena Luciano (Who happens to appear in the Metallica Movie "Some Kind of Monster" another story altogether).

It was worth the wait, as she was able to come in and give Imagika a much-needed boost with a fresh perspective and enthusiam. Time was not wasted, as the band put together a slew of material that raised the bar once again. After 8 years and 3 overseas releases, The band had a North American release on WWIII Records. The label agreed to license the "And So It Burns" CD and made it special for the North American fans. The band and label decided to "repackage the effort" with all new art and 3 previously-unreleased bonus tracks and released it in July of 2001. With the release the band was able to break new ground in North America and gain more fans that now had a chance to hear the band for the first time. So after many delays both personal and professional the band finally starts the new CD with famed producer Neil Kernon.

Everything was going great when co-founder and vocalist David Michael decides after 10 years, countless shows and 3 CD's that it is time to call it a day. Not happy with the turn of events being that Dave laid down 8 vocals that were esentially useless the band begins to hunt for a new voice. As luck would have it the band came in contact with local vocalist Norman Skinner who is a vet of the metal scene (Machine Called Man, Tramontane) that was up for the job. After one audition and a show of dedication by writing all new lyrics and melodies to 4 songs in a matter of days Mr. Skinner showed why he is now the new voice of Imagika!

Also at this time the band decides it was high time to bring in that second guitarist that the new material called for and Pat Toms was laying in wait. Pat is another vet of the local scene with his past band Punisher and happened to be a friend of the band for many years. Upon the completion of recording the new vocal tracks Imagika was again forced to play the waiting game to finally mix the CD. Neil Kernon's schedule became quite impossible between the time we brought Norman on board hence the turn to juan Urteaga for the mixing job. Juan was a logical choice since he was local and had a good reputation with doing metal right and working in the past with respected bands as Skinlab, Vile, etc…

Finally after starting the CD a year before the final mix, the CD was done! "Devils On Both Sides" was released through Mausoleum Records worldwide in March 2005.