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Roger Martinez
Roger Martinez
Information
Origin:

United States

Genre:

Thrash metal, Death metal

Born:

December 14, 1962 (age 55)

Instruments:

Vocals, Guitars, Bass

Years active:

1987-2001

Labels:
  • Frontline Records
  • Intense Records
Associated Acts:

Vengeance Rising, Prophet, Deliverance, Mortification, Tourniquet

Roger Martinez (born December 14, 1962) is an American thrash metal musician that was best known for his work in Vengeance Rising.[1] Martinez was hired into the band as the last member, joining as the Vocalist. However, when the entire lineup departed in 1990, they signed a deal with Martinez that he would take all the rights and debts of the band.[2] Due to lack of a lineup, he performed Guitars and Bass as well for a time.[3] Martinez was a pastor for awhile at Sanctuary International Church.

Martinez has become infamous in the Christian metal scene, as he renounced his faith and is known as an "Atheistic Satanist" and also known for carrying Vengeance Rising on after they disbanded in 1992 as a Satanic project, at least until 2001.[4][5]

History Edit

Roger Martinez was born on December 14, 1962, in the United States. Martinez originally had performed Guitars for a band called Prophet, alongside George Ochoa (Recon, Mortification, Deliverance).[6] Martinez was a pastor at Sanctuary International Church.

Vengeance Rising and production career (1987-1992) Edit

Vengeance Rising began in 1987, formed by Roger Dale Martin, Larry Farkas, and Doug Thieme. The three hired Glen Mancaruso as a temporary drummer, though he continued on as an official member. Martinez was hired last, following the full lineup being hired on.[2] The five would then record Human Sacrifice, which would go on to become the most legendary Christian extreme metal album, even hitting #1 on HM Magazine's #100 metal albums.[7]

During the time touring for the new album, a disconnect began to form between Martinez and the rest of the members. Martinez would find a different ride or fly to a show, rather than ride in the van with the rest of the members, according to them, because he thought they were disgusting.[2]

In 1990, Martinez participated as a Producer for Tourniquet's debut, Stop the Bleeding. Following the release, Martinez helped the band find Erik Mendez and Victor Macias.[8] The same year, the band recorded and released Once Dead. Following the release and the album titled tour, the lineup departed from the band. They signed a deal with Martinez, that he would take all past and future debts of the band.[2][9] However, Martinez would accuse the members of stealing his gear and all sorts of things, stating that they would steal his equipment to perform in Die Happy.[2] Many members of the Christian metal scene, including Travis Turner (ex-Aletheian, ex-Becoming the Archetype, Solamors), Mark Garza (ex-Embodyment, ex-The Famine), and Darren Johnson (ex-Living Sacrifice) would all receive letters from Martinez when they ordered merchandise and only get a letter, not their money back or merchandise.[2][10]

Following the lineup's departure, he would go on to hire Chris Hyde (ex-Deliverance) on Drums and Derek Sean (ex-Mortification) on Guitars to record their next album, Destruction Comes. He also hired Jimmy Brown (Deliverance) and Jamie Mitchell (ex-Scaterd Few) on Guitars, and Victor Macias (ex-Tourniquet, Deliverance) on Bass.[11] 1991 was a big year for Martinez, with the release of Destruction Comes and producing Mortification's self-titled, as well as appearing as a backing vocalist of the album and appearing on "It's the Beat" on Deliverance's What a Joke? album.[12] Once more, Vengeance's lineup shifted following the release of the album; Hyde and Sean departed from the band, while Martinez hired on former bandmate George Ochoa as well as Daniel Cordova on Guitars, Mike Wagel on Bass, and Johnny Vasquez on Drums. The five continued onward, recording a new full-length titled Released Upon the Earth, which was the band's final release before the band disbanded shortly thereafter.[13]

Controversy (1993-present) Edit

Martinez has been the epitome of controversy in the Christian metal scene.[1][4] In 1997, he did an interview with HM Magazine stating he was a committed atheist.[14] According to Scott Waters (Ultimatum) and Steve Rowe (Mortification), Martinez began to create tapes that counteracted his previous recordings, titled Realms of Blasphemy. Many statements were also made about Martinez taking a more Satanic approach to his music.[14][15] However, the release never actually came out and has been stated several times that the recording "only existed in Martinez's mind". Waters stated the following on his site, No Life Til Metal:

"Allmusic lists two releases ... both of which I doubt ever existed ... Former drummer Shannon Frye claims that Martinez was impossible to work with and could not hold on to members long enough to even record a demo." ― Scott Waters[[source]]
Martinez had hired several former members of the Christian metal community, members who had lost faith, including Brian Khairullah (ex-Deliverance) and Shannon Frye (ex-Tortured Conscience, ex-Dark Endless). Frye stated that:
"I quit shortly after I joined which was 1998. As far as I know, there was no album recorded. But I don't know much about it if there was, because I just wanted nothing to do with that excuse called a "band" after I quit. I thought it would have been a great opportunity at the time I joined, but that faded quickly. I just don't like to get into this subject. This is one of those things I wish never happened and would love to erase that from any history ever!" ― Shannon Frye[[source]]
The band truly ended in 1992, never actually continuing beyond Released Upon the Earth.

In 2004, the founding members attempted a reunion - Farkas, Mancaruso, Thieme, and Martin. However, Martinez threatened to sue the members and the band, so the reunion could not occur.[5] However, in spite of this, the members formed a new project, Once Dead, with Scott Waters of Ultimatum help perform with the band. Martinez has remained silent over the years, not appearing very often in any light. However the hashtag, "Pray for Pastor Roger Martinez" has trended for years. His wife at the time, Ruby Martinez, left Martinez sometime following the letters he wrote to people.[2]

Many members of the community have expressed a love for Martinez, stating they wish they could talk with him sometimes. Jimmy Brown of Deliverance stated that he still speaks with Martinez.[16] However, Mark Salomon of The Crucified stated that he never liked Martinez.

Bands Edit

Former

Discography Edit

Vengeance Rising

  • Human Sacrifice (1988)
  • Once Dead (1990)
  • Destruction Comes (1991)
  • Released Upon the Earth (1992)

Guest appearances

Production

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gatto, Chris (July 28, 2016). "VENGEANCE Revisited: A 2013 Interview". Heaven's Metal Magazine. Retrieved on December 7, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Martin, Roger Dale (November 12, 2017). "Jim Settle, Roger Dale Martin and Doug Thieme of Vengeance". As The Story Grows Podcast. Interview with Travis Turner. Retrieved on December 7, 2018.
  3. tomcat_ha (April 10, 2011). "Roger Martinez". Encyclopedia Metallum. Retrieved on December 7, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scaramanga, Jonny (December 4, 2014). "Christian Rock Thursday: Jesus thrasher turns atheist". Patheos. Retrieved on December 7, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Vengeance Rising: Former Singer Threatens To Sue Over 'Reunion' Show". Blabbermouth.net. November 19, 2004. Retrieved on December 7, 2018.
  6. Beard, Mason (December 7, 2018). "Does anyone know anything about Prophet? It was a...". Facebook. Retrieved on December 9, 2018. "And George Ochoa was in Prophet...Roger and George were the guitar players".
  7. Stagg, David (July 14, 2010). "Top 100 Christian Rock Albums of all time". HM Magazine. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  8. Mendez, Erik (July 10, 2016). "Erik Mendez of Tourniquet (Part One)". As The Story Grows Podcast. Interview with Travis Turner. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  9. Van Pelt, Doug (February/March 1990). "Once Dead... Now Doing An Interview". Heaven's Metal Magazine. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  10. Garza, Mark (July 31, 2016). "Mark Garza of Embodyment/The Famine (Part One)". As The Story Grows Podcast. Interview with Travis Turner. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  11. "Vengeance Rising - Destruction Comes". Discogs. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  12. "Deliverance - What A Joke". Discogs. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  13. "VENGEANCE RISING's 1992 Album Released Upon The Earth To Be Reissued". Bravewords.com. September 23, 2014. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Roger Martinez: Where Is He Now?". HM Magazine (66). July-August 1997. ISSN 1066-6923. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  15. Powell (2002). "Vengeance Rising". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
  16. Brown, Jimmy (December 20, 2015) "Jimmy Brown of Deliverance, Jupiter VI (Part One)". As The Story Grows Podcast. Interview with Travis Turner and Stephen Sarro. Retrieved on December 10, 2018.
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