After releasing their debut album in 1991 (Let Us Prey), the band went on to tour with legendary US gore band Autopsy. Their second album, the last one for Peaceville/Deaf was the classic 'Into Cold Darkness'. Recorded & released in 1994. Their influences included Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, Sodom, and Mercyful Fate.
Into Cold Darkness
Created in 1988 by guitarist Paul Flynn, Vital Remains' first line-up consisted of guitarist Butch Machado, vocalist Mike Flynn, bassist Tom Supkow, and drummer Chris Dupont. Searching for better musicians, they added guitarist Tony Lazaro and vocalist Jeff Gruslin to the band. From there the band became a driving force in the local death metal scene. Lazaro and Flynn shared the writing duties in these early days.
Soon after their formation, the band released a pair of demos (1989's Reduced to Ashes and 1990's Excruciating Pain) which led to a contract with French label Thrash Records, who in turn released the single The Black Mass in 1991. Shortly after the release of the single, which proved to be the band's first and only release with the label, the band signed to Peaceville's subsidiary, Deaf Records. A pair of releases followed for the Peaceville label, 1992's Let Us Pray and 1995's Into Cold Darkness. However, after poor distribution and a lack of promotion from the label, the band requested that their contract be dissolved. At this stage, in 1997, the band's founder, Paul Flynn left Vital Remains. After a ten year hiatus he would return to the scene, and go on to found Godless Rising, an old school death metal band with original vocalist Jeff Gruslin. They quickly signed to Pathos Productions for a self-funded demo release, from that they were offered a full deal with Moribund Records out of Seattle, Washington. Due to the financial hardships and lack of support from other members, Paul would leave this project also.