Townsend Sacrifice was an American thrash metal band formed in Blue Rock, California, in 1988. The band consists of Vinnie MacArthur (lead vocals, guitar), Joseph Krieg (lead guitars), Mark MacKinley (bass), and John Manning (drums). The band has released nine albums, and have toured extensively across the US and the rest of their world since their mainstream breakthrough with 2002's Pioneers of the Desolate Planet, their fifth album. Following Vinnie MacArthur's murder, the band stated their retirement and that a collection of their albums would be released in memory of Vinnie
Vincent Jonathan MacArthur, aka Vinnie MacArthur, began playing around Blue Rock at the age of twenty-four. He met current bassist Mark MacKinley, and former guitarist and drummer Larry Jefferson and Joe Turner. The band signed to Batched Records in 1988, and delivered their first album Witches of Townsend in 1989.
Witches of Townsend to Black As Dawn (1989-2000)
After releasing their 1989 debut, Townsend Sacrifice released three more albums ([[Through The Looking Glass]] (1994), The Great Conjunction (1997), and Black As Dawn (2000)), after which Larry Jefferson and Joe Turner left the band for other ventures. Friend's of Vinnie's Joseph Krieg, former member of the band Exorcismic, and John Manning joined on as guitarist and drummer.
Mainstream sucess and Pioneers of the Desolate Planet
In 2002, with two new members, Townsend Sacrifice released their first album since 2000, the aptly titled sci-fi inspired epic Pioneers of A Desolate Planet. The album was hugely recieved, and Townsend Sacrifice broke into mainstream sucess. They toured with Rokhello to support their debut album F*ck The Institution!, whereupon Jack Simpson was reunited with his former bandmate and guitarist Joseph Krieg.
After 2002, Townsend Sacrifice only powered on. In 2004 they release Thunder, Blood, and War, followed by 2006's Return to Townsend, both hugely sucessful and popular. They returned to the charts again in 2007 with their eighth album Warlock, which debuted at #3 on the Metal Countdown. Their ninth album, Axe of Thor was released in September of 2009, and sold well. They will embark on a tour next year to support Rokhello, which will later feature both Rokhello and Townsend Sacrifice's drummers on the Exorcismic comeback world tour later in 2010. On February 18th 2010 the band announced via their website that Townsend Sacrifice were on hiatus, and Vinnie MacArthur would concentrate on his side-project "Slaughterhouse".
The band have retired following the murder of Vinnie MacArthur in 2010. The remaining band members have hinted that the band have un-released recordings which may be released on a posthumous album in the future, along with a collection of their previous albums in memory of Vinnie.
The band are commonly regarded as progressively tinged groove metal, with thrash metal being firmly grounded in their initial sound. Vinnie's almost wailing Zakk Wylde-like vocals are sung similar to the common pinch harmonics in his solos. The band's first drummer Joe Turner was known for his fast double-bass drumming style most common in thrash metal, although his successor John Manning played a more progressive style, albeit remaining the groove and speed.
- Witches of Townsend (1989)
- Through The Looking Glass (1994)
- The Great Conjunction (1997)
- Black As Dawn (2000)
- Pioneers of the Desolate Planet (2002)
- Thunder, Blood, and War (2004)
- Return to Townsend (2006)
- Warlock (2007)
- Axe of Thor (2009)
- Current members
- Vinnie MacArthur - vocals, guitar (1988-2010)
- Joseph Krieg - lead guitar (2000-2010)
- Mark Mackinley - bass guitar (1988-2010)
- John Manning - drums (2000-2010)
- Former members
- Larry Jefferson - lead guitar (1988-2000)
- Joe Turner - drums (1988-2000)