Formed in 1989, Vital Remains' original line up was comprised of guitarists Tony Lazaro and Paul Flynn, vocalist Jeff Gruslin, bassist Tom Supkow and drummer Chris Dupont. However since then the group has been through several line-up changes and Tony is the only original member left today.
Soon after forming 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.
Two years later the band signed a two album deal with French label Osmose Records which led to the release of 1997's Forever Underground and 2000's Dawn of the Apocalypse, the latter of which marked a significant step towards a new, heavier brutal death metal sound which would become more prominent on their following albums.
Following the success of Dawn of the Apocalypse however the band would see a significant change in the line-up, with bassist Joe Lewis (who had also performed vocals on Forever Underground) departing from the band and vocalist 'Thorn', who had handled vocal duties on Dawn of the Apocalypse being fired from the band due to a drug problem he had developed. This led to a revamped line-up in 2001 with original member Tony Lazaro on guitars, Dave Suzuki on bass, drums and lead guitars and featuring Deicide's frontman Glen Benton on vocals. The band's first album with the new line-up Dechristianize was released in 2003 to much critical acclaim. The band's latest album, released in 2007, is Icons of Evil. The band's first live DVD Evil Death Live was released in Europe on 9 July, and in the US on 31 July through Polish label Metal Mind Productions.
On November 21, 2007, Vital Remains announced that they are seeking a bassist and lead guitarist. No further information was given. On March 29, 2008, the band announced their latest tour line-up, excluding Dave Suzuki. It is presently unclear whether Suzuki is removed from the band permanently or that he is merely unable to tour for the time being.
Vital Remains is well known when relating to Yavcon guitars. Guitarist Tony Lazaro, is the first to be endorsed by Yavcon guitars and designed his own model known as 'the Crucifire', which consists of a three-way laminate neck-thru with inverted cross inlays, and maple wings.