Music / Broken Hope

Broken Hope is an American death metal band. Having started out as an Obituary soundalike, they gradually evolved into a very unique progressive death metal act before breaking up without having achieved any major success, though their reunion has proven to be the breakthrough that they always sought.

Formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988 by Joe Ptacek (vocals), Jeremy Wagner and David Duff (guitars), Ed Hughes (bass), and Ryan Stanek (drums), the band made little progress in the first couple of years, which was at least partly because most of the members were still in high school. A pair of demos were eventually released in 1990, though it wasn't until 1991 that Swamped in Gore, their debut, was released to moderate fanfare; additionally, Duff had already left by that time and had been replaced by Brian Griffin. Along with it came the expected battery of touring; come 1993, they released another demo and an EP, and a deal with Metal Blade Records was inked. The Bowels of Repugnance, their first album on that label, arrived later that year. 1994 came and brought some more touring with it, though Hughes left and was replaced by Shaun Glass. Repulsive Conception followed in 1995, and, with the lineup now finally stabilized, Loathing came out in 1997 to surprising acclaim as a Genre Shift to progressive death metal led by Griffin's elegant, intricate guitar work. The good times were not to last, however, as the band found out that Stanek had been taking money that fans had been sending for merch and pocketing it without sending the merch, resulting in an unceremonious ejection by his very angry bandmates.

It was also around this time that Glass formed the nu-metal act SOiL as a side project with three of the members of Oppressor, though it was still just an informal side venture at this point rather than a career. The band also found themselves leaving Metal Blade sometime between 1997 and 1999; it was also around this time that Duane Timlin joined to replace Stanek before leaving in 1999 and being replaced by Larry DeMumbrum, who also left, kicking off a brief revolving door of drummers. Glass, meanwhile, left in 1998 when SOiL began picking up, and a similarly volatile set of bassists came and went, with most of them having a song or two recorded on Grotesque Blessings; of these, Brian Hobbie of Internal Bleeding was the only one who lasted. Ptacek himself left in 2000 and was briefly replaced by Scott Creekmore, but the writing was on the wall. Unable to keep a solid lineup and with most of their momentum dead, Wagner and Griffin decided to call it a day and went on to pursue their own endeavors.

Sometime in the 2000s, Wagner and the others began mulling over the possibility of a reunion, the hopes of which were very nearly dashed when Ptacek committed suicide in 2010; while distraught, Wagner was determined to make the reunion happen. It finally did in 2012, with Wagner and Glass (now out of SOiL) welcoming in Damian Leski (of Gorgasm fame) on vocals, along with Chuck Wepfer on lead guitar and Mike Miczek on drums. This reunion was kicked off by a deal with Century Media Records and a tour with Obituary, Decrepit Birth, Jungle Rot, and Encrust, followed by an appearance at Maryland Deathfest. Omen of Disease, their reunion album, was released in September of 2013 and a tour with Deicide, Disgorge, and Necronomicon followed that was unfortunately marred by band conflict and a brutal attack by a man wielding a set of boxcutters in El Paso that put multiple fans in the hospital with serious injuries. The momentum was there, however, and the band was not sunk; indeed, 2014 has already brought a US tour with Oceano, Fallujah, Rivers of Nihil, and Kublai Khan, along with a European tour with Immolation; the former was a shitshow, the latter was quite successful. Numerous festival appearances also followed along with news of an upcoming album, though Glass and Wepfer left in December to focus on The Bloodline; Diego Soria and Matt Szlachta were their respective replacements. Mutilated and Assimilated, their seventh full-length, was released in June 2017.


  • Broken Hope (1990) - demo
  • Demo 2 (1990)
  • Swamped in Gore (1991)
  • Demo 1993
  • Hobo Stew (1993) - EP
  • The Bowels of Repugnance (1993)
  • Repulsive Conception (1995)
  • Loathing (1997)
  • Grotesque Blessings (1999)
  • Omen of Disease (2013)
  • Mutilated & Assimilated (2017)

This band contains examples of the following tropes: