"Nocturnus" was an American death metal band best known for their science fiction-themed lyrics, which are something of an oddity in the genre. The band was formed in 1986 in Tampa, Florida by bassist Richard Bateman, drummer/vocalist Mike Browning and guitarists Gino Marino and Vincent Crowley.
Nocturnus played Florida death metal but had a keyboardist which was completely unique at the time. They recorded one self titled demo before Crowley quit Nocturnus in 1988 to start his band Acheron and Bateman quit to play bass in Nasty Savage.
They were replaced by Mike Davis (guitar) and Jeff Estes (bass). Louis Panzer also joined in 1988 to play keyboard. This line up, except for Marino who was replaced by Sean McNenney, recorded the album ''The Key'', which was released in 1990 and sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. ''The Key'' featured technical playing and keyboards in about every song which was one of the reasons it became such a hit. In 1992 they released ''Thresholds'' which was their last record with Earache and then shortly after releasing a two song EP in 1993 they disbanded. Dan Izzo was the lead vocalist on the Thresholds album.