Excruciating Pain was formed in 1988. The band was Ronnie Byrd, Todd Lappin, Chris Knight ,and Sean Harman. The band released two demos ("Blasted Lands" and "Cyborcore"). It was Nashville's introduction to death metal. After a year and a half Chris and Todd were not happy with the direction of the band so they left the band. Ronnie and Sean carried on and they picked up Scott Murray on bass. From there on, Ronnie played guitar and sang. They then put a 4 song demo which got them in the door of a Mexican label that payed to record the "Thou Shall Choose" album. With that, they had a product to show to the American labels and were picked up by JL America.