Nocturnus was among the most technical and atmospheric outfit to rise from the legendary Tampa, Florida death metal scene. By adding synths to their music, they found an essential element to bring a new sound to the young death metal scene and were an huge impact upon the entire genre from this moment on.
The band formed in 1987 by singer/drummer Mike Browning, guitarists Mike Davis and Gino Marino, bassist Jeff Estes and keyboardist Louis Panzer. Following the demo Science of Horror, the group swapped Marino for guitarist Sean McNenney prior to recording its 1990 Earache label debut The Key. Vocalist Dan Izzo signed on for 1992's Thresholds, which also saw bassist Chris Anderson substituting for Estes; Anderson himself was replaced by bassist Emo Mowery for Nocturnus' third album, a self-titled 1993 release for the Moribund label – the record was also the first without Browning, who turned over his drumming duties to James Marcinek. The group soon dissolved in 1993, reforming in 1999 around a roster of Davis, McNenney, Panzer, Mowrey and drummer Rick Bazzaro to record the comeback effort Ethereal Tomb. They broke up for good in 2002.
In 2013 the band announced they will play Hellfest 2014 edition under the name Nocturnus AD.