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Ralph Santolla

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Ralph Santolla is an Italian-American metal guitarist. He has played in many bands in the past, most recently Deicide, but also including Eyewitness, Death (did not record with, but toured with 1993 and appeared in The Philosopher video),Millennium,Iced Earth and Sebastian Bach & Friends. As of June 3, 2007, it was announced that Santolla would replace Allen West in Obituary for their upcoming release “Xecutioner’s Return”. His playing is highly melodic. Ralph is very proud of his Italian heritage and he plays guitars by Jackson and Ibanez with the Italian flag painted on them. At the moment he has recently been playing Jackson Guitars, though he has also been associated with ESP Guitars, Dean Guitars and many others. He has also been using Randall Amplifiers.

Santolla is a practicing Roman Catholic, which has caused controversy with Deicide fans, many of whom are against Christianity and are aware of frontman Glen Benton’s open Satanism. Many were surprised that Benton even let Santolla join the band, due to his frequent criticism of the religion. However, Ralph stated that he is “not going to pretend to be some dark and evil person just so people think I’m metal” and also stated that he respects Benton, despite differences in their religion and beliefs, for not being afraid to be true to himself. In a recent interview on Australian radio, Benton stated that he had no problems working with Santolla because of his religion, saying, “Ralph’s what I like to call a part-timer… I mean, his favourite song on the new album is “Death to Jesus”.

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