New York heavy metal band Hittman were assembled in 1984 by musicians who had recently defected from other local bands: guitarist Jim Bachi and bassist Michael Buccell had played together in Attila, second guitarist Brian Fair came from Alien, drummer Chuck Kory originated in Takashi, and vocalist Dirk Kennedy had been involved in the early stages of Anthrax's career. Once all had been drawn together, though, they immediately began recording their first demos, while gaining valuable on-stage experience by opening shows for visiting acts like Stryper, Poison, and Saxon. Fair was ousted in 1986 due to his perceived lack of commitment and was briefly replaced by one Greg Walls and then, more permanently, John Kristen, who would complete the lineup that recorded Hittman's eponymous debut album in 1988. Featuring traditional metal with progressive qualities in the spirit of Queensrÿche, the LP had to be released through Germany's Steamhammer label, since most American-based record companies were too taken with thrash to show any interest at the time. Unfortunately, this arrangement made it difficult for U.S. fans to lay hands on whatever copies were imported into the country, effectively stalling Hittman's career and forcing them into a lengthy absence before finally re-emerging with their sophomore effort, Vivas Machina, in 1993. On this album (which introduced new drummer Mark Jenkins), Hittman experimented with a more European-friendly power metal sound, but it too was to no avail, and the band broke up after seeing its dismal sales.