The band started in the middle of the 1980s in Middletown, Connecticut. The group's initial lineup consisted of Kachinsky on guitar, Gary Stocking on vocals, Wayne Faircloth on bass, and Harry Blackwell on drums; Blackwell's father was jazz drummer Ed Blackwell. Blackwell and Stocking left the group late in the 1980s; J.T. Tarascio joined on drums shortly before Kachinsky moved the group to California in 1988. Following the move Kachinsky and Trascio reconstituted the group with bassist Vince Dennis, singer Scott Lindsenbardt, and guitarist Domenic Chavira. Lindsenbardt was quickly replaced by Nick Mantis, who was himself replaced by Rick Mythiasin; Chavira left the group soon after, to be replaced by Jon Paget.
In 1990 they released a demo album Inner Ascendance, after which time Paget left; Horacio Colmenares replaced him on guitar. This demo received great praise in the US metal underground scene over years. The very progressive style of music reminded metal fans of the critically acclaimed first three albums of the band Fates Warning (in their John Arch era). The success eventually led the band to release their first full length album. It was called The Goddess Principle and was released in 1995. I contained completely new songs; no demo song was re-used on it. One year later, in 1996, the band released an EP called Continuum. Following this, Tarascio and Colmenares departed, and drummer Pete Parada and guitarist Jon Pons joined.
In 1997, the band released their second studio album called Into the Void (Hallucinogenic Conception). The style of music changed in a way that most of the complex song structures were replaced by simpler structures, now resembling a style that's more of a mixture between (more) Iron Maiden and (less) early Fates Warning. Steve Kachinsky often said in interviews that the change of style was a way to make the music more accessible to live audiences.
After largely favorable reviews, they signed with Nuclear Blast. In early 1999, Steel Prophet released their third studio album Dark Hallucinations. The album, mainly consisting of concept songs that followed the storyline of Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, was very well received, earning top ratings in metal magazines all over the globe. Musically, the style again changed a bit more towards Iron Maiden, losing a bit of complexity in favor of speed and power. In early 2000, the band released their fourth studio album Messiah which took the style of the previous album but took it to new, more melodic and more experimental levels. The album was also very well received; even better than the previous one.
In September 2000, the band re-released their demo Inner Ascendance for the first time on CD, together with various cover songs. This release was called Genesis.
Pete Parada left the group in 2000, and Karl Rosqvist joined on drums; later that year Jon Pons departed, with Jim Williams replacing him on guitar. By the end of 2000, the band already had their next studio album completely written and pre-produced - but because they didn't want to put out a third release in one year, they decided to release Book Of The Dead in early 2001. This album had still the same style of music as the previous two albums, but was also packed with references of the first album The Goddess Principle. Two of the new songs use the same short intros as two songs on the debut album and the slow instrumental song Ruby Dreams (Fear And Hope) from the debut album appeared in a re-recorded and rearranged version. The album also got largely favorable reviews.
In 2002, the band released their sixth studio album Unseen. The album title was a reference to a song the band had on their album Messiah. Receiving mostly moderate reviews, the album wasn't a success. Most reviewers noticed a change of pace and a lack of exciting songs on the new album. Unseen also was the first Steel Prophet release that didn't have a booklet. Steve commented on this, saying they wanted to make the album feel more like a classic Gatefold Vinyl album without lyrics, only in CD format.
Due to creative differences, vocalist Rick Mythiasin left the band in December 2002, intending to concentrate completely on his German/American band-project Taraxacum. In the process of making the album Unseen, Band leader Steve Kachinsky didn't want vocalist Rick Mythiasin to use his characteristic high-pitched voice on the album anymore and Rick Mythiasin himself said that the song writing process didn't involve the whole band but mostly band leader Steve Kachinsky, leading to an uncomfortable atmosphere within the band. Those were the reasons for Rick to leave the band.
In 2004, new vocalist Nadir D`Priest joined the band. Soon after that, they released their seventh and last studio album Beware through Nightmare Records. The album received generally favorable reviews even though the style of music was changed a bit by D'Priest's vocal style, bringing a slight glam rock vibe into the music.
Half a year later, Steve Kachinsky announced that they once again changed their vocalist. It was announced that Bruce Hall, vocalist of the band Agent Steel, was the new vocalist for Steel Prophet. Yet, no new material was recorded with him and no live shows were played either.
In March 2007, Steve Kachinsky announced that Rick Mythiasin rejoined the band. On May 4th, 2008, the new song Trickery Of The Scourge, with Rick as vocalist, was uploaded to the official Steel Prophet MySpace site. It was also announced that plenty of new songs were being recorded.
The 2008 release The Shallows Of Forever by Steel Legacy Records consists of very old recordings from a time before the band had even released their first demo Inner Ascendance.
In February 2011, Steve Kachinsky announced on the official Steel Prophet internet forum that the band has got 8 songs ready and will start recording the new album when another 6 songs will be done. The album will contain a new metal version of the fun-song Oleander that was the outro of their 2001 album Book Of The Dead.