Throughout history only a handful of artists have been able to achieve a truly iconic stature within any given artform. MORBID ANGEL is among those select few. Shattering the boundaries of creativity and imagination while evolving with each groundbreaking release throughout its historic career, the band stands alone as the true icon in extreme music, serving as source of countless inspiration to the multitude of fans and never failing to amaze with each evolving chapter. Formed in 1984 by founding member Trey Azagthoth, the Floridian band went through a number of lineup changes and recorded the now highly sought-after demos, Scream for Blasphemies and Bleed for the Devil. Azagthoth’s interests in the occult, ancient magic, witchcraft and the Necronomicon poured into the band’s lyricism, as the musical context grew darker and attained definitive sophistication. The 7’’ single Thy Kingdom Come was released in Europe in 1988 and MORBID ANGEL was prepared to make a profound universal statement in form of guitarist Trey Azagthoth, drummer Pete Sandoval, bassist/vocalist David Vincent, and second guitarist Richard Brunelle.
Altars Of Madness descended upon the worldwide metal community in May of 1989 as a raging storm, baffling the listeners with the insane amount of energy and adrenaline emanating from each track along with the finely-shaped musical passages and fiercely intense atmosphere. Nothing else sounded like this album at the time and the fans of what was then considered to be ‘extreme’ music were exposed to something truly out of this world. Recorded at Tampa’s Morrisound Studios, the album catapulted to #1 on the UK Independent Chart, solidifying the band’s world-wide fan base. MORBID ANGEL found itself on the Grindcrusher Tour alongside Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower and Carcass throughout the winter.
Blessed Are The Sick, 1991’s sophomore full length release adorned in J. Delville’s painting ‘Les Tresors De Satan’ as cover art, is considered to be one of the most revered albums in metal history as well as a pure musical masterpiece. The dark ambience and classical overtones were deeply engraved into the context, as Azagthoth credited Mozart for inspiration. The songs on the album have retained the venomous energy of its predecessor, yet took the sound another step away from this earthly realm, seeing the band expand thematically as well as musically. MORBID ANGEL was quickly becoming a devastating force to be reckoned with, not just within the metal community, but the entire music field in general. Abominations Of Desolation, the band’s initial pre-Altars unreleased debut, saw its release later that year, providing the fans with an earlier chapter of the band’s work. MORBID ANGEL, however, was prepared to break another barrier.
Covenant, the third album released in 1993, was a true milestone for the underground metal community and remains so to this day, being the first and only major label release by a death metal band. No compromises were made. In fact, this album is considered to be one of the darkest and most Satanically-inspired releases by the band throughout its collection. The lineup consisted of Trey Azagthoth handling the entire guitar assault and keyboard work along with Sandoval and Vincent in their respective positions, as Brunelle exited the band in 1992. Covenant was produced at the familiar Morrisound Studios, this time with the expertise of Flemming Rasmussen behind the board. The final mixes were made at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen. This would prove to be a massive success for MORBID ANGEL, as over one hundred and fifty thousand copies would be sold world-wide. The band toured extensively, enlisting live guitarist Erik Rutan for European dates. Brunelle would make a brief return for a line of American concerts with Motorhead and Black Sabbath. The video for the single ‘Rapture’ premiered on Headbanger’s Ball, followed by an interview with swat suit-clad David Vincent. The video for ‘God Of Emptiness’ featured yet another then-unseen feature in extreme metal – Trey’s 7-string guitar, as he is a true pioneer of its full potential and application in the extreme metal genre. At this point MORBID ANGEL had become the living proof that creativity did not have to meet the demands of conformity in order to achieve commercial success. The band was ready to conquer and dominate further.
Domination, out in May 1995, was the band’s second major label release. Guitarist Erik Rutan creatively contributed to the material featured on the album. This release was a grandiose, slime-ridden departure from its predecessor, applying a generous use of heavy grooves and power-driven detuned chordal progressions. MORBID ANGEL took on a monstrous touring schedule throughout 1995 and into 1996. Starting in their home state of Florida, the band toured extensively throughout America and Europe.
The official live album Entangled In Chaos was recorded during the Domination touring cycle. The band had become an otherworldly organic slime-dripping machine from the swamps of Florida, far evolved musically and thematically from its initial commercial success. MORBID ANGEL had once again placed itself at the forefront of the extreme metal community with this incredibly powerful live album.
Formulas Fatal To The Flesh was released in 1997 as a strikingly different MORBID ANGEL effort in comparison to its predecessor. Gone were the polished edge production and the Romanesque themes of militance. David Vincent's departure from the band had shocked the fanbase. Yet MORBID ANGEL brought forth its underground roots with a truly awe-inspiring release of the most beautifully-ugliest, meanest material throughout its catalog, introducing a new bassist/vocalist into the lineup - Steve Tucker. A portion of the lyrics for this album were written in Sumerian and the three F’s in the title each represent the sixth letter of the alphabet. According to the diehard followers of MORBID ANGEL, this album harkens back to the Altars era with its rage-filled atmosphere. Though far evolved technically and conceptually from its eight-year predecessor, Formulas Fatal To The Flesh showcased MORBID ANGEL for what the band was first and foremost – a brutal fire breathing monster of metal, delivering its uncompromising musical inferno to the fans and proving that the repeated worldwide success certainly did not affect the band’s content. Azagthoth’s guitar wizardry and spirit of innovation made this album a remarkable effort, applying a wide array of tones and textures side by side with some of his most intense riffing. Along with Sandoval’s inhuman drumming and Tucker’s ferocious vocal/bass attack, Formulas Fatal To The Flesh had become another milestone in the band’s unending evolvement.
Gateways To Annihilation was the highly anticipated metal release of 2000. Opening with a chorus of swamp frogs, the album delivered another devastating blow to the ears of metal fans across the world. The song structures appeared to be very tight and focused, drawing more on power and form rather than the chaotic brutality of the previous release. This was the first album to feature Tucker as full contributor to the band’s material, who departed MORBID ANGEL shortly after its release to be replaced by Jared Anderson (1976-2006), a member of Erik Rutan’s project Hate Eternal, as touring bassist/vocalist. MORBID ANGEL toured extensively throughout Europe and had spent the entire summer of 2001 touring arenas in the United States along Slayer and Pantera as part of the Extreme Steel Tour, exposing the band’s well-fashioned craft to massive amounts of fans across the country. These legendary dates are to be forever ingrained in the history of American metal. Erik Rutan left the band in 2002 to fully concentrate on his band Hate Eternal.
Heretic, out in 2003, saw MORBID ANGEL as an entity truly out of this Universe. Recorded at D.O.W. Studios in Florida and engineered by the band’s soundman Juan ‘Punchy’ Gonzalez, this was the first effort to be created outside of Morrisound Studios. It captured an essence so far removed from the physical realm in form of a multi-structured, fiery whirlwind of sweeping guitar passages and burning solos, fierce drumming, and what would be the most solid and convincing presence of Steve Tucker, who had returned to the band, contributing to the recorded material once again. The band went on an extensive American tour with Superjoint Ritual.
The fanbase was truly intrigued by the return of David Vincent for a series of South American dates, putting MORBID ANGEL back into its classic form and surprising the fans with this unexpected reformation of the classic MORBID ANGEL trio of Azagthoth, Sandoval and Vincent. The band then completed the extremely successful Masters Of Chaos Tour with support from Behemoth and Krisiun. Another historic milestone in MORBID ANGEL's career arrived with the return of guitarist Erik Rutan for a number of European festivals, featuring the legendary Domination lineup together once again in over ten years.
Armed with new guitarist Destructhor, Morbid Angel have set “Illud Divinum Insanus” as the title of their eagerly awaited forthcoming album and a major touring cycle to follow. The album features Tim Yeung as the drummer, who stepped in to record and tour while the longtime drummer Pete "Commando" Sandoval recovers from back surgery. The album has been scheduled for a June 6th, 2011 release in Europe and a June 7th , 2011 release in North America. This will be MORBID ANGEL’s eighth studio album, and the first since legendary frontman David Vincent rejoined the fold. The album will appear on Season of Mist and JVC in Japan. The single for the song “Nevermore” will be out on May 16th as a 7” collectors edition vinyl and digital download.
Is when it all began when the mighty Lord Ahriman and Blackmoon founded the war machine we now know as DARK FUNERAL. They were later joined by Draugen and Themgoroth.
The legendary, self-titled, mini-cd is recorded at Dan Swanö´s Uni-Sound studio in January. It is released on May 4th to an unsuspecting world. And on that very same day, the band would have performed their very first gig at Luse Lottes Pub in Oslo NORWAY. After the recording sessions, Draugen (drums) leaves the band and is replaced by Equimanthorn.
January 28th the bands first full-length-album "The Secrets Of The Black Arts" is released upon the masses and the album is soon licensed to Metal Blade (North America) and Mystic Production (Poland). The line-up troubles which first saw vocalist Themgoroth and drummer Equimanthorn leave is soon elevated when co-founding member Blackmoon also leaves. Fortunatly they are more than compensated with the addition of Alzazmon (drums), Typhos (guitars) and Emperor Magus Caligula (vocals/bass). With the addition of Caligula (who most of you already knew as Masse Broberg, the original vocalist of Hypocrisy) DARK FUNERAL is brought to a new level of aggressivity and intensivity. Together with Necromass the band does the Satanic War Tour I throughout Europe. Also during 1996, the line-up of Emperor Magus Caligula, Lord Ahriman, Alzazmon and Blackmoon recorded their unholy version of Bathory's "Call From The Grave" and "Equimanthorn" for the Bathory tribute, In Conspiracy With Satan. (These stunning cover tracks also appears later re-mastered for the re-titled re-release of the bands legendary debut "In The Sign…".).
The second leg of Satanic War Tour follows with Ancient and Bal Sagoth as support. Also, Dark Funeral plays their very first show in America at the Expo Of The Extreme festival in Chicago. After totally desecrating the unsuspecting American audience with their blasphemous stage show complete with impaled pigs heads on upside down crosses matched with the unholy members drenched in pigs blood and finishing the set off with Emperor Magus Caligula's firebreathing. From there the band embarks on the "The American Satanic Crusade Tour" with Usurper in support. Originally the tour was supposed to also feature Acheron and Destroyer 666, but after too many hassles, both bands had to cancel. In September, the road dogs return to the Abyss studio to record "Vobiscum Satanas". Ultra-raw and hyper-fast the unholy duo Ahriman/Caligula have delivered a record that even the last sceptics have to admit that DARK FUNERAL are spearheading Swedish black metal together with Marduk.
In January/February the band again enter Abyss Studio to record their third (and long awaited) full-length album. The album "Diabolis Interium." With the help of producer Peter Tägtgren and studio technician Lars Szöke, DARK FUNERAL created the MASTERPIECE of their recording career thus far, a record which will surely be considered a mile-stone in the evolution of black metal in the future. Beside the usual highspeed-songs, DARK FUNERAL shows a new side, slowing down for "Goddess Of Sodomy." "An Apprentice Of Satan", already known from the last EP, was reworked for "Diabolis Interium." Other highlights of the CD are "Armageddon Finally Comes" and the brutal opener "The Arrival Of Satan's Empire" (which most would agree is THE crown jewel of the Dark Funeral catalogue). "Diabolis Interium" is an absolute MUST for every serious metal-collection, not only black metal fanatics!
Its not very often a Black Metal band hits the charts, but on November 2nd, 2005 Dark Funerals new masterpiece "Attera Totus Sanctus" enters the Swedish album chart "Top 40" as Nr 35 and the Swedish Heavy Metal chart as Nr 3.
DARK FUNERAL ARE
Lord Ahriman - Guitars
Emperor Magus Caligula - Vocals
Matte Modin - Drums
Chaq Mol - Guitars
One of the longest-running Swedish death metal bands, GRAVE has created a sound and style which has been an inspiration on a number of the genre's more promising younger outfits. Having started out as a band called Corpse in 1986, they released 3 official demos before their legendary 1991 debut.
"Into the Grave", established GRAVE as one of death metal's most brutal new hopes, and its release was ensued by a host of live performances across Europe and America.
1992's "You'll Never See...", the band's critically-acclaimed second release, showcased their growing musical talent with a cleaner, stronger sound which appealed to a wider audience while retaining the group's trademark heaviness. After unsuccessfully trying to fill the slot after bassist Jonas Torndal's departure, the group made a collective decision to revert to their original three-man line-up, with the guitarist Jörgen Sandström switching to bass.
In the late 1993, GRAVE released "...And Here I Die...Satisfied", a limited edition EP featuring brand new, rare and remixed tracks encompassing the band's entire recording history. The EP paved the way for the release of the trio's long-awaited third full-length offering.
"Soulless" was recorded during the early part of 1994 at Stockholm's Sunlight Studios (just as all of the group's previous releases had been) with the producer Tomas Skogsberg. Manifesting a more mature musical stance than in the case of GRAVE's previous efforts, "Soulless" pleased the band's longtime followers while expanding the group's appeal to non die hard death metal audiences.
In 1996, GRAVE came back with another attack of their relentlessly brutal yet catchy material in the shape of "Hating Life". Produced, once again, by Skogsberg at his Sunlight facility, the album featured a vocal debut of the guitarist Ola Lindgren, who took over the function following the departure of Sandström. Proving that they haven't softened their stance a bit or altered their focus on writing songs that hit hard and leave a lasting impression, "Hating Life" will surely please anyone who is into music that's equally treacherous and tuneful. Grave toured both the US and Europe to promote this album.
After the last tour the band had a hiatus until 1999 when they decided to play together again. Rehearsals went pretty slow at first but after a while they got the old bass player Jonas Torndal to join the band once again, this time to grab the second guitar. The bass job went to an old friend of the band Freddan Isaksson. GRAVE played their first live gig in 5 years at HardRock cafe, Stockholm. Following that gig, rehearsals continued and in the spring of 2002 the new album "Back from the grave" was recorded at Sunlight studios, Stockholm. Released in September that same year the album featured a bonus disc with 3 classic Grave demos from 1988-1989.
After touring with the likes of Immolation, Goatwhore and Crematorium through North America, a headlining European tour with The Forsaken and Disinter, then followed by a slot on the tour with Exodus, God Dethroned, Nuclear Assault and Agent Steel, it was time to set to work on the next album entitled "Fiendish Regression". The sixth album in the history of GRAVE was recorded with Coercion-Member Pelle Ekegren on drums, adding a more vivid and relentless groove attack to the classic GRAVE song-structures. Two European tours followed:one headlining and one as part of "The Domination Tour", alongside Cryptopsy and Aborted.
￼Back in Sweden, GRAVE entered the bands own Studio Soulless to record their newest malevolent creation "As Rapture Comes". To cement the albums mix, the band returned again to Peter Tägtgrens Abyss Studio. The album delivers the bands famous relentless death-groove in a well-elaborated combination with clearly increased aggressive bite and superior dynamics in their own songs. The album also includes a heavy cover version of Alice In Chains classic song "Them Bones".
"As Rapture Comes" was released by Century Media records in July 2006. Featuring everything between the brutality of "Into the grave" and the groove and heaviness of "Soulless" this one is certain to please anyone into true oldschool deathmetal.
The "Enraptured" Dvd was recorded in Poland Aug 2006 and features all 16 live tracks from that show. Bonus tracks are 2 songs filmed at Party-San festival 2004 and also the Soulless videoclip which at this time was the only video that Grave had ever produced. It also includes interview, biography, discography and tons of photos. "We really wanted to add a lot more bonus material from old gigs and tour rarities but unfortunately there were legal matters concerning the rights to that material which could not be solved in time for the release. However, we are already planning for another Dvd which definitely will contain all of that stuff"
Two tours followed the release of "As Rapture Comes". An eastcoast US tour together with long time friends Dismember and Vital Remains and then a slot on the highly anticipated "Masters of Death" European tour which also featured Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember. In May 2007 another European tour was launched, this time together with Immolation and Krisiun. Summer festivals and also a revisit to Mexico after 14 years was completed before it was time to start the process for the 8:th studio album scheduled for release in May 2008.
While Century Media and GRAVE parted ways after 7 albums with the release of 2006's "As Rapture Comes", the band has launched the two highly acclaimed albums "Dominium VIII" (2008) and "Burial Ground" (2010) on Regain Records. In 2010 the band's 12CD+1DVD box-set "Death Unhallowed" (including all recordings from 1986 – 2006) was released in cooperation with Century Media and the early Corpse / Putrefaction / Grave demos have also most recently been released this year as a deluxe triple vinyl set entitled "Necropsy – The Complete Demo Recordings 1986-1991"
GRAVE have most recently finished their North American headline tour and also toured all across Europe together with acts like Misery Index and Obituary to promote their latest album "Burial Ground". Special live sets for the 20th Anniversary of their "Into The Grave" debut album-release has been performed at selected festivals throughout 2011 and the final gig of the year took place in their hometown Stockholm November 12:th.
This sold-out gig was recorded and filmed for a planned future release.
The band re-joined the Century Media camp again in 2011 and are currently writing material for their 10:th studio album scheduled for worldwide release in May 2012.