Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Ancient is an extreme metal band born 1992 in Bergen, Norway. Originally a solo project of guitarist Zel ( pka Aphazel ) which quickly developed into a full band. Together with drummer/ vocalist Grimm, the now cult demotape “ Eerily Howling Winds” was released in 1993, and the 7” entitled “ Det Glemte Riket” followed in 1994.
With roots in Norwegian black metal, Ancient quickly established an underground following with their own dark and atmospheric style of metal. Loyal fans claim the band has a special sound and feeling that makes the band stick out in their genre, and the band still has a strong worldwide fan base today.
Among others, Listenable Records / Osmose noticed the potential of Ancient and released the debut album “ Svartalvheim”, today considered a classic album in extreme metal.
The mini album “Trolltaar” followed in 1995 and ended up being the last release with Grimm.
Shortly after having been approached by Metal Blade Records, Zel signed a 5 album contract, moved to the USA and recruited Lord Kaiaphas as the new vocalist. Highly impressed by his performances in the bands Grand Belial’s Key and Thokk, he was confident of his talent and contribution to Ancient.
1996 saw the release of “ The Cainian Chronicle”, and album filled with big guitars and cold atmospheres, accompanied with female vocals by Kimberly Goss and Kjetil on drums.
This album also went on to become a great classic in the genre. The video to “ Lilith’s Embrace” kept airing on MTV and a European tour followed.
1997 was the year of the album “ Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends” an album that showed a somewhat change in musical direction, more progressive and experimental in some opinions. A few line- up changes took place, introducing guitarist Jesus Christ ! and Erichte, both from the north Virginia area where the band was now based. Videos to the songs “ Um Sonho Psycodelico” and “ Willothewisp” were launched and a world tour followed entitled “ Global Bloodhunt Tour”.
After facing issues with US visas and unstability with the line- up, Zel moved back to Europe again, but this time to settle down in Italy, establishing a brand new band with Deadly Kristin on female vocals, Krigse on drums, and still Jesus Christ ! on guitar.
1999 brought the album “ The Halls Of Eternity”, a return to a heavier sound and now with Zel himself on vocals.
Bassist Dhilorz was recruited and Ancient kept playing live in Europe and Scandinavia. An impressive performance at the Wacken festival followed in august 2000, introducing new drummer Grom.
The mini album “ God Loves The Dead” followed, along with a video to the title track.
2001, recorded at the studio of Andy La Rocque, Los Angered Recordings, and mastered at Sterling Sound, “ Proxima Centauri” was not only considered a masterpiece, but also an album with a production and musicianship better than the band’s previous releases. The album showed a style more aggressive, heavier, more technical and complete than the Ancient from the past.
Another full European tour followed, as well as visits to Mexico, Israel, East Europe.
With a steady well working line- up, the album “ Night Visit” was a further evolution in the band’s style, mixed by Fredrik Nordstrøm at his famous Studio Fredman, resulting in the best production Ancient ever had. Receiving top reviews in the music press, the album showed a version of Ancient heavier than before but also more technical and with great arrangements.
A video to the title track was launched and the band kept touring, this time also including Russia and Greece.
After 2005, Grom left the band, Zel moved to Greece and Ancient became quiet for a long time, leading many fans to assume the band has quit. Nothing was officially announced however.
As a result of an interesting coincidence, in 2009 the band was introduced to renowned drummer Nick Barker, by a mutual friend in London. Zel and Dhilorz decided to start playing together again and the new line- up, with Nick on drums, did 2 mini tours in Spain and Portugal. Excited and filled with new inspiration, Ancient started planning a new album. With band members far apart, things were moving slow, but new material was in progress. The trio agreed on developing a new album, more aggressive than the previous works, and with a rather old school analog heavy sound, unlike many newer releases in the genre. After carefully selecting a list of 7 different locations, the band started recording the comeback album at last.
“ Back To The Land Of The Dead” is now finally being released, a long awaited treasure by Ancient fans worldwide. After 2 years in production, the band presents an album with a heavy and aggressive sound, not following typical modern standards but rather focusing on a personal, strong and heavy production which fits the album’s 13 tracks perfectly.
Soulseller Rec and Dave Ellefson’s EMP, now proudly launch this blast of an album, with a band ready to tour every part possible in the known world.
The awakening of the spiritually dead is about to begin…
- Svartalvheim (1994)
- The Cainian Chronicle (1996)
- Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends (1997)
- The Halls of Eternity (1999)
- Proxima Centauri (2001)
- Night Visit (2004)
- Back to the Land of the Dead (2016)
- Eerily Howling Winds (1993)
- Trolltaar (1995)
- God Loves the Dead (2001)
- Det glemte riket (1994)
- True Kings of Norway (2000)
- Det glemte riket (1999)
- Eerily Howling Winds - The Antediluvian Tapes (2005)
Zel - Bass (1992-2000), Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards (1992-present)
Dhilorz - Guitars, Bass (2000-present)
Nicholas Barker - Drums (2009-present)
Vassago Rex - Drums
Kimberly Goss - Vocals, Keyboards (1995-1997)
Grimm - Vocals, Drums (1993-1995)
Kjetil - Drums (1995-1997)
Lord Kaiaphas - Drums, Vocals (1995-1998)
Luci - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Cello (1997-?)
Erichte - Vocals (1997-1998)
Scorpios - Bass (1998-2001)
Krigse - Drums (1998-2000)
Deadly Kristin - Vocals (1998-2003)
GroM - Drums, Vocals (2000-2006)
Morfeus - Guitars (2008-?)