singer Morean at Party.San Open Air 2012
|Genres||Melodic black metal
Black metal (recently)
|Labels||Century Media Records|
Formed in 1994 Dark Fortress have established themselves with their intense live shows and the pitch black full-length pieces.
In 1996 they released the demo "Rebirth Of The Dark Age". In 1997 the original line-up consisting of band founder Asvargr (guitar), vocalist Azathoth, Njord on bass, and drummer Charon established the band's first live line-up with the addition of a second guitarist named Crom and keyboardist Thamuz. Debuting live in February 1997 the young horde soon shared the stage with such underground figureheads as Lunar Aurora, Disaster and Nagelfar. Dark Fortress' first label release was the Split MCD with Barad Dür entitled "Towards Immortaliy" which featured two new tracks by the band and was released on Fog Of The Apocalypse Records. A third track was recorded during the same session and was used for the compilation CD "From The Mystic Forest - Part II". The band kept busy composing material for their first full-length album, but a studio date already scheduled for 1998 did not come into being. The recording did not take place until August 2000 when Dark Fortress entered Klangschmiede Studio E and with Markus Stock (of Empyrium fame) completed their album: "Tales From Eternal Dusk". Taking inspiration from renowned acts like Dissection, Unanimated, and Satyricon, the album received praise and offered a mixture of haunting guitar melodies, morbid and tormented snarling and diversified song structures.
Line-up changes (Charon and Crom left due to conflicting musical interests) delayed further live and studio activities. However they later signed to US label Red Stream for two albums and hired Seraph and V.Santura as the new drummer and guitarist. Recorded at famous Grieghallen Studio in Norway (Mayhem, Emperor, Immortal) "Profane Genocidal Creations" was an ambitious yet delayed album due to problems during the mixing/mastering process. It was not released until February 2003 and showcased Dark Fortress' development into classic traditions of black metal as well their continual progression as composers and musicians. With a stable line-up consisting of Azathoth (vocals), Asvargr (guitar), Santura (guitar), Draug (bass), Paymon (keyboards) and Seraph (drums) more live shows and even festival appearances ensued seeing Dark Fortress share stage with popular extreme metal acts like Behemoth, Impaled Nazarene, Pungent Stench, God Dethroned as well as many underground acts.
The hitherto musical peak of their career then hit the metal scene with the 2004 released "Stab Wounds" (Black Attakk). Crowned by a gloomy artwork by well-known artist Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Anathema, Death) "Stab Wounds" was well received not only by the band's underground following but also mainstream metal press, e.g. German Rock Hard praised it as "too good, too original and heavy to be ignored. Simply the best German black metal has to offer!". Their new album contained melancholy melodies which combined with suicidal themes. An interpretation of Katatonia's "Endtime" was included on the limited CD Digipak, while a cover version of Emperor's "I Am The Black Wizards" was featured on the double-LP version (released by Imperium Records, 2005).
On May 13, 2007, they fired their vocalist, Azathoth, due to various non-musical reasons.
Now "Séance" is the next step to establish Dark Fortress not only as one of Germany's most hopeful black metal acts. Once more assisted by the artwork of Travis Smith (Nevermore, Katatonia, Opeth etc.) the album evolves around the conceptual idea of the direct contrast between the current and the future, the fragility of human existence with its most striking weaknesses - ignorance, arrogance and false illusions - and the crass finality of death. The central motif lyrically of "Séance" dares to leave the stereotypical, cliché-ridden black metal paths and instead deals with the idea of paranormal beings, their individual experiences which are focused on during the course of the album. The musical side supports this conceptual idea with majestic, gloomy guitar melodies, twisted and morbid passages and grim vocals.
On January 29, 2010 Dark Fortress released an Official Music Video for the song 'Hirudineans'. This song is on their 2010 album 'Ylem'.
- Morean – vocals
- Asvargr – guitar
- V. Santura – guitar
- Draug (formerly T. Killer) – bass guitar
- Paymon – keyboard
- Seraph – drums
- Azathoth – vocals (1994–2007)
- Njord – bass guitar (1994–1997)
- Zoltan – bass guitar (1997–2000)
- Charon – drums (1994–2000)
- Crom – guitar, bass guitar (1997–2001)
- Thamuz – keyboard (1994–1997)
- Rebirth of the Dark Age demo (1996)
- Towards Immortality split (1997)
- Tales from Eternal Dusk (2001)
- Profane Genocidal Creations (2003)
- Stab Wounds (2004)
- Séance (2006)
- Eidolon (2008)
- Ylem (2010)
- Official website
- Dark Fortress on Myspace
- Encyclopaedia Metallum
- Dark Fortress at Century Media Records
- Dark Fortress at Summer Breeze Open Air