|Genres||Folk metal, power metal, symphonic metal, heavy metal|
Elvenking is a folk/power metal band from Sacile, Italy. As of 2014, they have released one demo, one single, and eight full-length studio albums. Elvenking's music draws their inspiration from very different genres such as metal, folk, hard rock, pop, prog and classical music.
The origins and Heathenreel (1997-2002)
Elvenking was formed in October 1997 by two guitarist friends, Aydan and Jarpen, both sharing a passion for metal music and folklore. Although they were soon joined by Sargon as bassist, the young band faced many issues with its line-up that prevented them from progressing. In March 1998, Damnagoras joined the band as a lead singer, and was followed by the arrival of the drummer Zender in September. It was only then that the band found a definite stability.
The members Elvenking intended to create a fusion of power metal and folk music. After gaining experience through many shows, the band decided to record a promotional album, To Oak Woods Bestowed, in 2000. Damnagoras performed both lead vocals and bass for the recording and subsequent concerts as Sargon previously left the band. The demo was successful enough to allow Elvenking to sign a contract with German label AFM Records.
Soon after, Gorlan, a friend of Aydan and Jarpen, fully joined as a bassist; before he appeared as a session player.
The first full-length album Heathenreel was recorded at New Sin Audio Design by Luigi Stefanini and mixed at Fredman Studios by Fredrik Nordstrom. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith and the band logo was designed by J.P. Fournier, who also designed covers for Avantasia and Immortal. The album was released on July 23, 2001 and received praise from metal critics around the world. Elvenking then toured around Europe at festivals with better known bands like Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Edguy and Virgin Steele.
In August 2002 singer Damnagoras took leave from the band due to health concerns. Elvenking then recruited a new vocalist, Kleid, who revitalized the spirit of folk music within the band. Elyghen, a violinist and keyboard player, joined soon after. The shift in the line-up led to their second album, Wyrd, recorded at Gernhart studios in Siegburg with Martin Buchwalter, and mixed & mastered at House of music studios with Achim Kolher and released on April 19, 2004.
In late 2004 Damnagoras returned, taking the place of Kleid, and Elvenking began working on their third album, The Winter Wake.
On February 4, 2005, founding guitarist Jarpen left Elvenking. Aydan commented:
"Jarpen didn't feel comfortable playing Elvenking's music anymore having lost passion in this kind of stuff. It was a long time he was talking with us about and when Damna was back in, knowing the direction we wanted to go, he told us his willing to leave. We have tried to convince him to give it a try but it didn't worked out.
It's a really sad thing because Jarpen was one of the founding members and we have created all this from the beginning together, but on the other hand being friends before musicians we know that this is what Jarpen wanted and we totally respect his decision.We will miss you, friend!"
On November 3, 2006, a new album was announced to be in the works according to the official website. It was released on September 14, 2007. The album is named The Scythe and it's a conceptual album about death.
On April 14, 2008, the band announced that they were beginning work on the next album and that it would be a "totally acoustic album". In a later post the band explained that while they viewed this new album as a chance to explore their folk influences it would also be a chance for them to experiment in new areas as well. It was also added that they already had some material written for a "heavy" album however this album would wait until after the acoustic album was released.
On January 14, 2009 they announced a new guitarist on the website, Raffaello "Rafahel" Indri. He has been playing gigs with the band for the past year, and is now an official member of the band.
On September 29, 2009 they announced Lethien to be their new live violin player and to take Elyghen's place in the rehearsal room until his return to Italy.
On February 9, 2010 it was announced that Dennis Ward will produce Elvenking's new album, with Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear) also taking the role of executive producer. The recordings started on March 20. The album, called Red Silent Tides, was released on September 17 in Europe, and November 9 in North America.
After the release of “Red Silent Tides” the band started a full European tour supporting the album in countries like The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy of course and many others including the European tour with PRIMAL FEAR and Kissin’ Dynamite in the last part of 2010. The beginning of 2011 saw the first glimpses of what the band defined a “new era” with the change of the drummer.
This "new era" would go on to inspire the band to title their next album "Era" to celebrate this new rebirth. Era was released in September 2012 and saw the band return more to their pagan roots with more prevalent folk elements meshing with their traditional heavy metal sound.
Elvenking released their 8th studio album titled The Pagan Manifesto on May 9th 2014 in the U.K. and on May 27th 2014 in the U.S. with the same line-up intact from their previous effort. The first single, Elvenlegions, was released on Soundcloud and is a dedication to the fans. An accompanying music video for the song was released in late April. The album is a full return to their pagan roots and a return to their earlier sound similar to the early years of when the band began. The song "King Of The Elves" contains a medley of "White Willow", a song from their first album, Heathenreel, as well as revisiting some familiar lyrical lines of the song. The track is roughly 13 minutes long, the longest in the Elvenking catalog.
Elvenking has declared itself to be a band highly influenced by folk music and dances from all over the world, but especially from all the metal scene and from "any other cool stuff may it be pop, punk or whatever". Amongst the most influential bands on Elvenking's style is Skyclad.
Damna, the lead singer, lists his favorite bands and musicians as "Everything that’s cool to my ears from metal to pop music. Some of my favourite artists are Kiss, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Queen, Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Aerosmith, In Flames, Hardcore Superstar, Dimmu Borgir, Rob Zombie, Michael Jackson, Dissection, Iced Earth, Pantera, Wednesday 13, Bon Jovi, Slipknot, Nickelback, Stone Sour, Lady Gaga, Sixx AM, Cannibal Corpse, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Madonna, Cradle of Filth, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Skid Row, etc."
Damna has also performed live wearing a Bullet For My Valentine t-shirt.
Aydan, lists his favorite bands and musicians as "Helloween, Skyclad, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Dark Tranquillity, Cradle of Filth, Candlemass, My Dying Bride, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Simple Plan, Queen, Angels & Airwaves, etc."
- Damna – vocals
- Aydan – guitars
- Rafahel - guitars
- Jakob – bass
- Symohn – drums
- Lethien – violin
- Jarpen – guitars, vocals 1997-2005
- Kleid – vocals 2002-2004
- Gorlan - bass 1998-2011
- Zender - drums 1998-2011
- To Oak Woods Bestowed (2000)
- Heathenreel (2001)
- Wyrd (2004)
- The Winter Wake (2006)
- The Scythe (2007)
- Two Tragedy Poets (...And a Caravan of Weird Figures) (2008)
- Red Silent Tides (2010)
- Era (2012)
- The Pagan Manifesto (2014)
- "Zender Quits Elvenking - New Live Drummer Announced". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2012-11-02.