Ragnarok (Norwegian band)
Ragnarok performing live in Sarpsborg in 2010
Ragnarok is a Norwegian black metal band. The band was formed in Sarpsborg, Norway in 1994 by Jerv and Jontho, after they left Thoth, their previous band. Lyrical themes include Norse Mythology, Vikings, War, and Apocalypse. The band's name comes from the Old Norse word Ragnarök, the prophesied last battle between the Norse gods and the giants. They are "one of the most extreme black metal bands in Norway", making heavy use of make-up and special effects.
Ragnarok made a name for themselves locally by recording demo tracks and a compilation album including the song "Et Vinterland i Nord" with their original lineup, consisting of Jerv on bass, Jontho on drums, Rym on guitar and Thyme as the vocalist. The band received good feedback for their demo work and soon signed to the cult label Head Not Found Records, who released Ragnarok's debut album Nattferd in 1995.
The band was generally dissatisfied with Head Not Found Records, and intended to leave in 1996, but were persuaded to sign a contract for two more albums after the label offered them a much better deal. Unfortunately, this deal meant that Ragnarok was forced to turn down a deal with Century Media, who expressed interest in signing the band after a show in Oslo later that same year.
In 1997, work was begun on Ragnarok's second album, titled Arising Realm, which featured Shagrath of the band Dimmu Borgir on keyboards. In 1998, Ragnarok went on tour for the first time, playing eight shows in Denmark and Germany in addition to the Blood Log Festival in Leipzig. At the end of the year Ragnarok started recording Diabolical Age, their third album. Diabolical Age was not finished until late in 1999, and by the time it was actually released Thyme had left the band, to be replaced by vocalist Astaroth, and Sander had joined as a second guitarist. It was soon clear, however, that Sander was not cut out to perform with the band, so he was kicked out and replaced with Lord Arcamous shortly after the eventual release of Diabolical Age in 2000.
Later in 2000, Ragnarok embarked on a short tour with Swedish band Satanic Slaughter, in the course of which it became clear that Astaroth was not capable of continuing on with the band. He left the band after the tour. Lord Arcamous filled in as vocalist for the recording of the album In Nomine Satanas on Regain Records, but he himself was replaced with Hoest of the band Taake in 2002.
After Hoest joined the band, Ragnarok toured both Europe and North America and perfected their sound for their next album. Blackdoor Miracle was recorded in 2004, and both the band and its fans were pleased with the results.
After a renewal of the lineup the only remaining old member, drummer Jontho, announced they will start touring with the new lineup. The band has rarely played live in recent years but were scheduled for the 10th anniversary of the Inferno Metal Festival in 2010. When they appeared there in 2003, a reviewer from HeavyMetal.no said their performance "fitted very well into [my concept of black metal], both good and bad" and seemed to please large numbers of the crowd. And in December 2005 they played their "first time at a drug-free event" at St. Croix in Fredrikstad and were a huge success.
In March 2010, they released their new album, Collectors of the King, through Regain Records. A reviewer at HeavyMetal.no called it "some of the most insistent and gripping Black Metal I've heard in a while." The reviewer at NecroWeb gave it 7 out of 10 points.
In May 2012, they announced they had signed with Agonia Records and would release a seventh album. Their seventh studio album was released October 31 in Europe and November 6 in North America under the name Malediction.
After vocalist Hans Fryste announced his departure from the band in early 2014, the band finally officially announced their replacement for him September 14, 2014. The new vocalist will be drummer and RAGNAROK founder Jontho himself, and his place behind the drum kit on stage will be taken by DAUDEN drummer Malignant.
- Jontho - vocals
- Bolverk - guitar
- Decepticon - bass and backing vocals
- Malignant - drums
- Hans - vocals 2008 -2014
- Høest - vocals 1999 - 2008
- Thyme - vocals 1994 - 1999
- Astaroth - vocals 2000 - 2001
- Lord Arcamous - vocals 2001 - 2002
- Sander - rhythm guitar 1999 - 2000
- Jerv - bass 1994 - 2007
- Rym - guitar 1994 - 2007
- Et Vinterland i Nord demo (1994)
- North Land demo (1995)
- Nattferd (1995)
- Arising Realm (1997)
- Diabolical Age (2000)
- In Nomine Satanas (2002)
- Blackdoor Miracle (2004)
- Collectors of the King (2010)
- Malediction (2012)
- Joel McIver, "Ragnarok", Extreme Metal II, London: Omnibus, 2005, ISBN 9781844490974.
- "Biography: Ragnarok". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- "Biography: Ragnarok". musicmight. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- "Klang av norsk metall", Aftenposten, 25 May 2000 (Norwegian)
- "Ragnarok", Ballade.no, 6 August 2006 (Norwegian), citing Siren Steen, Jan Eggum and Bård Ose, eds., Norsk pop & rockleksikon: populærmusikk i hundre år, Oslo: Vega, 2005, ISBN 9788292489093.
- Hildur Bakkene, "Ragnarok vendte hjem", Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad, 11 October 2004 (Norwegian)
- "Jontho announces tours, new album". Regain Records. 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-09-14.[dead link]
- Yngve M. Jacobsen, "Inferno dropper tre nye band...", HeavyMetal.no 21 December 2009 (Norwegian)
- Inge Johnsen, "Inferno - Fredag", HeavyMetal.no, 23 April 2003 (Norwegian)
- Jonas Rohde-Moe, "En noe annerledes førjulskonsert", Fredriksstad Blad, 12 December 2005 (Norwegian)
- Bjørn Schistad "Ragnarok: Collectors ...", HeavyMetal.no 22 March 2010 (Norwegian): "noe av det mest insisterende og gripende svartmetall jeg har hørt på en stund."
- RAGNAROK - Collectors Of The King, NecroWeb.de, 13 April 2010 (German)
- Ragnarok Inks Deal With Agonia Records, MetalUnderground.com, retrieved 24 May 2012.
- Ragnarok - New Album Details Revealed