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Windir (Primal Warrior in English) was a black metal band from Sogndal, Norway. The band was formed in 1994 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Terje "Valfar" Bakken, and released its debut album Sóknardalr in 1997. Windir combined black metal with Scandinavian folk music, folklore and mythology, and many of the band's lyrics are written in Sognamål. Windir produced four albums in their almost ten years of existence. The band broke up in March 2004 after frontman Valfar died of hypothermia after becoming caught in a blizzard on his way to his family's cabin in Norway. Following his death, the remaining band members went on to form a number of new bands including Vreid, Mistur, and Cor Scorpii.
Most of the band's early albums featured lyrics written in frontman Valfar's native dialect, Sognamal. The band had an "intense affinity for traditional music and Norwegian texts, drawing much of its lyrical content from local sagas, using traditional folk tunes in its music, and singing in an archaic rural dialect." The band have had a significant influence on the development of the black metal scene, influencing a number of bands including Negură Bunget and Drudkh. With the coining of the term, the genre "Sognametal" as established by Windir has inspired many bands from the small region of Sogn og Fjordane, most of whom are ex-members of Windir or friends of them. These bands include: Vreid, Cor Scorpii, Mistur, Sigtyr and Feigd.
On January 14, 2004, Terje "Valfar" Bakken went to his family's cabin at Fagereggi, Norway, by foot. On January 17, his body was found at Reppastølen in the Sogndal valley. He died from hypothermia after being surprised by sudden inclement weather en route. He was buried on January 27 at Stedje Church in Norway. In March 2004, Windir officially disbanded.
A compilation album containing Windir outtakes and B-sides, Valfar, ein Windir, was released in 2004 as a tribute to Valfar. On September 3, 2004, in Oslo, Windir's remaining members performed their last concert to go back to their roots and keep base with what they thought was real. Enslaved, Finntroll, Notodden All Stars, Weh, E-Head and Mindgrinder were the guest bands.
- Terje "Valfar" Bakken – guitars, bass, keyboards (1994-1999), vocals, accordion (1994-2004)
- Jarle "Hvàll" Kvåle – bass guitar (2001-2004)
- Jørn "Steingrim" Holen – drums (session) (1994-2001), drums (2001-2004)
- Sture Dingsøyr – rhythm guitar (2001-2004), vocals (2004)
- Stian "Strom" Bakketeig – lead guitar (2001-2004)
- Gaute "Righ" Refsnes – keyboards (2001-2004)
- Sorg – guitars (1994 - 1996) and choir (on Det gamle riket)
- Lars Stian "Invictus" Havraas - bass (session)
- Steinarson - clean vocals
- I. R. Aroy - lead guitar (tracks 2, 4 and 6)
- Harjar - lead guitar (tracks 3 and 5)
- B. T. Aroy - keys (track 7)
other session members
- Cosmocrator - clean vocals (on 1184, Likferd and on Sognametal)
- Vegard Bakken - vocals (on Sognametal)
- Valfar, ein Windir (2004, a tribute to deceased founding member Valfar)
- Sognametal (DVD, 2005)
The demos feature Valfar on vocals, Sorg on guitars, and Steingrim on drums.
- Berger, Harris M.; Greene, Paul D. (2011-12-27). Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World. Duke University Press. p. 194. ISBN 0822347334.
- "Arntor - Windir | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
- "Sognametal: The Legacy of Windir – Part 1". The Toilet Ov Hell. 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "AllMusic ((( Windir > Biography )))". AllMusic. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "WINDIR Is Now History". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 2004-09-17. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
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