Wuthering Heights (band)
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|Also known as||Angelica, Minas Tirith|
|Genres||Power metal, progressive metal, folk metal|
|Years active||1989–2011 (on hiatus)|
|Labels||Locomotive Music, Sensory, Scarlet|
|Associated acts||Pyramaze, Astral Doors, Loch Vostok Audiovision, Manticora, Cornerstone, Evil Masquerade, Tad Morose, Memento Mori, Communic, Sinphonia, Moahni Moahna, ZooL|
Morten Gade Sørensen
Nils Patrik Johansson
|Past members||see below|
Wuthering Heights is a Danish heavy metal band, with a somewhat eclectic musical style which falls in somewhere between progressive, folk, and power metal. The band is considered a Danish entity although a number of Swedish musicians are associated with it.
The group formed in 1989 under the name Angelica. They recorded nothing under this name, changing the name to Minas Tirith for the release of a demo cassette, entitled Tales From the Woods in late 1992. By the release of their second demo in 1995 the band had changed their name to Vergelmir. One track from this demo was included in 1996 on the Danish sampler Extremity Rising Vol.2 (on the Serious Entertainment label).
In 1997 the band recorded their first album for German label Prophecy Productions, but the deal fell through and this version of the album has never been officially released. The band re-recorded the entire album in 1998 for their new American label The Laser’s Edge/Sensory and as the debut album Within it was finally released in 1999. The band began a long lasting relationship with producer Tommy Hansen and his Jailhouse Studios for their follow-up album To Travel For Evermore in 2002. The band discovered then unknown singer Nils Patrik Johansson whose huge voice (somewhat reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio) boosted the band’s sound, and they released Far From the Madding Crowd in 2004, which has received some critical acclaim amid the underground power metal and folk metal communities.
In the summer of 2004 the band played outside Europe for the first time. The gig took place at the ProgPower festival in Atlanta, GA. The show was filmed and was supposed to feature as a bonus DVD on the fourth album, but it was later changed to a bonus audio recording on their fourth release The Shadow Cabinet from 2006. Their band released their fifth studio album, Salt, in 2010.
The band's line-up has changed a great deal over the years, and Erik Ravn is the only founding member remaining in the group today. They are currently signed to independent Danish label Nagelfest Music. However, the band has been on hold since March 2011 due to Erik Ravn's serious back pain problems.
Musical style and genre
Wuthering Heights' musical style is relatively unique, combining various elements. Classic heavy metal and power metal along with the highly virtuosic speed metal style, are mixed with strong folk influences. Bagpipes, violins, flutes, and other traditional instruments are included in many songs. As is typical of power metal, the songs feature strong melodies and clean vocals. The band is often described as being progressive metal, though they are not strictly in-line with the genre. They are quite musically distinctive, with their closest musical neighbors probably being Falconer and Elvenking.
Wuthering Heights' lyrics are written solely by Erik Ravn and the subject matter is somewhat varied. The lyrics have often been mistaken as simple heroic fantasy due to a love of archaic language and the occasional Tolkienian reference. But Ravn’s lyrics are deeply personal, sometimes disturbing studies of the human condition. While exorcising personal demons on one level, underneath lurks the doom of modern civilization itself. While perhaps not as overtly pagan in outlook as other artists, the forces of Nature are the backbone of Ravn´s poetry.
The band does not reference 19th-century literature in their lyrics to any real extent, despite the fact the band takes its name from the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, and despite the allusion in the name of their 2004 album Far From the Madding Crowd to Thomas Hardy.
- Erik Ravn – guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals (1989–present)
- Morten Gade Sørensen – drums, percussion (2002–present), also member of Pyramaze and Anubis Gate
- Nils Patrik Johansson – vocals (2003–present), also member of Astral Doors and Lion's Share
- Teddy Möller – bass, vocals (2004–present), also member of Anima Morte, Loch Vostok and several other projects
- Andreas Lindhal – keyboards (2004–present)
- Martin Arendal – guitar (2004–present), also member of Killing Gandhi and the Iron Maiden tribute band Moonchild
- John Sønder – guitar (1989–1990)
- Morten Birch – bass (1989–1994)
- Kenneth Saandvig – drums (1990–1998)
- Martin Røpcke – guitar (1991–1992)
- Jannik B. Larsen – guitar (1992–1994)
- Troels Liebgott – vocals (1993–1996)
- Tim Christensen – keyboards (1993–1996)
- Tim Mogensen – bass (1994–1995)
- Louise – violin (1994–1995)
- Rune S. Brink – keyboards (1996–2004), now with Cornerstone
- Morten Nødgaard – vocals (1996–1997), drums (1998–2000)
- Kasper Gram – bass (1996–2000), now with Killing Ghandi and the Iron Maiden tribute band Moonchild
- Kristian Andrén – vocals (1998–2002), previously with Tad Morose, Memento Mori and Fifth Reason
- Peter Jensen – guitar (1999)
- Henrik Flyman – guitar (2002–2004), now with Evil Masquerade and Lacrimosa, previously with Moahni Moahna and ZooL
|2002||To Travel for Evermore||Studio|
|2004||Far from the Madding Crowd||Studio|
|2006||The Shadow Cabinet||Studio|