|Agathodaimon was formed in September 1995 by Sathonys (guitar) and Matthias Rodig (drums). After placing some ads in several music magazines, they soon found the right band mates in Vlad (vocals, keys) and Marko T. (bass). After several rehearsals, it was obvious that a second guitar player would benefit the sound of Agathodaimon. After a few months, Hyperion joined the band.
Together, a first demo was recorded in April 1996, entitled "Carpe Noctem". Although only recorded on eight tracks in just a few hours, it received excellent reviews around the fanzine press, even in some major magazines. Some record labels approached the band, and so Agathodaimon recorded the second demo "Near Dark" in 1997, with financial assistance of Century Media. This time, the band spent four days for recording and mixing, and thanks to a mix on 16 tracks, "Near Dark" sounded much better than its predecessor. The reviews and response from the metal scene was awesome. Thanks to several mailorder and distribution companies, "Near Dark" sold more than 2.000 copies and soon became a rare collector's item. After receiving offers from various labels, the band decided to sign to Nuclear Blast. A debut album was scheduled for early 1998, but had to be delayed after Romanian vocalist Vlad was denied return to Germany by the authorities. Having lived in Germany for almost more than eight years, it soon became evident that it was a big mistake to pay a "short visit" to his home country to visit some relatives and friends before the recordings for our debut album were supposed to start. It turned out that all tried methods to get him back in time failed, and some rather illegal methods to solve the problem didn't turn things to the better.
So, after a few delays, the recordings were done with the help of Frank Nordmann, aka Akaias. "Blacken The Angel" was released in late 1998 and soon received excellent reviews throughout the international press. Some gigs and tours with bands such as Benediction and Hypocrisy followed, as well as some festival gigs at Wacken Open Air, Wave Gotik Treffen and other festivals. The keyboard slot was temporarily filled by Marcel Va. Traumschänder of Nocte Obducta.
At that time, both Sathonys and Matthias were also playing in Nocte Obducta, although Sathonys left a few years later after the recordings of their second album "Taverne" to concentrate on Agathodaimon. A new keyboard player was found in Christine Schulte, and in 1999, the band prepared for their second album "Higher Art Of Rebellion". To avoid further troubles with Vlad's immigration, the whole band travelled to Romania's capitol to record the second album together with Vlad. The recording process itself was very stressy, as the studio owners weren't very experienced with metal music. But although the sound was a little disappointing in the end, "Higher Art Of Rebellion" turned out to be a milestone in the further progression of Agathodaimon.
Temporarily far away from typical Black Metal attitude, the songs were partly progressive, partly weird but always dark and sinister. A few months later, it became obvious that what once was meant as interim solution turned into a steady cooperation: Akaias officially became the permanent singer of Agathodaimon, while Vlad decided to leave the band, partly because of musical differences, partly because of the big geographical distance between him and the band. But first, a headliner tour with Siebenbürgen and Graveworm followed in 2000, and the songwriting for "Chapter III" began.
This time, the band wanted to mix both the progressive and melodic elements with the raw and straight attitude from the debut album. "Chapter III" marked another important step, as the songwriting procedure was changed and for the first time, a pre-production was done to analyse the songs before the final recording process. Meanwhile, more gigs and festival appearances at Wacken, Wave Gotik Treffen, Summer Breeze etc. were done. In 2001, "Chapter III" was released. Later on, some line-up changes happened: Bass player Marko decided to leave the band due to ongoing health problems that occurred after a stomach surgery and because he lost his passion for playing music, and also guitarist Hyperion had to leave the band. Even Christine left the band as she wanted to found her own band and stop playing keyboards. Vocalist Akaias decided to take over the guitar, being used to handle both vocals and guitar with his other band Asaru since 1995. A new keyboard player was soon found in Felix Ü. Walzer, and some months later, bass player Darin "Eddie" Smith joined the band. A lot of rehearsals and some gigs in countries such as Slovakia , Slovenia , Austria etc. were done to get in shape, before the work on "Serpent's Embrace" began in late 2003
The album was released in 2004 and marked the top of Agathodaimon's evolution: Rich songs, featuring a wide range of styles, from old black metal roots to electronic sounds, melodic and balladesk tunes, groovy, partly fast, partly doom-inspired. delivering the essence of all stylistic adventures Agathodaimon went through the years before. An exclusive song was written later on for the movie soundtrack of "Alone In The Dark", bearing the same title- sadly only released on the USA- and Japan-edition so far.
The years 2005 and 2006 saw a lot of gigs; in 2006 bass player Till replaced Eddie. In the end of 2006, vocalist/guitarist Fank "Akaias" Nordmann decided to settle to another country, therefore some replacements had to be found- Jonas Iscariot (vocals) and Jan Jansohn (guitars) joined Agathodaimon.
Due to lack of time, Matthias and Jonas had to leave the band in 2008, which led to further delays concerning the work on the next albuum. Replacements were found in Manuel Steitz (drums) and Ashtrael (vocals).
Recordings for the fifth album, entitled PHOENIX, took again place at Kohlekeller studio. The album was released in march 2009, shortly before keyboarder Felix left the band as he did not enjoy playing live anymore and did inofficially leave the band. Though he participated in the songwriting for the successor to PHOENIX, he decided to (officially) leave the band as well when Agathodaimon parted ways with guitarist Jan, as the rest of the band felt that the proposed song ideas would head into a direction that did not fit.
Meanwhile, Agathodaimon can announce new guitarist Thilo Feucht (check out his profile) who did contribute both to studio recordings since Chapter III and several live gigs as session musician.
So, together the next album (bearing IN DARKNESS as working title) is in the making, with a tentative release in early 2013.
Source: Agathodaimon official website [http://www.agathodaimon.de/]
It's been almost three years since AGATHODAIMON released their last album "Chapter III". Much has happened since then, a period in which was used intensely by the band to change some internal structures, work on their style and polish it up. And the long waiting was definitely worth it. "Serpent's Embrace" shows the capabilities of a band that presents their best album so far, blessed by a superior production,again recorded at the Kohlekeller Studio (Crematory etc.) but doesn't need to fear any comparisons. Concerning the musical aspect, AGATHODAIMON again display a wide range of styles, which fit perfectly into the album as a whole. Lifted up from the cradle in 1995, the band since then always strived for progression and evolution, beginning with their early demos, their milestone-debut "Blacken The Angel", and continued with the progressive "Higher Art Of Rebellion"-album, which widely crossed the borders of black metal. "Chapter III" then displayed the quintessence of their history and also the turning point for "Serpent's Embrace". Their latest opus shows a band that is operating on a high musical level, far away from following any trends or restrictions of genres. Guitarist/vocalist Sathonys explains: "AGATHODAIMON has always been a band that tries to develop its style into something unique, while having an eye and ear on the song structures and steady progression of the band. We don't try to be different just for the sake of it. Our progression will always be a natural one. The songs became more mature with every release, some things simply shouldn't be rushed if you want to achieve a convincing result." Therefore, "Serpent's Embrace" is a well-worked out album, showing many elements of today's extreme metal, without denying the roots of AGATHODAIMON. Beginning with the opening track "Cellos For The Insatiable" which portraits the rhythm-oriented aspects of the band as well as the way this quintet manages to weave modern elements into black metal. The title track then displays the affinity for theatrical music, supported by a catchy chorus and a big amount of clean vocals. "Light Reborn" then is another good example for more of a modern sound and accentuated riffing, enriched by a clean hook line, excellent guitar solos and an impressive synth-part. "Faded Years" flows like molten lava and even partly reminds of their classic song "Banner Of Blasphemy", including a fast blastbeat-passage. "Solitude" then is the album's ballad, a habit that AGATHODAIMON started with their second album. This time, there's not even distorted guitars, the song itself is mostly based on the excellent vocals of Ophelia, who already had some guest appearances in the past ("Blacken The Angel" etc.) and the excellent keyboards/synths. "Limbs Of A Stare" then is one of the most brutal songs on this record, packed with intensity and lots of variation, followed by "The Darkness Inside" which features again catchy melodies and vocal lines, mixed with a solid groove. "Feelings" then sums up the album with a very atmospheric and emotional song that has a moody outro, led by acoustic guitars. AGATHODAIMON prove that they know how to deliver excellent songs, or to be more precise, an excellent album that doesn't feature any flaws, but lots of positive aspects and therefore should be a must for metal-gourmets that are looking for something special in this crowded scene.
Source: Nuclear Blast America [http://www.nuclearblastusa.com/bands/agathodaimon.html]