|SAXORIOR was founded in January 1994 by Matthias Eschrich (vocals, guitars), Kai-Uwe Schneider (vocals, guitars), Dirk David (drums) and Uwe Vogt (bass). The name stands for Saxon Warrior. In June 1994, Matthias and Kai-Uwe, former members of the renowned East German band "Titan", produced the first demo tape, entitled The First Fight. In the same year, Timo Pfeifer from Corpsess replaced Dirk David on the drum chair. Besides several regional live gigs SAXORIOR were special guests on the metal broadcast "Six Pack", hosted by Matthias Hopke, on "Radio Energy" in November 1994. In springtime 1995, the band started the studio-recordings for their first full-length album Return From The Dark Side. Due to technical and financial reasons the release date of the record was delayed until November 1995, when it was finally unleashed upon the metal community.
SAXORIOR created their own particular style, in the vein of Death Metal - yet somehow different. The lyrical concept is based around antonymous topics like life and death, the universe, creation and decline. In December 1995, the CD was introduced on "Radio Energy". After the new keyboard player Frank Nitzsche had joined the line-up, several concerts e.g. with Eminenz, Benediction and Iced Earth followed. In August and September 1996, the songs for the MCD Beyond Conceptions were recorded, solely produced and financed by the band. In October 1996, the record release party took place in Altenberg, situated in the Ore Mountains. Together with performances of Purgatory and Venena it received excellent acclaim.
The years 1997 and 1998 were reserved for concerts, for example with Eisregen, Dunkelgrafen and Enslaved. Furthermore, new song material was collected. In November 1998, one of the new songs called "Burning Stone" appeared on the compilation of the G.U.C. fanzine. The year 1999 should by then be the most productive one, which besides many live gigs climaxed in the performance at the "Bischofswerda Open Air". In springtime 1999, Kai-Uwe opened up his "Polygam" sound studio in Pirna. In May/June 1999, the album Portent Of Eternity was recorded there and released on the underground label G.U.C. in August of the same year. On this record you can hear the typical SAXORIOR-style, still topical today. A quote from the review of the "Legacy" issue of March 1999:
"An absolutely successful mixture of Black and Pagan Metal is offered here. Aggressive high speed parts are interrupted by solemn instrumental passages with slightly medieval harming sounds and a keyboard underlining the songs in a decent manner. SAXORIOR achieved to create an album that causes such an epic, thrilling atmosphere that you can even see the warriors galloping onto the battle field in front of your mind's eye, fighting the glorious battle for honour and freedom."
The song "Hagen von Tronje" was presented on a compilation of the "Ablaze" magazine, bringing in a tremendous appreciation for the band. In May 2000, Timo Pfeiffer was replaced on drums by Michael Mann due to different musical perspectives. In July, he gave his live debut in the Metal club "Heavy Duty" in Dresden. Until the end of the year, the live routine of the new line-up was strengthened through several live gigs.
The first half of 2001, SAXORIOR dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the song writing process which led to the recordings for their third full-length album Saxot in "Polygam" studio in June 2001. This album contains a cover version for the first time, "Tubular Bells" from Mike Oldfield. Lyrically almost everything is concentrated around the epoch of Saxon christianisation where Wittekind and his opponent Karl the Great play an important role. (Both men were prominent figures in German history.) Moreover, a part of the Nibelungen saga was worked up in the song "Siegfried", for which the overture of the same titled opera by Richard Wagner was newly arranged.
In spite of a longer stage abstinence, the release party in September in the "Flat Black" club (Dresden), with Eminenz and Minas Morgul, proved to be a successful event.
The following year was filled with concerts throughout the whole of Germany, e.g. Berlin, Potsdam, Rostock, Annaberg, Frankfurt/Oder, Sulzbach/Oberpfalz. The highlight of 2002 was without a doubt the "Under The Black Sun Festival" in Berlin together with acts like Root, Lugubre, Taake and many more.
In January 2003, the vinyl album Von Rache und Schmerz (Of Revenge and Pain) was recorded at "Polygam" studio and released on the label Fog Of The Apocalypse as a limited edition of 500 copies in May. Peculiarities of this record are the AC/DC cover version of "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)", with Gorgoroth of Baltak (Australia) on vocals, and live edits on the B-side. Besides gigs in Chemnitz, Würzburg and Neukirch/Sa., the second half of the year was used for the recordings of the new longplayer Neverending Battles again at "Polygam" studio
2004 started with a concert in the "Dresdner Scheune" with Dew Scented and others. A live clip for the song "Fire Of Retaliation" was produced for the band's website using the recorded material of that gig.
In March 2004, the new record Neverending Battles was released on Battlegod Productions (Australia), the band's new label. This time the events in Saxony during the "30 Years War" form the basis of the lyrics. The album is complemented by the song "Dem Meister" ("To The Master"), dedicated to Richard Wagner, which features certain musical themes of his works. In the following months also tracks from the new album were presented live. In the June /July issue of "Legacy" magazine SAXORIOR received 14 out of 15 possible review credits. Furthermore, the issue contains an interview with the band and a song on the enclosed compilation CD. This song, "Neverending War", was also self-produced as a promotional video clip and can be found on their homepage, too.
In July, a line-up change took place. The founding member Uwe Vogt left the band after ten years for private reasons. During a concert in Berlin on the 24th of July, he officially handed over the bass to his successor Florian Tilke, who gave his live debut there. With the 18 year-old "Tille", bringing in experienced musical skills due to a long education,
a new breeze blows through the band. In the following months Florian was able to proof his live suitability at concerts a. o. in Dresden (with Eminenz and Aeveron) and Tharandt (with Belphegor).
The year 2005 was exclusively reserved for playing live. The highlights of the year were: the "Bands Battle" in Stavenhagen with Thyrfing, Raise Hell and Centinex, the "Devil Days" in St. Leonhard (Austria) with Benediction, Mystic Circle, God Dethroned…, the "Chronical Moshers Open Air" in Reichenbach/Vogtland with Vader, Desaster and others,
as well as the benefit concert in favour of children suffering from cancer. At the end of the "SIM-EVIL" band contest SAXORIOR finished on 7th position out of more than 100 bands,
and thus the track "Neverending War" was released on the compilation of Rock Hard magazine. With Twilight the label has finally organised an appropriate distributional partner.
A new record is planned for the end of summer 2006. Therefore SAXORIOR practise themselves in being abstinent from the stage. Meanwhile they are writing new song material to record it afterwards at "Polygam" sound studio. Of course, the date of the release party will be announced on time. Until then, enjoy the silence, " 'cause the battle will go on."…