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Empyrium - Biography



Through the entire creation Empyrium runs like a thread through string: the love of nature, tragedy and romance. Empyrium have already combined acoustic guitar and transverse flute in their romantic, dark metal compositions on their first albums 'A wintersunset' and 'Songs of moors & Misty fields' in order to lend a 'more natural' touch and to achieve their vision to a better depth. 'Songs of moors & Misty fields' already perfects this style hence why a new form of the feeling had to be found. '
The radical but necessary step to a completely acoustic instrumentation is finally carried out. with 'Where at night the wood grouse plays'. Otherwise it cannot be claimed as authentic. The result was dark and idyllic songs that in combination with bombastic male voice choirs deliver a unique sound.

'Weiland' portrays the substance of Empyrium. Furthermore played acoustically it combines the atmospheric suspense of the first two albums (e.g. 'Kein Hirtenfeuer glimmt mehr', 'Nebel'). The musical spectrum of the project is enriched through the re-integration of drums and the introduction of instruments such as the viola, violin, bassoon or Mellotron so there is also lots to discover for those who already know Empyrium.

The album devotes itself entirely to natural mysticism. In its three chapters - Marsh, forest and water - Empyrium portray their view on nature in romantic and legendary ways.

'Weiland' will be Empyriums last album that implements the idea of the project in the best possible way. It says everything about this topic that Empyrium have to say to you.
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Empyrium started as German symphonic folk/doom metal and later neofolk band founded in 1994 by Markus Stock (mostly using the pseudonym Ulf T. Schwadorf) and Andreas Bach, but later many other participated. Their first two albums, A Wintersunset and Songs of Moors and Misty Fields, following a demo entitled ...Der wie ein Blitz vom Himmel fiel..., can be considered doom metal (or, as some will argue, folk metal) with folk and symphonic influences. They combine harsh and operatic male vocals, with deep slow guitar parts and atmospheric sounds.

The following two albums, Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays and Weiland are acoustic, display a constantly heavier neofolk influence. Instead of keyboards, the band switched to acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars, violins, cellos and the flute. Operatic male vocals are still used, and in Weiland the band uses choir with occasional black metal rasps. Though the music still remains dark and melancholic, Empyrium's music has largely moved away from heavy metal. Many people consider these two albums to be the apex of Empyrium's skill and some accomplishment of the band's - or rather Schwadorf's goal.

The band draws inspiration from nature as some of the album titles reveal. Consequently, Empyrium are often referred to as a dark folk or apocalyptic folk band, expressing in their music (most conspicuously in the last two albums) sentiments akin to those expressed by some other 'legislators' of the genre, as Forseti, Orplid, and Ulver (Kveldssanger). Connoisseurs of dark folk will mention that many of Empyrium's compositions are true representatives of the genre, as, for instance, Dying Brokenhearted, The Shepherd and the Maiden Ghost ("Where At Night..."), Heimwärts, Waldpoesie, Die Schwäne im Schilf ("Weiland"). Intricately woven and always impregnated with an exquisite wistfulness or profound, remorseful sadness (Dying Brokenhearted), these compositions may be regarded as a manifesto of the dark-folkloristic gloomy and pantheistic Weltanschauung. The lyrics are mostly in English, though in Weiland only German is performed. After their last album, Weiland, the band decided to stop recording. As Schwadorf himself put it,

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Reunited in 2010.
Participated in the compiltation "Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings" released by Prophecy Production in 29.10.2010 with the song "The Days Before The Fall"
Played their first and maybe only concert at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig,Germany on June 11 2011 where they also played an unreleased track "Dead Winter's Ways"