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Ancient Ceremony - Biography




The melodic black metal band Ancient Ceremony was formed in the summer of 1989 by vocalist Chris Anderle and guitarist F.J. Krebs. At first they were known only as Ancient but they added Ceremony to the name as they found out that there was already a band with that name. The duo were joined by second guitarist Dirk Wirz and drummer Christoph Mertes in the winter of 1991. In February of 1993 the completed band recorded their first demo tape entitled "Where Serpents Reign". All music was written by Krebs and all lyrics by Anderle, inspired by the works of Nietzsche, de Sade, Byron and Crowley to mention a few.

Ancient Ceremony entered the live circuit in June 1992 and secured support slots for bands like In Flames, Absu and Impaled Nazarene. In February 1994 the band entered the studio in order to record the mini album "Cemetary Visions" which was limited to 500 copies and distributed by the band themselves until it was reissued by the small German label Alister Records.

In late December 1996 the band signed a contract with the British label Cacophonous Records, the label responsible for discovering Cradle of Filth, who released their debut full-length "Under Moonlight We Kiss" in September 1997. The album features female vocals by session vocalist Sandra Meyer.

Ancient Ceremony recorded their sophomore album "Fallen Angel's Symphony" in the fall of 1998 and it was mixed at the reknowned Danse Macabre studios with producer Bruno Kramm of Das Ich. Their new creation was released by Cacophonous in February the following year. It featured session vocalists Cynthia Follman (alto) and Erna Siikavirta (soprano). Siikavirta was lending her services as keyboardist for Finnish heavy metallers and later to be Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi.

At this point Ancient Ceremony had performed live with many of the most well-known European metal acts such as Dimmu Borgir, Moonspell and Therion to mention a few. In April and May of 2000 the band recorded their third full-length album "Synagoga Diabolica" at the Alister Studious in the village of Leiwen. It was released by Alister Records in September that year.

The band's fourth full-length album "The Third Testament" was recorded in August and September of 2001 with producer Markus Stock (Empyrium, The Vision Bleak) and released in January 2002 via Armageddon Shadow / Trisol Music Group. An unfortunate accident of bass player and main song writer Jones forced Ancient Ceremony to take a break but in January of 2003 the band began working hard on their new album which was tentatively titled "Holycaust - Angelus Mortis".

In late January 2003 frontman Chris Anderle visited Russia for promotional activities. In October, as a probably result of this visit, the band announced an early 2004 release of a brand new mini album entitled "P.uritan's B.lasphemy C.all (Ruf-Mord)" via the Moscow based metal label Irond Records. The band was also filming several live shows for a future DVD release.

The mini album was a direct response to the events that took place in the summer of 2003. Ancient Ceremony had been confirmed for one of Germany's biggest metal festivals but Church leaders and the city government forced the promoters to remove them from the billing since they would spread blasphemy and satanism. The letters PBC spell out the name of a radical Christian party in Germany. Some German record companies refused to carry this disc, fearing the controversy.

The persecution of the band by religious groups did not end and in November 2003 lawyers of the Catholic Church sued band leader and lyricist Chris Anderle. The trial was delayed from January to May 26th, 2004 at the Landgericht Trier but a settlement out of court was probably reached. "P.uritan's B.lasphemy C.all" was also delayed but was finally released by Irond Records in January 2005.

Since January 2005 no word has come from the band who probably split up soon after.