CHRONOLOGY

THE BAL-SAGOTH CHRONOLOGY

 

CIRCA 1989 (C.E.):

Byron begins formulating plans for the implementation of a new lyrical & musical project called 'Bal-Sagoth'; an avant-garde black/death metal band to be swathed in symphonic splendor and dark fantasy/science-fiction imagery. The project incubates for several years, awaiting the time of its awakening...

JULY 1993:

Destiny leads Byron to meet the musicians Jonny Maudling and his brother Christopher, who are also looking to form a band and write original material. Byron unveils project: Bal-Sagoth, providing a catalyst and a source of inspiration and guidance. The legend begins.

SEPT. 1993:

Vincent Crabtree is recruited into Bal-Sagoth as keyboard player. He thus joins Byron, Jonny Maudling, Chris Maudling and Jason Porter as part of the original line-up of Bal-Sagoth.

DEC. 1993:

In the deep winter, Bal-Sagoth records their apocryphal promo/demo tape using primitive technology and archaic equipment. The songs, although unrefined, raw, and primal in the extreme, serve to establish the intent of the band. Frater Nihil of London- based Cacophonous Records hears the tape and promptly offers the band a three album recording deal. After careful deliberation, Bal-Sagoth accept the terms and sign to Cacophonous.

JAN-MAY 1994:

Byron promotes the band unceasingly in the world-wide underground metal scene His extreme views on theological and historical matters gain the band a fearsome neo-pagan reputation, while a series of well circulated rehearsal tapes of new material confirm the band's artistic credibility.

JUNE 1994:

Bal-Sagoth enters Academy Music Studio in West Yorkshire, England, to record their now legendary first album, 'A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria'. The carnage commences!

JULY 1994- APRIL 1995:

Due to various administrative inefficiencies at Cacophonous, the album's release is delayed for almost an entire year. Promo tapes of selected tracks are circulated strategically, and the world awakens to the erudite fury and sublime bombast of Bal-Sagoth. It is during this period that Vincent Crabtree leaves the band, to be replaced by new recruit Leon Forrest. Two proposed shows in December of '95 supporting Cradle of Filth in London and Bradford are cancelled due to Byron severely injuring himself during a whiskey-induced stage-diving frenzy at a Cannibal Corpse gig. Byron's mutant healing factor enables his bones to knit swiftly and a speedy recovery is achieved. In April 1995, Bal-Sagoth finally play their first ever-live gig as part of a two-day black/death metal festival at the Dublin Castle in London. The response is incredible.

MAY 1995:

'A Black Moon Broods over Lemuria' is finally released, and is met by universal acclaim from fans and press alike. The album swiftly becomes a best seller and gains the band a vast army of fanatical supporters worldwide.

JUNE-JULY 1995:

Bal-Sagoth return to London in June to headline a gig at the infamous Camden Underworld. In July, they play two incredibly successful dates with Portuguese band Moonspell at London & Bradford.

SEPT.1995:

Bal-Sagoth travels to Dublin, Eire, for the first gig in a short UK tour with label-mates Sigh and Primordial. Unfortunately, the band is forced to withdraw from the tour due to dire treachery and vile subterfuge on the part of the promoter. They never again  work with that promoter.

OCT. 1995-JULY 1996:

Bal-Sagoth unexpectedly lock themselves away for many months to write their much-anticipated second album...In the high summer, they re-enter Academy Studio and record their phenomenal follow-up to 'A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria', the mighty 'Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Veiled Throne Of Ultima Thule. A monumental milestone in the annals of metal is thus crafted. The world suspected little of what the band had in store with the second magnificent opus...

NOV.1996:

Bal-Sagoth headlines the Ragnarok all-day extreme metal festival in Belgium, unveiling a selection of the new songs for the first time.'Starfire...' is released to meet with unparalleled praise and incredible adulation from all areas of the extreme music press and worldwide fandom. Bal-Sagoth has crafted a masterpiece, which sends shockwaves throughout the globe. The musical splendor and extreme lyrical genius of the album garners countless more fanatical adherents for the band.

DEC.1996:

Bassist Jason Porter is dismissed from the ranks of Bal-Sagoth to be replaced by Alistair Mac Latchy, an individual the band have worked with before, in the dim and distant past.

FEB. 1997:

Bal-Sagoth embarks upon their first European tour; a mammoth 23-date trek supporting Sweden's Dark Funeral and Norway's Ancient. The 'Starfire Engulfs Europe Tour' leaves a trail of destruction and chaos throughout countless lands.

JUNE 1997:

Bal-Sagoth plays to a capacity crowd at London's Astoria 2 supporting Norway's finest export, Emperor. It is Bal-Sagoth's first UK appearance for some two years, and the response is phenomenal. They follow it up by playing an all-day festival in Belgium, supporting brutal death metallers Sinister.

AUGUST 1997:

Byron's wonderful lunacy reaches sublime new heights as he instigates the execution of a sponsorship deal with Sussex-based replica arms and armor suppliers Battle Orders Ltd. Bal-Sagoth are thus supplied with a deadly new arsenal of weaponry with which to further their dreams of global conquest and galactic domination. After the staggering success of the midsummer show in London, Norway's Emperor request Bal-Sagoth to accompany them as primary support on their forthcoming European tour. Bal-Sagoth agrees to the proposal.

OCT. 1997:

And so Bal-Sagoth embarks upon their second European tour, this time with Emperor and Nocturnal Breed. The tour is an unprecedented success, steeped in victory and untold triumph. The 'Starfire Engulfs Europe Part 2 Tour' further strengthens the glorious legend of Bal-Sagoth.Upon their return to England, Bal-Sagoth enters Academy Studios once more, this time to record their crucial follow-up to 'Starfire...'. An astonishing magnum opus is thus unerringly crafted; a masterwork that forever redefines the genre of extreme metal. 'Battle Magic' is born!

JAN. 1998:

Leon Forrest leaves the band to pursue a career in nursing. Jonny promptly forsakes drum duties and moves onto the keyboards for any future live shows, and Bal-Sagoth begin searching for a new drummer.

MARCH 1998:

'Battle Magic' is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world and proceeds to shock and amaze the entire music scene with its incredible originality and searingly evolutionary prowess. Lyrical and musical concepts are expanded inestimably, and the greatest & most avant-garde chapter in the legend of Bal-Sagoth is thus written in blood. The album strides over all boundaries like a great steel-thewed colossus, supreme in its pulse-pounding majesty and fearsome passion. The First Trilogy of Bal-Sagoth is thus complete.

MAY 1998:

Drummer Dave Mackintosh joins the band.

JULY 1998:

Alistair Maclatchy leaves the band to be replaced by new bassist Mark Greenwell.

SEPTEMBER 1998:

Byron mysteriously vanishes and is believed to have been mystically enshrined within a vast vault of glacial ice whilst trekking at the North Pole. At the same time, Jonny strangely disappears in the mid-Atlantic, rumored to have been lost at sea, and Chris is allegedly consumed by a great sandstorm in the Sahara Desert. Speculation as to the current exact whereabouts of England's most barbaric sons continues...

JANUARY 1999:

Persistent rumors suggest that Byron has somehow managed to escape from the Arctic vault of glacial ice, and that he was then able to resurrect Jonny from his watery tomb and liberate Chris from his prison of sand. Further evidence points to the fact that the three mysterious artists have actually begun work on a fourth album, the precise details of which are at present unknown...

MARCH 1999:

After long months of careful deliberation, Bal-Sagoth finally signs a three-album deal with the German record label Nuclear Blast.

APRIL-JUNE 1999:

Bal-Sagoth return to the shadowy confines of the Academy Music Studio for a fourth time to begin recording their long awaited next chapter. The result is the most breathtakingly dynamic album they have yet produced... a thundering masterpiece of searing galactic grandeur and blistering astral malevolence... the most terrifying space-opera of darkest fantasy and bombastic war-metal ever heard by man... the incredible stellar symphony entitled: THE POWER COSMIC!

OCTOBER 1999:

"The Power Cosmic" is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world like a supremely destructive wave of sublime cataclysmic fury! This is Bal-Sagoth's most astral chapter yet, the eight electrifying tracks comprising an epic of unparalleled sidereal splendour... an album super-charged with awesome galactic bombast, thundering symphonic grandeur and blistering astral malevolence! The pulse-pounding saga of Bal-Sagoth attains new heights of macrocosmic magnificence, spanning the entire vista of human experience from mankind's first squamous writhings as he hurls himself from the primordial sea, to his ultimate evolutionary form as he seizes his destiny among the stars!

NOVEMBER  1999 - JANUARY 2000:

A secretive government agency enlists Bal-Sagoth to assist them in their quest for a fantastic occult power source, believed to be of alien origin, which is thought to reside somewhere within the boundaries of the ancient kingdom of Sumeria. The precise details of this expedition remain unknown and have been classified top secret by the intelligence agencies of several UN countries.  

MARCH 2000:

The writing of the much anticipated fifth album commences fully as Bal-Sagoth make preparations to craft and unleash their most terrifyingly dark and disturbingly intense chapter yet... what new work of twisted and malevolent genius will emerge next? The assembled legions of Bal-Sagoth fandom can only fervently speculate...

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2000:

The mighty Bal-Sagoth once again lock themselves away in the secluded confines of the Academy Music Studio... this time to record their fifth opus.
The resultant masterpiece and latest chapter in the epic saga of Bal-Sagoth is the incredible ATLANTIS ASCENDANT, an album which shakes the very fabric of the multiverse with its sheer unadulterated genius and unparalleled mastery of dark baroque art. An opus unequalled in artistic might and pure sinister dynamism, "Atlantis Ascendant" is testimony to the peerless creative potency of the mighty Bal-Sagoth. Imperius Rex! The fifth chapter has arrived!

APRIL 2001:

The amazing "Atlantis Ascendant" is released to incredible universal acclaim, the far-famed fantasy and the celebrated magic of Bal-Sagoth proving irresistible as multitudes across the globe embrace the sense-shattering splendour of the phenomenal fifth album. The celebrated "Hyperborean Empire" saga reaches its climactic height and listeners/readers are taken on a myriad thrilling and terrifying new voyages into the fathomless depths of dark untrammeled imagination and cryptic arcane mythistory!
Bal-Sagoth embark upon their first tour in almost four years, cutting a bloody swath through Europe on "The Fifth Cataclysm Devours Europe Phase: 1" tour, otherwise known as the No Mercy Festival Tour 2001. Other bands allying themselves with the might of Bal-Sagoth on this tour include Mortician, Sinister, Vader, Amon Amarth, Marduk, God Dethroned, Mystic Circle, ...and Oceans.
Following the excursion, battle-plans are drawn up in preparation for a "Phase: 2" European tour.

AUGUST 2001:

Byron encounters a hostile tribe of proto-human natives whilst heading an expedition searching for evidence of antediluvian civilizations deep within the impenetrable jungles of Peru. After cunningly playing the new Bal-Sagoth album "Atlantis Ascendant" to the savages, Byron is made king of the tribe and a sacred shrine is erected in honor of the mighty Bal-Sagoth.

DECEMBER 2001:

Further award winning garments in the Bal-Sagoth range of Battle Wear are released to great acclaim by merchandisers Razamataz, and Bal-Sagoth embark upon the much anticipated "The Fifth Cataclysm Devours Europe Phase: 2" tour, with Swedish black metal act Marduk. Included on the tour are shows in London and Bradford, marking Bal-Sagoth's first appearance on UK stages since 1997, and the fans and music press alike are positively overwhelmed by the insane majesty and sublimely unfathomable bombast of the legendary Britannic Battle Metal Kings! The tour is a flawless victory for the mighty Bal-Sagoth.

MARCH 2002:

Preliminary work begins on the long awaited sixth chapter in the epic saga of Bal-Sagoth; the final episode of the Second Trilogy! Byron begins pre-production meetings with artist Martin Hanford detailing what is required for the cover and interior artwork of the sixth album. Additionally, Byron discloses the fact that the epic "Obsidian Crown" saga will continue on the new album, and promises that the new material will be the darkest and most sinister art the band have yet crafted.

JUNE 2002:

Rehearsals begin for the Bloodstock 02 Festival, and work continues on the mysterious sixth Bal-Sagoth album.

AUGUST 2002:

Bal-Sagoth play the prestigious Bloodstock 02 metal festival in Derby, England and thrill the massed legions of supporters with over an hour of searing avant-garde epic metal from all five albums to date. A rapturous response from the crowd and the assembled worldwide metal press mark the occaision as a spectacular triumph for the mighty and peerless Bal-Sagoth.

DECEMBER 2002:

Bal-Sagoth play the Rio in Bradford, England with their allies Return To The Sabbat. Delighting the crowd with another flawless set over an hour in duration, the gig further reinforces the band's reputation as one of the top British metal acts of all time.

MARCH 2003:

Returning to the UK's capital city of London, Bal-Sagoth play the Garage in Highbury, once again with Return To The Sabbat, and proceed to annihilate the crowd and the opposition with a performance bristling with unfettered passion, focused rage and unparalleled dynamism. Despite having their set cut short due to unforseen circumstances beyond their control, Bal-Sagoth once again prove that when it comes to thunderous baroque symphonic metal and idiosynchratic bombast, they have no equals in the global metal scene.

APRIL - SEPTEMBER 2003:

Intensive writing of the sixth Bal-Sagoth album continues. The glorious compositions and unrivalled lyrical sagas of the final chapter in the band's Second Trilogy evolve and coalesce further, and the world waits with fevered anticipation for further news on the sixth opus.
Byron negotiates a new merchandise deal with the German company Rock Bottom, and new Bal-Sagoth shirts are prepared for release to continue the tradition of top quality battle-wear for the true fans of baroque barbarian metal! Additionally, the world celebrates a truly momentous occaision... TEN GLORIOUS YEARS OF THE MIGHTY BAL-SAGOTH!

OCTOBER 2003 - JUNE 2004:

Behind an unparalleled shroud of secrecy and under maximum security conditions, work on the mysterious and hugely anticipated sixth album continues. 

JULY 2004:

Drummer Dave Mackintosh leaves the band and is immediately replaced by new sticksman Dan Mullins. Rehearsals begin for the prestigious Wacken Open Air Festival 2004.

AUGUST 2004:

Bal-Sagoth play the Wacken Open Air Festival 2004 in Germany, the largest single event they have played to date. The crowd response is rapturous and Bal-Sagoth further reinforce their reputation as a true stadium band. Mission accomplished, Bal-Sagoth return home to continue work on the sixth album. (Unfortunately the live CD and DVD clips of the band's Wacken performance are destined to be inexusably sabotaged by unscrupulous and inept third parties.)

NOVEMBER 2004:

Work continues apace on the much anticipated sixth album, and the soon to be legendary songs near completion. Preliminary recording begins at the new recording facility known as Wayland's Forge, with other parts set to be recorded once more at the famed Academy Music Studio. The assembled legions of worldwide metal fandom wait in shuddering anticipation for further news of the sixth opus...

JANUARY - AUGUST 2005:

The recording work on the sixth album proceeds throughout the first half of the year, reaching its latter stages during late summer. The final phase of recording is set to begin during the third quarter of 2005.

SEPTEMBER- DECEMBER 2005:

Work on the sixth album finally concludes, with the vocals being recorded at the famed Academy Music Studio and the mix taking place at Wayland's Forge. The world waits expectantly for the release of the cataclysmic conclusion to the Bal-Sagoth hexalogy... "The Chthonic Chronicles"!

MARCH 2006:

"The Chthonic Chronicles" is released to unparalleled universal adulation and acclaim! The sixth album receives some of the best and most glowing reviews of any of the Bal-Sagoth works! The climactic culmination of the epic Bal-Sagoth hexalogy is characterized by the elaborate and intricate occult fantasy stories for which the band are renowned, and the dynamic keyboards integrated into the extreme metal soundscape, truly organic choral effects and genuine symphonic grandeur! "The Chthonic Chronicles" will once again transport listeners and readers on a wondrous and terrifying voyage into the darkling realms of sinister and bombastic maleficent metal fantasy! All hail Bal-Sagoth!

page last updated August 6, 2006