Last updated: 03/14/2003 09:21:07 PM
In the summer of 1991 a new band began to rise on the metal skies. Initially being only a project founded by bassplayer PETER BÖHM and drummer ROBERT GRÖGLER , they started to rehearse more intensely during the whole summer and even started to compose some first tunes, based on voivodesque bassriffs and complicated slayer-like drumrythems. A third member to complete the first line-up was found in PETER DURST and he supported those first efforts with his vocals and guitar playing. In spring of 1992 the guys recorded a first four- song demo entiteled "Depression" which basically contained four tunes of powerful death metal. Some first experiences on the concert front the band gained by participating on the prestigious Attack Of Fire Festival 1992.
To put a little more atmosphere in their songs, DARKSIDE decided to user the help of a former co- musician to record some piano-intermezzos for this first tape. After listening to it a lot of times, the band agreed on including a stable keyboard player in the line-up. The call for more melody and variety reached WOLFGANG SÜSSENBECK, a former singer of some local metal bands.
Shortly before DARKSIDE were ready to record their second demo, PETER DURST started having some severe health problems with his right arm, so the band was forced to look for a substitute. HERBERT KNÖCHEL, a young guitar player from the outskirts of Wr. Neustadt was finally the person to fill out the vacant place and after the recording session ended up as the fifth member of DARKSIDE. The second demo "Herbst" ,also recorded in the PAST Studio in Hradec Kralove/CZ , already showed the progression and was a first hint to the direction the band was heading for. Six compositions of doomy, but still powerful death metal clearly showed the way towards a bigger range of melodies and sounds. " Requiem" ,with a running time of about 12 minutes, soon brought some kind of cultstatus to DARKSIDE in Czech Republic, with the whole demo getting excellent reviews in the czech press. Thanks to the friendship between DARKSIDE and the maybe best death metal act KRABATHOR a series of concerts in Czech Republic / Slovakia followed that brought to the band their strongest support. After the release of the tape, DARKSIDE took part in the legendary Horepnik-slamdance amongst others together with ZED JAGO, ARAKAIN, ROOT and more as well as in the Attack Of Fire 93. A first highpoint was the tour together with KRABATHOR and SCABBARD in autumn of the same year through Czech Republic and Austria. After that the band started to rehearse for new material, With the objection of recording a Cd on their own, the winter passed quickly and in the beginning of March 1994, DARKSIDE were back on the road supporting KRABATHOR on their Blasphemeous Mini Tour 94.
In May 1994 finally DARKSIDE started with the recording sessions for their first full-length Cd " Melancholia Of A Dying World ". Within 14 days they laid down the basics and after the album was mastered at the Rudolfinum Studio in Prague ( RAGE, Y. J. Malmsteen and others ). Twelve songs full of melodies, melancholy and breathtaking power paired up with female vocals, death-typical grunts and some grinding guitar solos brought the Cd to a running time of about 53 minutes. For the band it meant first acknowledging in the foreign countries ( 8 points out of 10 ROCK HARD ) as well as premium rates in the polls of the czech magazines ( newcomer of the year ROCK REPORT, best foreign underground band ROCK REPORT, newcomer album of the year BANG !, 10 out of ten METAL HAMMER CZ ). The final official release was in September 94 with a first edition of 1000 Cds and 1000 tapes. The artwork was done by the famous science-fiction painter Martin Zhouf from Prague. On the concert ground the most important gig for the band for sure was the concert in Prague with CARCASS in front of 2500 spectators, as well as a tour together with VADER and KRABATHOR in Czech Republic and Austria. During this tour there started to be problems with HERBERT KNÖCHEL, which ended by him leaving the band in early 1995. The last show with HERBERT was on November 13 in Ruzomberok / Slovakia together with PHANTASMA, PURGATORY and KRABATHOR.
1995 was an important year for DARKSIDE because they finally reached their long awaited target - a deal with a label. The german company Impact Records, although being originally a punk-label, decided to found a sublabel named SYSTEM SHOCK and DARKSIDE was to be the first band on it. The next band to follow was VADER. Impact offered to release "Melancholia..." with a different cover and booklet artwork all over Europe, what happened in September 1995. Later on the Florida-based independant label CONQUEST MUSIC licensed the album from SYSTEM SHOCK for the USA, Canada and Mexico. On the livesector in 1995 DARKSIDE started to concentrate a little bit more on their homecountry Austria, where they played a series of gigs with VADER, KRABATHOR and some local bands. In November the band went on a tour together with KRABATHOR and DISTILLERY through Poland, but the highlights of the season for sure were the Attack Of Fire 1995 and the festival in Hustopece before an approximate 3500 people, where the security had to stop the show of DARKSIDE two times because of security risks for both band and spectators caused by masses of people invading the stage.
In January 1996 DARKSIDE finally took part in their first european tour together with SINISTER and CREEPMIME, playing 23 shows in various countries. Again also Austria and Czech Republic were on the tourplan of a series of concerts, some of them DARKSIDE played with THERION. After the end of these activities DARKSIDE began with the work on their second album " Shadowfields " which was interupted by the second european tour supporting SIX FEET UNDER. The last efforts propagating " Melancholia.. " were to be the forth concert on the Attack Of Fire 1996 as one of the headliners together with KRABATHOR and SINISTER and a show in the ice-hockey arena of Hradec Kralove / CZ. Right after, the band started the recording sessions for " Shadowfields " in the PAST Studio under the productional wings of Vincent Dijkers, a dutch producer. The new album contained a lot of orchestral arrangements mixed with aggression and a very low feeling throughout the whole work.
The release of " Shadowfields " in March 1997, getting excellent reviews throughout the european metal press ( 8,5 points ROCK HARD, 89 points AARDSHOCK , Hansi Daberger from ROCK HARD naming the album among his top favorites of the year and many more ) opened the door for the third european tour in companion of VADER, during the one DARKSIDE played some headliner shows in Italy and Czech Republic, as well as a tour with SCABBARD in Czechia. This tour contained also a festival with SINISTER, HECATE ENTHRONED and BAL- SAGOTH. In late autumn of the same year, DARKSIDE started to work on their third album, tentatively entiteled " III " then.
April 1998 finally saw the band in the HAZIENDA Studio of Milos "Dodo" Dolezal, recording their third Cd. The producer they chose this time had a 10 -year experience in producing and his work until now sold well over 2,500.000 copies of various bands, some of them selling over 60.000 pieces in Czech Republic. " Evolution" , so the final title of the album, was mastered by Jan Nemec, a producer well-known for his work with RUNNING WILD, X-WILD, CELTIC FROST and more, in his studio in Hannover, Germany. He also produced the czech band KREYSON, who also sold a lot not only in Czech Republic but also in Germany. The album will be released in September 1998 through NSM Records. The band shot their first video-clip for the song " The Gloaming" under the direction of DAVID BERANEK, a great czech director for film and TV, on locations in south- Bohemia. On these facts, POPRON s.r.o. licensed the album for Czech Republic / Slovakia. A first promotional tour through those two countries by the end of July, as well as the taking part in 6 big festivals starts the concert activities for " Evolution " . Also there has already been fixed a festival tour for late autumn through some of the mid-european countries.