Elvenking are formed in October 1997, iniziative of the guitarists Aydan and Jarpen (once known as Dag'or'dil), old friends who share the same passion for metal music and for folkloristic traditions. The line-up problems the group has to face in the early months are numerous, as are also the changes in formation which impede the continuos activity of the band. In March 1998, the singer Damnagoras joins the band and only in the following September the group finds a definite stability with the arrival of Zender (once known as Stormgald) on the drums.
Right from the beginning, Elvenking set themselves the objective of finding a formula which can combine metal, folk music and extreme sounds in a unique mixture, with lyrics based on the pagan worship of nature and on the tradition of folkloristic fairy-tales. After considerable live experience, the band realises that the time is right to start thinking about recording a "promo" that may arouse the interest of record labels. It is at this time that the band loses the bass player Sargon, in the band since it was first formed, due to musical divergences. At such a delicate moment, the group starts looking for a valid substitute, however without success.
By now, it's almost time to record the promo and the search for a new bass player is abandoned for the time being. The CD is recorded with a four-member line-up with Damnagoras in the double role of vocalist/bass player (solution also used in concert). The recordings take place at "New Sin Audio Design" at Loria, near Treviso (Italy), studios where bands such as Labyrinth, White Skull, Domine, Eldritch have recorded. "To Oak Woods Bestowed" is the result of nine days of recordings and includes five tracks which represent Elvenking's product from their debut up to today.
In the CD there are older songs, like the concluding "Under the Tree of Us'dum", one of the first tracks written by the band, and other more recent compositions which show the evolving of the group in a precise direction. The demo CD aroused the interest of the record labels: after pondering the offers received, these folks decided to sign for AFM records, German label of Edguy, Avantasia, Steel Attack, Paradox, Squealer etc...
On the other hand, the new compositions of the band which will appear on the debut album "Heathenreel" show an "extreme" evolution inasmuch as the new sound-development focuses on the contrast between folk melodies (with the use of classical instruments such as flutes and fiddles) and aggressive riffs . Moreover, the new material tries to moderate the excessive time/structure-changes, with the objective to be more straight even if always part of the originary "folk-aggressive metal" of the band.
Meanwhile Elvenking enriched their sound with the entry of a new bass player: Gorlan. Friend of Aydan and Jarpen, he first came into the band as a session player, then he joined Elvenking permanently as a member at all effects.Some really good names are involved in the realisation of the debut album called "Heathenreel". It's been recorded at New Sin Audio Design by Luigi Stefanini and mixed at Fredman Studios by Fredrik Nordstrom. The cover artwork has been made by Travis Smith and the band logo designed by J.P. Fournier (Avantasia, Immortal, ...)
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