Windir is a folkloric black metal band from Sogndal in Norway. Windir used to be a one-man's project and was formed in 1994 by its incontestable sovereign Valfar. Valfar had previously played in a couple of death/black metal bands, but found these projects uninteresting. He decided to form his own band, and as he didn't want anyone else messing up his musical vision, he started Windir as a one-man band. Windir recorded to demos in the period of 1995-96. "Sognariket", and "Det gamle riket". These demos established Windir in the black metal underground through a lot of good reviews. Several labels both Norwegian and foreign produced contract offers, and late 96 Windir signed with the Norwegian label Head not found/Voices of wonder for 2 full-length CD's. The debut CD "Soknardalr" was recorded in Oslo January 97, and it was released in April the same year. The whole recording was done in 4 days. But the production turned out very well with its grim and dark sound. "Soknardalr " showed brilliant composition skills and a refreshing originality, with its mixture of harsh black metal & epic folk melodies. The mighty Valfar handled vocals and all instruments except for the drums himself. "Soknardalr" got a lot of good reviews and sold over 2000 copies within a year.
Immediately after releasing "Soknardalr" Valfar started writing new material for the second full-length CD. The recording of the second CD entitled "Arntor" took place in the legendary "Grieghallen" studio in Bergen in the period of August-October 1998. The famous "Pytten" who had previously produced CDs for bands such as Emperor, Immortal, Burzum, & Mayhem engineered it. " This time Valfar decided to include several session musicians, as the complex music needed utter perfection to justify the material. But the screaming vocals, rhythm guitars, bass, synthesisers and accordion were still handled by the musical gifted Valfar. "Arntor " was released spring/summer in Norway and autumn 1999 in the rest of the world. Arntor showed an impressive progression from its very good predecessor "Soknardalr". The folkloric side of Windir became much stronger on "Arntor", and a couple of tracks were folk tunes rewritten and rearranged by Valfar. But this did not turn the music "soft"; Artnor was without doubt the most aggressive release from Windir so far. The album is a perfect combination of beauty and grim evilness. The response on " Arntor" has been overwhelming, but well deserved. It is obviously one of the most exiting black metal releases ever, and the metal press seems to agree as "Arntor" has received brilliant reviews. The release has sold between over 4000 copies.
With “1184” released in October 2001, a new chapter started in the Windir saga. Windir presented itself as a band. The overwhelming response also put great pressure on Valfar when he started writing for the third release. The philosophy of Valfar is to always achieve more, and create music of utter perfection. Even though Valfar felt there were progression, he thought there were something missing. The answer was to join forces with the composer Hvàll and his band Ulcus, also hailing from Sogndal. Valfar grew up with the Ulcus members, so the merge shouldn’t be any problem as they shared the same mentality and ideas. Valfar and Hvàll composed separately for “1184”, but the material was produced by both of them together to get a similar sound. “1184” has received standing ovation from both reviewers and fans. The old fans don’t seem to have a problem embracing the new music either.
The lyrical aspect of Windir is very special. The lyrics are not only written in Norwegian, but they are written in an ancient version of their local dialect "Saognamaol". The lyrics are utter national romantic and deals with the history of his native village Sogndal. On “1184” the lyrics are both in “Saognamaol” and English. This is due to several factors. Windir wants to reach an larger audience, but also try to give the music a wider spectre, and create other atmospheres. Windir will always have lyrics on “Sognamaol”, but will not limit themselves by only using the their native language. Windir will support the release of “1184” by playing live. So If you want to cast a glimpse of these proud Norwegian windirs, check out you local concert hall, cause you never know when Windir will come ravaging your hometown
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