|How it began...
The Band was founded in september '95, after Matthias (drums) and Sathonys (guitars) put adverts in various music magazines to find suitable musicians to join them. Shortly after, they got hold of Marko (bass) and Vlad (vocals and keyboards). Two months later, a second guitarrist (Hyperion) was added to this line-up, and in this constellation, the band recorded its first demo CARPE NOCTEM in april '96, which received great reviews in german major press like Rock Hard or Metal Hammer, but also in the worldwide underground. Even with this first appearance, Century Media were impressed by the talent of Agathodaimon and had an eye on the following activities of the band.
Many gigs with bands such as Desaster, Impending Doom, Ancient Ceremony and others took place, and even a little tour as support for Ablaze My Sorrow and Beseech was absolved, and after Century Media were aware of their livequalities, Agathodaimon was offered financial help to record, their second demo, which the band at this moment couldn't afford to record.
This second demo was called NEAR DARK and was recorded in march '97. Again, Century Media were impressed, but as the negotiations took a long time, the band offered this demo for sale, making it one of the most successful demos ever, selling more than 2500 copies so far. Meanwhile, other labels showed their interest due to enthusiastic reviews, and so the band also considered the offers of companies such as Listenable, Head Not Found, Last Episode, Merciless and others, but in the end, they decided to sign to Nuclear Blast as they simply made the best offer, concerning promotion, support and marketing.
Shortly before the recordings of their debut album BLACKEN THE ANGEL, bad luck stroke upon Agathodaimon, as Vlad, who was visiting his native country Romania, wasn't allowed to return to Germany by the authorities. Several tries failed, but the immigration board denied all requests, as he left Romania during Ceaucescu's reign and meanwhile it's a safe country, so there would be no need to enter germany again. Well, there were some problems beside this which makes his return quite hard, but these we'd like not to discuss in public. Just be aware that we tried many things to get him back, but everything failed, so we had to finish BLACKEN THE ANGEL in the last second with the help of a few guest musicians. Akaias took the part of the vocals, who's mainly involved in his band ASARU; and on keys, Vampallens (Marcel) of Nocte Obducta was so kind to grant his talents to the band. Vlad only could participate with an ambient song called 'Contemplation Song', which he sent by air mail on DAT...
After the release, the band played on various festivals and had tours with bands such as Benediction, Dismember, Hypocrisy, Children Of Bodom, Raise Hell... and could be seen on many gigs as headliner or support to bands like Dimmu Borgir or Lacrimosa. As Vampallens wanted to again focus on his mainband Nocte Obducta, the band soon found a replacement in Christine S.
Then in late '99, the band finished the work on their second album HIGHER ART OF REBELLION which was recorded in Romania this time, at Magic Sound Studio in Bucharest. Why? As mentioned earlier, it was not easy to work with Vlad being in Romania, so we were forced to travel to Romania this time, which finally enabled us to work together again. Of course, Akaias is also heard on this album, as well as Byron, who had some guest vocals on the 'Ribbons/Requiem' '99 version which was only published on 'Death Is Just The Beginning 5' so far. Many gigs followed, some festival appearances (Wacken 2000, Windo Rock, Wave Gotik Treffen etc.) as well as a headliner tour with Siebenbürgen and Graveworm as support.
After a short break, the band began to work on their next album, which was released in November 2001, simply entitled "Chapter III". It features all songs the band did write during the period since Vlad's departure to Romania. The reviews have been fantastic on this album.
Sadly, Vlad decided to leave the band shortly after, as he wanted to concentrate on other music styles and a fruitful cooperation still wasn't possible, due to lasting immigration problems. Also bass player Marko had to leave, due to health problems which were caused by a stomach surgery months ago. His replacement was soon found in Darin "Eddie" Smith", a close friend of singer Akaias. Also a new keyboarder (Felix Ü. Walzer) joined Agathodaimon, as Christine left the band because she lost her motivation in playing keyboards. Together, the band is working on new songs for the upcoming fourth album.
Source: Agathodaimon official website [http://www.agathodaimon.de/]
It's been almost three years since AGATHODAIMON released their last album "Chapter III". Much has happened since then, a period in which was used intensely by the band to change some internal structures, work on their style and polish it up. And the long waiting was definitely worth it. "Serpent's Embrace" shows the capabilities of a band that presents their best album so far, blessed by a superior production,again recorded at the Kohlekeller Studio (Crematory etc.) but doesn't need to fear any comparisons. Concerning the musical aspect, AGATHODAIMON again display a wide range of styles, which fit perfectly into the album as a whole. Lifted up from the cradle in 1995, the band since then always strived for progression and evolution, beginning with their early demos, their milestone-debut "Blacken The Angel", and continued with the progressive "Higher Art Of Rebellion"-album, which widely crossed the borders of black metal. "Chapter III" then displayed the quintessence of their history and also the turning point for "Serpent's Embrace". Their latest opus shows a band that is operating on a high musical level, far away from following any trends or restrictions of genres. Guitarist/vocalist Sathonys explains: "AGATHODAIMON has always been a band that tries to develop its style into something unique, while having an eye and ear on the song structures and steady progression of the band. We don't try to be different just for the sake of it. Our progression will always be a natural one. The songs became more mature with every release, some things simply shouldn't be rushed if you want to achieve a convincing result." Therefore, "Serpent's Embrace" is a well-worked out album, showing many elements of today's extreme metal, without denying the roots of AGATHODAIMON. Beginning with the opening track "Cellos For The Insatiable" which portraits the rhythm-oriented aspects of the band as well as the way this quintet manages to weave modern elements into black metal. The title track then displays the affinity for theatrical music, supported by a catchy chorus and a big amount of clean vocals. "Light Reborn" then is another good example for more of a modern sound and accentuated riffing, enriched by a clean hook line, excellent guitar solos and an impressive synth-part. "Faded Years" flows like molten lava and even partly reminds of their classic song "Banner Of Blasphemy", including a fast blastbeat-passage. "Solitude" then is the album's ballad, a habit that AGATHODAIMON started with their second album. This time, there's not even distorted guitars, the song itself is mostly based on the excellent vocals of Ophelia, who already had some guest appearances in the past ("Blacken The Angel" etc.) and the excellent keyboards/synths. "Limbs Of A Stare" then is one of the most brutal songs on this record, packed with intensity and lots of variation, followed by "The Darkness Inside" which features again catchy melodies and vocal lines, mixed with a solid groove. "Feelings" then sums up the album with a very atmospheric and emotional song that has a moody outro, led by acoustic guitars. AGATHODAIMON prove that they know how to deliver excellent songs, or to be more precise, an excellent album that doesn't feature any flaws, but lots of positive aspects and therefore should be a must for metal-gourmets that are looking for something special in this crowded scene.
Source: Nuclear Blast America [http://www.nuclearblastusa.com/bands/agathodaimon.html]