Ásmegin - Biography




Ásmegin began in late 1998 as a Norwegian Viking metal band and motivated by the will to merge traditional romanticism with heavy metal. The initial line-up included Auðrvinr Sigurdsson (guitars, vocals), Iving Mundilfarne (guitars, flute), and Marius Olaussen (guitars, synth, vocals). Several months later, Ásmegin were joined by Nordalv (alias Skule Jarl) on drums and Tomas Torgersbråten on bass.

After Iving left the band in 1999, the band recorded their first demo, Naar Rimkalkene Heves (As the Chalices Are Raised). This demo was released through Marius' label Valgalder Records and was positively received by critics and fans alike. Referred to by some as "a new wave of metal", the band had successfully merged the traditional heavy metal sound, the Nordic Black metal influence, and Scandinavian folkloric melodies.

Unfortunately Ásmegin experienced a lull following the April 2000 recording of their second demo, Af Helvegum (On the Path to Helheim). The demo, which followed the lead of their previous effort its sound still markedly representing the Viking metal genre, yet leaning more heavily on the folkloric aspects was unfortunately never released, and future prospects turned grim as the band slowly dismantled.

Yet the two remaining members, Tomas and Marius, did not easily forget their musical calling, and shortly thereafter, Marius found an eventual replacement in Tommy Brandt (drums), who a year later, in the fall of 2001, would join him and Tomas in forming a new band. Tommy Brandt brought a groovy rock influence that perfectly complimented the old Ásmegin material. The old songs were given new life and became more easily accessible to a wider commercial audience.

With Tommy perfectly mastering the rhythm section, the band entered TopRoom Studios to hold auditions. Ásmegin found their frontman in Bjørn Olav Holter, a.k.a. Narrenschiff, who joined on a permanent basis. His intense and energic voice worked the material perfectly. While the Viking metal feel had all but disappeared, Bjørn breathed more intensity to the songs.

Finally, after months of searching for the right guitarrist, Raymond Håkenrud joined Ásmegin in time to enter Top Room Studios on 18 February 2002. With Børge Finstad co-producing the recording effort, Ásmegin slowly completed Hin Vordende Sod & Sø (The Prospective Broth & Soup), a title that makes reference to the disparate metal styles that had come into play.

In experimenting heavily with Scandinavian folk music, Ásmegin has been fortunate to feature the exceptional work of gifted musicians such as Lars Fredrik Frøislie (White Willow, Wobbler) on keys, Lars Nedland (Borknagar, Solefald) on vocals, Sareeta (Ram-Zet) on fiddle and female chants, Anne Marie Hveding on additional female chants, Oddrun Hegge on the Norwegian zither, Gunhild Førland on the flute, and Anja Hegge Thorsen on the Jew's harp. They all have spiced the material with their own personality, style, and flair, making Hin Vordende Sod & Sø an even more original and creative album.

In the spring of the year 2003, Ásmegin signed a four-album deal with Napalm Records to include Hin Vordende Sod & Sø. This debut was released 25 Aug 2003. Vocalist Bjørn left the band some time before the release.

A new vocalist, Erik Fossan Rasmussen (Deject), was the replacement. He joined the band in late 2003 along with Lars Are and Sareeta.

After two years Sareeta and Tommy has left the band. But we have decided not to spend our time looking for replacements, and rather focus on the upcoming release.

So, after several hours with lyric and song writing, we're finally ready to record the new material. It'll probably be a double album of approximately two hours running time. Right before the recording, Lars Fredrik Frøislie, who has been a session musician for us all this time, decided to join the band on permanent basis.

Nowadays we're recording the album.