|Gloryfication / SuidAkrA 1994-1997 _ "Lupine Essence"
SuidAkrA's very beginnings lie back in the year of 1994 when drummer Stefan Möller and vocalist/guitarist Arkadius Antonik founded their band to express their musical ideas.
In those years they called themselves Gloryfication and it took two demos and considerable line up problems before the perfect candidates were found. These new members included Daniela Voigt on keyboards and female vocals, Marcel Schoenen on guitars and vocals, and Christoph Zacharowski on bass guitar. The band's name was subsequently changed to SuidAkrA.
Their musical base and background was a stylistic mixture of black metal and traditional heavy metal enriched by some folk elements, choirs, and medieval melodies. The self-produced record "Lupine Essence" was the first considerable result of the young band's work. It was published in 1997 and inspired even fans with different musical tastes in considering metal music.
The record label Last Episode showed great enthusiasm towards the band and their music and offered a deal to the five musicians who were then signed without too great a hesitation. 2000 pieces were sold and SuidAkrA had become well known in the underground.
Auld Lang Syne 1998
After gathering enough material for a second album, "Auld Lang Syne" was recorded at Jam Studios (Primal fear e.g.) in 1998. This album was a lyrical concept aroused from the ideas of Celtic mythology. Fans and the press showed immense positive reactions for the band's innovative music.
After "Auld Lang Syne" was published, bassist Christoph Zacharowski was replaced by Nils Broß, who then brought new ideas and styles into the band.
Live gigs were played at the Last Episode Festival in Leipzig and a number of shows in and out of Germany supporting Haggard and Tristania. At this time, the high peak of SuidAkrA's career was playing the Wacken Open Air Festival in 1998. Despite performing on stage at a relatively early hour of the day, folks were nonetheless convinced and impressed by the professional set that SuidAkrA had played.
Lays From Afar 1999
SuidAkrA was not wholly satisfied with the sound of "Auld Lang Syne", so Stage One Studio and producer Andy Classen (Nagelfar, Rotting Christ, etc.) were chosen for the recording sessions for the new LP. It soon became clear that the band and producer were a highly compatible team.
"Lays From Afar" is an expression taken from the old English language and the album tells a whole coherent story based on mythological facts and pure fantasy. Beginning with "A Darksome Path", the hero's story is told from his entering the Otherworld and his experiences and adventure there up until his homecoming to the real world with the title track, "Lays From Afar".
The album was an enormous leap forwards in the band's musical development which is evident in their broad variety of styles and the seeming fun of playing their music.
The Arcanum 2000 / SuidAkrA 2001
The band was so satisfied with the sound on "Lays From Afar" that both Stage One Studio and producer Andy Classen were once again chosen to record "The Arcanum".
There were no great stylistic changes in SuidAkrA's music, but there were more of the ancient choirs and acoustic passages to stress the folkloristic elements. Their predilection was crowned in the end by a killer rendition of the Skyclad classic, "The One Piece Puzzle".
Again, the main themes were Celtic mythology and the individual power of imagination.
SuidAkrA's creative hand proved to have enough power to drive together fans from all various categories, be it gothic, power metal, black metal, or whatever.
"The Arcanum" was simply a straight metal album to inspire them all.
For the first time in the band's history, their music was distributed worldwide, unleashing its influence and gaining a steadily growing fan community outside of Germany, many of them from the Scandinavian countries, South America, and even Japan.
After the release of "The Arcanum", Marcel announced his departure from the band, reducing his activities to a mere consultant role.
A replacement by the name of Germano Sanna was found.
As soon as their successful tour in February 2001 (the "Fear Of The Dark" festival including Graveworm and Vintersorg, amongst others) had come to an end, the band went on to concentrate on writing the next album. Bass player F.T. who had replaced Nils some time before, left again. It did not take long for Nils, who had already creatively supported SuidAkrA in 1998, to rejoin the band.
Due to the fact that Marcel and Arkadius had been the creative heads of the band and doing most of the songwriting alone, it seems to be no surprise that Germano needed some time to integrate and adapt to the typical SuidAkrA style. Marcel himself decided to support the process by offering his help during the progress of the new material.
When the first two songs had been completed, none of the band members could deny the fact that the follow-up to "The Arcanum" was to become their best to the present day.
In the midst of 2001, Dani and Möller left the band and the remaining members now attempted to find a competent new drummer. It took Arkadius but one day after their official departure to find Lars Wehner to adequately replace Möller. Both Arkadius and Lars had known each other for years and the singer knew very well of the drummer's fine qualities. It seemed to be a string of fate that Lars now joined SuidAkrA as he had formerly played with the local band "Autumn Nostrum" for quite some time.
Emprise To Avalon / SuidAkrA 2002
Lars proved to be a great enrichment for SuidAkrA, and because of his superb technical abilities, some of the musical gaps the band faced in the past could now be successfully bridged.
The keyboard parts were taken over by Arkadius himself who indeed had already written and done all the past passages.
With the release of "The Arcanum", SuidAkrA's contract with Last Episode had been fulfilled, and subsequently, the band's relationship with the record label suffered a break-up. A significant label change then took place.
SuidAkrA signed with Century Media Records who would ensure their full dedication on the new album. By the end of November, the new songs had grown in complexity to underpin the band's high expectations, thanks to Lars' integrity and intricate style in the songwriting.
In December 2001, the band locked itself up for the third time at Stage One Studio to work on their fifth album titled "Emprise To Avalon".
Work and development were quick and fertile, and at the end of the recording session, all agreed to have delivered the best work they could technically and musically offer so far: A wonderful concept album dealing lyrically with the legend of King Arthur.
Even before the release of "Emprise to Avalon", Marcus (ex-member of Autumn Nostrum, too) joined on bass, breathing extra vitality and vigour into the band.
In summer 2002, right after having successfully played the two famous Germans festivals SummerBreeze and Wacken, SuidAkrA decided to part ways with live-guitarist Germano Sanna. Marcel took over playing the guitar live on stage again, at least for a while.
Signs For The Fallen / SuidAkrA 2003
After the band agreed that the next album should sonically exceed the previous releases, especially regarding the guitar work, the best way of working in the studio as well as the approach towards the new material was discussed with Andy Classen.
For the first time in the band's history, all members brought themselves in when writing the new material in order to collectively work on each song much more intensively than past efforts. As a result, the new songs represent a total group effort with input from everybody. Arkadius composed a pure keyboards-only song which was recorded by Marcus in his own home studio.
In April 2003, the most innovative material that SuidAkrA has ever written was completed and the band went back to Stage One Studio for the fourth time to record "Signs For The Fallen"
In the end, the result of the almost magical atmosphere in the studio and the successful collaboration with Andy was, production-wise, the best-sounding work SuidAkrA had to offer to this date.
Before the July 28, 2003 release date, audiences already previewed some of the new tracks when SuidAkrA performed live on stage in support of Soilwork and Children Of Bodom in May for five almost-sold-out concerts in Austria and Germany, as well as in June and July during festivals such as the Kaltenbach Open Air and the RockHarz, where the new songs harvested positive feedback from the fans.
After "Signs For The Fallen" was released at the end of July, the fans as well as the press were very enthusiastic about the new music and the direction the band is going in. SuidAkrA has received nothing but positive feedback and Metal Heart Magazine regarded the album to be "... one of the best albums of the year".
In November 2003 the band was finally sent out to wreak havoc with Green Carnation and Mörk Gryning on the Darkness In Disguise Tour. During the eleven show tour in Germany, Austria and Hungary, SuidAkrA was able to prove once more their qualities as a great live band at each gig.
After the tour, SuidAkrA and live guitarist Sky went their seperate ways due to personal differences. The band had to call off the last gig of the year in Hameln (D) unfortunately, due to a foot injury drummer Lars received. So from then on SuidAkrA concentrated on prepping the new live guitarist Matthias Kupka for the numerous gigs planned throughout 2004 and begin the songwriting for the next album.
Arkadius - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Marcel - Guitars, Vocals
Marcus - Bass
Lars - Drums
Matthias - Guitars (live)
Command To Charge / SuidAkrA 2005
2004 was a year without a proper tour for SuidAkrA, but the band still played their asses off with numerous single gigs and summer festivals in Germany and internationally.
After half of the new material was written, SuidAkrA split with Century Media Records due to differing views about the future of the band and decided to complete the album and record it at their own expense and risk, before starting the search for a new suitable label.
Change was also to occur when it came to choosing the right studio to record the album; after four successful collaborations with Andy Classen at the Stage One Studio, there had to be a change of scenery to encourage new creativity and a fresh wind. After a short search, the band found the perfect combination to get the right dose of pressure and power for the new record: the Gernhart Records studio, and producer Martin Buchwalter.
The collaboration with new guitarist Matthias had an entirely positive effect on the songwriting for "Command To Charge". Most songs were still written by the original band line-up and guitarist Marcel; however, Matthias put himself forward and gave, not least with his clean voice, another new facet to the style of SuidAkrA.
Finally, in November, 2004 SuidAkrA went into the studio. Due to the relaxed atmosphere and absence of the pressures of old, the band were able to experiment to their full potential. Musically SuidAkrA have kept their typical trademarks, yet without imitating their past selves. The die-hard fans will be pleased to hear the newly added Highland Bagpipes which appear for the first time. At the same time, the band presents itself as more modern and open than it's ever been. After completion of the album, all involved parties agreed that they have produced 47 minutes of their most balanced, innovated, focused and, without question, best music to date.
A new label was found in Armageddon Music, and the release date of the album was named as 25th April, 2005. With "Command To Charge", SuidAkrA are finally taking their overdue step into the highest class of the European Metalscene!
In 2005, SuidAkrA will do everything possible to promote their new album. In February at the Atarfe Vega Rock Festival in Granada/Spain, alongside bands such as Megadeth, Therion and Fear Factory, an exciting live presence has been displayed once again. Right after the release of the new album, SuidAkrA will be part of eleven shows on the "Wacken Road Show" German Tour in May 2005 with Holy Moses and Illdisposed, before appearing at some big summer festivals such as Summer Breeze and MetalCamp (Slovenia)…
Line up 2005:
Arkadius - guitars and aggressive vocals
Marcel - guitars and clean vocals (studio)
Matthias - guitar (live), clean vocals (studio)
Marcus - bass
Lars - drums & percussion
Taken from the official Suidakra website