Antestor is one of Norway's earliest Christian Black Metal groups. Antestor is the only Christian band to have an album released by Cacophonous Records, which also released records by bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Sigh and Blood Storm, and was actually dropped from Cacophonous Records after the label discovered that Antestor held Christian beliefs.ANTESTOR GENRES
Antestor (Latin for "call to witness" or "testify") formed in 1990 in Norway under the name "Crush Evil". They released two demos early in their career, and in 1994 they recorded their debut album, Martyrium, although not released until 2000. They dubbed the style of their early work as "sorrow metal" rather than black metal.
The Defeat Of Satan was their first demo, containing three songs and an outro. The demo was originally released under their first band name "Crush Evil". The band is Christian and over the course of their career have received serious death threats because of this.Euronymous, guitarist/vocalist from the seminal black metal band Mayhem, once said, "The Militants of Norwegian black metal will force this band to split up." That never happened: Antestor was never forced to split apart and in an almost ironic twist of fate, Jan Axel Blomberg (better known as Hellhammer, the drummer for Mayhem) was Antestor's session drummer on their latest two releases.
Despair was their first self-released demo, and was released under the band name Antestor. The demo starts with an intro and ends with a cover of an old Norwegian hymn, called Jesus, Jesus, Ver Du Hjå Meg ("Jesus, Jesus, Be With Me").
Martyrium was their first full-length album, but was not actually released in 1994 due to problems with their record label. However tape copies circulated in up to fifth generation copies and their audience grew fast. Antestor did not release a full-length album until 1998, when they released The Return of the Black Death on Cacaphonous Records.
The Return of the Black Death was actually dropped from Cacophonous Records after the label discovered that Antestor held Christian beliefs. Because of this, there are not many pressings of the album, and it is now rare. It is still sold at some internet-based Christian underground music stores.
However, The Return of the Black Death was well-received by both Christian and non-Christian black metal fans. Antestor was soon signed by Endtime Productions, a metal record label that also helped start the career of Extol. In 2000, Endtime released Martyrium.
Over the next several years, the band remained somewhat quiet; they did not release any more albums until 2003, when they re-released their two earliest demos on one CD, titling it The Defeat of Satan. By then, they had replaced several of their members as well. Their original vocalist, Martyr, left the band, as did several others. Fortunately for Antestor, the breakup of another Christian metal band in Norway, Vaakevandring, led to several former Vaakevandring members joining Antestor. Namely, Ronny Hansen, adopting the new moniker Vrede, became Antestor's new vocalist, and Morten Sigmund Mageroy (known in Antestor as Sygmoon) stepped in as the new keyboardist. Ann-Mari Edvardsen joined the band as a female vocalist. The drummer, Svein Sander (in Antestor, Armoth), left the band during this time also, and Antestor would not find a new full-time drummer for several more years.
In 2004, Antestor released their first set of new songs since The Return of the Black Death, in an EP called Det Tapte Liv ("The Lost Life"). Det Tapte Liv concentrated less on the black metal aspects of Antestor's style and more on instrumental songs. However, it did show that the band was preparing for their 2005 full-length, The Forsaken. Hellhammer played all drums on both of these releases, with new drummer Tony Kirkemo joining the band later in 2005 as live session drummer.
Some of the members still play in the Black metal band Vaakevandring, who played a reunion gig 2007 together with Antestor at the Endtime Festival. Rumors that Antestor announced their disbandment at the March 31, 2007 Endtime Festival turned out to be false, they only stated that they're going on a hiatus in order to recruit some new members.
Death/Doom Metal (early) - 'Black' metal (now)
ANTESTOR LYRICAL THEMES
Christianity, Destruction of Evil
Norway (Jessheim), formed in 1991
ANTESTOR CURRENT RECORD LABEL
ANTESTOR CURRENT LINE-UP
Vrede (Ronny Hansen): Vocals (Vaakevandring)
Vemod (Lars Stokstad): Guitars
Fionnghuala - live female vocals (ex-Slechtvalk)
ANTESTOR PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Martyr (Kjetil Molnes)
Ann-Mari Edvardsen: (Session), (ex-The 3rd And The Mortal, Tactile Gemma).
Pilgrim (Erling Jorgensen)
Erkebisp (Stig Rolfsen)
Bjørrn Leren (Session)
Jokull (Daniel) (Live Session) (Frosthardr)
Gard (Vegard Undal)
Armoth (Svein Sander)
Hellhammer (Jan Axel von Blomberg): (Session) (Gorgoroth, Arcturus (Nor), Carnivora, ex-Covenant (Nor), ex-Jørn, Mayhem (Nor), Dimmu Borgir, Mezzerschmitt, ex-Mortem (Nor), ex-Shining (Swe), ex-The Kovenant, Thorns (Nor), Troll, ex-Vidsyn, Winds (Nor), Tritonus, Age of Silence)
Pål Dæhlen - (Vaakevandring, Frosthardr)
Tony Kirkemo (Session) - (Minas Tirith (Nor), ex-Old Man's Child, Chrome Division)
Gustav Elowson (Session) (Crimson Moonlight, Exhale (Swe))
Sygmoon (Morten Sigmund Magerøy) (Vaakevandring)