The Swedish Black Metal machine that is TRIUMPHATOR was formed at the end of 1995, by Shadow Records head-man and bassist/songwriter Marcus Tena. The original line-up featured members of Linkoping’s Blasphemous,who were fired in 1997, after completing only the very limited “Triumph of Satan” promo tape. The tape found its way into the hands of Necropolis Records, who immediately snapped the band up. Due to Marcus' line-up problems, TRIUMPHATOR's first official release did not see the light of day until July 1999, in the form of the “Ultimate Sacrifice” 7” on Sweden's Mark of the Devil Records. This was was recorded with the current Triumphator line-up, which features Marduk skinbeater Fredrik and Funeral myst axe-wielder and throat Arioch. The 7” was again a limited release, which only served to further elevate the band's “cult” status.
The EP was also released as a digipak single by Holycaust Records. All of this was a fitting build up to the hellish intensity that was to follow, but nothing could've really prepared the metal scene for the Triumphator full-length, “Wings of Antichrist”. This is the ultimate in raw, uncompromising Black Metal. No mercy is given on this raging debut, that rips through the relentless material with a ferocity and confidence that is as terrifying as it is awe-inspiring! “Wings...” was forged in Sweden’s infamous den of iniquity, Peter (Hypocrisy) Tagtgren’s Abyss studios, and the massive, powerful sound only enhances the intense, pounding nature of this album. This is probably the be(a)st Pure Black Metal album Necropolis has ever released! You have been warned!
In 1995, Diabolique convened for the first time. At the time their churning brand of doomy death metal focused on writing slow, depressive material, which would lend itself to expressing the band’s growing tendencies towards horror-movie and goth rock oriented arrangements. Though the ensuing musical growth was not necessarily apparent in their earliest material, songs like “Stealing the Fire From Heaven” still stand as powerful testaments of metallic melancholia. Later that year the band’s first line-up solidified, consisting of Kristian Wahlin (vocals/guitar), Johan Osterberg (guitar), Alf Svensson (bass, ex-AT THE GATES) and Daniel Erlandsson (drums, Eucharist), but by the beginning of the following year both Daniel and Alf would depart due to other pressing commitments. After a few months of inactivity, the band resurfaced with a powerful new line-up consisting of Kristian, Johan and new blood Bino Carlsson (bass) and Hans Nilsson (drums).
That July, the band made their first proper recording, a self-titled MCD for France’s Listenable records. Soon after, work was completed on their nine song debut full-length, “Wedding the Grotesque”, this time under contract with Sweden’s Black Sun Records. Though still firmly rooted in the doom/death tradition, the band’s sound had already started to mutate as influences that ranged from a broader spectrum of metal bands such as Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, to Gothic Rock acts like The Sisters of Mercy and The Fields of the Nephilim crept in to the bands dense and frightening sound.
It’s worth mentioning that mainman Kristian’s artwork is nearly legendary in the international underground scene. His incredible paintings have graced albums from King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, At the Gates, Dissection, Witchery, and a host of other noteworthy releases, but we believe that his work on “Butterflies” is his most incredible to date. Mr. Wahlin has truly outdone himself for the artwork and design of this EP. Aesthetically, stylistically and perhaps most importantly, conceptually, this is Mr. Wahlin’s most mature artwork to date. The theme of transformation is symbolized on the cover by presence of both a metamorphosing butterfly and a skin-shedding chameleon. Perhaps even more indicative of the emotions Diabolique portrays is the untouchable, aloof beauty of the female face on the cover - entrancingly beautiful, yet eternally out of reach, the perfect visual companion piece for the passionate music of this incredibly talented and daring outfit.
“Butterflies” is merely the prelude to “The Last Song”, which will see the light of day early next year. The new album will express yet another unfolding side to the multifaceted entity that is Diabolique. While still being true to their original style, the band has taken their music in a more electronic direction. The result is a very well-written, mature and dark album. This is a band that will never cease probing the nether-realms of their own dark consciousness for new ideas and new musical avenues to explore... We’ve got butterflies in our stomachs just thinking about it...