Hailing from Poland, transgressive dark rock / metal band Asgaard are glad to announce the signing with Wormholedeath for their new album What if… due for release in 2022.
Metamorphosis, constant evolution and stylistic unpredictability – amalgamation of these three phrases has become signature quality of Asgaard’s body of work. The band exists and has been present in the scene for 25 years. Due to bold and widely controversial records the band is often considered as one of the most visionary in Poland’s entire gothic / rock / metal genre.
What if… is the brand new, seventh album in the band’s career and a follow-up to a critically acclaimed Stairs To Nowhere. This time around, Asgaard reinvents its formula and the album is the first ever of their releases to feature more rock-oriented sound, rather that straight-up metal one. What if… is the very first record in band’s discography with songs composed in more traditional way, full of beautiful melodies and grand, epic choruses.
Band enters another novel territory – two out of eight songs on the album are sung in Polish, which language native to the members of the group. Additionally, Asgaard included stylistic features of the broad genre of electronic music in the intricately structured new songs. New album still retains characteristic sense of romance and nostalgia, present in the band’s outputs since the beginning. Such emotional load brings to mind bands like Katatonia, Amorphis, Moonspell, Opeth, Anathema. What if… is a triumphant return of Poland’s rock/metal avant-garde.
2. Creeping Miss Lunacy
3. Sny Na Jawie
4. Horizon upside down
5. What if…
6. Blind man’s buff
7. W sercu nieswiata
8. Not ever again!
9. Sny na jawie (radio cut)
10. W sercu nieświata (radio cut)
Formed in 1994 the group sets out with their five-piece demo “Excellent Darkness Art”, released in 1995. Kept in doom / dark metal convention the material got good reviews, both in the underground and mainstream music press.
In 1997 Asgaard recorded a new demo that enabled them to ink a record deal with Mystic Production for the next year release of their debut full-length When The Twilight Set In Again” Almost entirely set in sentimental doom-gothic-folk atmosphere the album was presented in music press, radio and on Polish major music TV stations. In support of the record the band played a large number of gigs, including short tour across Poland along with Behemoth and Limbonic Art.
In 1999, having recruited the new singer Przemyslaw Quazarre Olbryt whose voice significantly contributes to revolutionizing Asgaard’s work, the band enters the studio for the recordings of their sophomore album “Ad sidera, Ad infinitum”. The record was released in 2000, again by Mystic Production. Modern arrangements backed up with plenty of extremely intriguing musical patterns, contrasts, unconventional tempo changes, the new singer’s remarkable vocal range and a theatrical atmosphere on top of all that, made Ad sidera, Ad infinitum one of the most interesting releases on the Polish music scene back in 2000. The record was promoted on shows with Elysium, Cold Passion, Ruination and Driller Killer to name but a few.
In 2001 Asgaard signed a new record deal with Metal Mind Productions. This cooperation resulted in producing the Ex Oriente Lux album, widely praised and later defined a masterful compilation of rhythms and styles, with the unique, outstanding voice of Quazarre. The album landed on the 55th position of the top 100 bestsellers in Poland. Given a very warm welcome on the international metal scene the band sets off for a tour along with fellow Polish group Artrosis.
With their next album XIII Voltum Lunae, released in 2002, Asgaard proved they were not only able to combine symphonic sound with traditional metal stylistics but also to shape up a very special sort of frightening, haunting atmosphere and thus creating music virtually out of this world. The material gave Asgaard worldwide recognition and the band from then on was featured on many music magazines abroad.
In October 2002, while supporting Enslaved, Rotting Christ and Dark Tranquility, Asgaard recorded theirLux In Tenebris” DVD, released in 2003 by Metal Mind Productions. The same year sees the label re-releasing Asgaard’s “Ad sidera, Ad infinitum” album.
Meanwhile the group hits the road again, performing with Katatonia among others.
2004 saw the band record their 5th full-length EyeMDX-tasy. Released again on Metal Mind Productions, the album was a brave step into the art of darkness and pushed the boundaries of metal music even further than its predecessors. In addition to symphonic and theatrical elements that for a long time have been the band’s trademark, the new offer contained plenty of unconventional arrangements, deeply disturbing passages and a great diversity of musical structures. It is also the heaviest album in the Asgaard’s entire career.
The band was invited to perform at then Poland’s most famous Metalmania Festival, along with Soulfly, Moonspell, Tiamat, Enslaved, Krisiun, Morbid Angel and many more.
Few months later Asgaard, joined by Hermh and Luna Ad Noctum, hits the road for the headlining Black Diamonds Tour. In 2012, the song “Mystery ov Tzar’s Visionaire Act II” from the album was used in the movie “Big Love” directed by Barbara Białowąs.
After the tour the band decided to take on what would later turn into over a six years break off from their further activities. Few years later Asgaard made their mind up to get the machine rolling again and thus started works on the pre-production of the EyeMDX-tasy successor.
In 2012 Asgaard finally released their 6th studio album titled “Stairs to nowhere”. Having incorporated elements of prog-rock, trip hop or even jazz music into the new material, the band once again escaped the attempts to clearly classify their work. The album, although quite difficult to digest due to its eclectic nature, again meets with an enthusiastic reception from both the media and the fans. “Stairs to nowhere” gets massive media coverage in Poland enabling the band to play a bunch of shows, including their 2013 main-stage appearance at Castle Party Festival.
A few years later Asgaard begins work on the next album titled “What if…”. The recording sessions are divided into a couple of phases taking place at different points in time. Ultimately, all recorded tracks are handed to Przemysław Nowak, mastermind behind Impressive-Art Studio, who not only re-amped electric guitars and recorded bass tracks, but also mastered and mixed the whole album. All of the vocal tracks have been recorded at Impressive-Art as well.
This time around, Asgaard reinvents its formula again and the album is the first ever of t heir releases to feature more rock-oriented sound, rather that straight-up metal one. “What if…” is the very first record in band’s discography with songs composed in more traditional way, full of beautiful melodies and grand, epic choruses. Band enters another novel territory – two out of eight songs on the album are sung in Polish, which language native to the members of the group. Additionally, Asgaard included stylistic features of the broad genre of electronic music in the intricately structured new songs. New album still retains characteristic sense of romance and nostalgia, present in the band’s outputs since the beginning. Such emotional load brings to mind bands like Katatonia, Amorphis, Moonspell, Opeth, Anathema.
The author of the album’s cover artwork as well as its design, layout, drawings and calligraphy is Bartłomiej Trzos, a renowned and award-winning graphic designer.
The band once again explores existential questions and dilemmas in the album’s lyrical content.
“What if…” is a triumphant return of Poland’s rock / metal avant-garde.
Excellent Darkness Art (demo, 1995)
When The Twilight Set In Again (Mystic Production, 1998)
Ad Sidera Ad Infinitum (Mystic Production, 2000)
Ex Oriente Lux (Metal Mind Productions, 2001)
XIII Voltum Lunae (Metal Mind Productions, 2002)
Ad Sidera, Ad Infinitum (re-edition, Metal Mind Productions, 2003)
Lux in Tenebris – Live in Krakow DVD (Metal Mind Productions, 2003)
EyeMDX-tasy (Metal Mind Productions, 2004)
Stairs to nowhere (Icaros Records, 2012)
Przemysław Quazarre Olbryt – Vocals
Bartłomiej Hetzer Kostrzewa – Rhythm, lead and acoustic guitars
Wojciech Flumen Kostrzewa – Synth, samples, fx; additional drum programming