Ragnarok (UK)

Ragnarok (UK)
Stenfält (Guitar, Back Vocals), Sean Barry (Harp session member), Richie F. Ewok (Folk Instruments, Percussions session member), Giovanna Fella (Vocals session member), Phil Tyler (Violin session member), David Youll (Keyboard session member), Deörth (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard The Meads of Asphodel, Blitzkrieg), Senrith (Keyboard [1996]), Moon (Guitar [1992-1995]), Ashrath (Guitar, Violin [1996]), Cernunnos (Drums [1988-1992]), Martin "Morgoth" Richardson (Guitar [1988-1992], Blitzkrieg)

RAGNAROK was born in the early months of 1988 out of the ashes of a much earlier death/black metal band, “NASTY”.

At this time the line up consisted of Deörþ on bass guitar and vocals, and Morgoth on lead guitar. Sometime later they were joined by Cernunnos on drums and over the next few years the band focused on building their reputation as a live act around the North East of England.

The band also released two demo tapes during this time – the first, released in April 1991, was simply titled “Ragnarök”, and contained four songs; probably the best known of all RAGNAROK songs, “Legion of Death” (which was actually written by Deörþ under the NASTY moniker back in 1987); “Thunderhammer”, the folk inspired “Rememberance of Innocence”; and ending with “Vampyra (Spectral Maiden)”. Very few of these tapes were ever produced or sold outside of the local Metal scene, and likewise with the second offering from the band, the demo tape “Völuspá”.

This held three tracks plus an intro and outro. Opening with “Sunset over Middle-Earth” (intro); “Across the Sea to Niflheim”; the band’s one and only ever venture into Egyptology – “Pertemhru”; the epic “Ride of the Valkyries” and the outro “Of Gods and Norns”. Mainly due to musical differences, both Morgoth and Cernunnos quit the band early in 1992 - Morgoth (aka Martin Richardson) appeared with NWoBHM band BLITZKRIEG on their “Mists of Avalon” CD in 1998. For a little while, Deörþ continued with the band as a solo project; writing new material and concentrating particularly on developing the more ‘Folky’ aspects of the RAGNAROK sound until, in the Autumn of 1992, female guitarist Moon joined the band, though it was to be another two years before they decided to enlist the services of a session second guitarist, Graham Bowman, from Death Metallers, CROMLECH, and a drum machine to record their third demo, “Beloved of the Raven God”, which was put out in the Summer of 1995.

Having a running time of 46 minutes, this cassette album contained nine tracks; the intro “Til Valhallr”, “Ni Fuil an Sabras Athragad Death”, “Samhain”, “I Hear the Mountain”, a re-recorded “Legion of Death”, “Hlidskjalf”, “Sons of Odin”, “The Ash Tree” and the title track “Beloved of the Raven God”. Shortly after this album was released, RAGNAROK was joined by Stenfält on lead guitar, and Senrith on keyboards, and Moon left to be replaced by Ashrath on second guitar just before the band signed to the legendary NEAT METAL RECORDS and started work on their first CD album, “To Mend the Oaken Heart”. Now using the name RAGNAROK(UK) to distinguish from the Norwegian band using the same name, this album was released on NEAT METAL RECORDS in 1997 (and also under licence by PONY CANYON for the Far East), and received worldwide acclaim, as did the follow-up CD, “Domgeorn”, released in 1999 on the NEAT METAL sub-label, ELDETHORN (also by ROCK BRIGADE RECORDS for South America) – although by now the band was again reduced to just two members, Deörþ and Stenfält, and relied heavily upon session musicians for the album – Phil Tyler (fiddle), Giovanna Fella (female vocals), Sean Barry (Celtic Harp), Richie F Ewok (bodhran, side drum, flutes & whistles) and David Youll (additional keyboards). The band were half way through recording their third CD album, “Þridda” in 2000 when the NEAT label was folded and sold off to SANCTUARY RECORDS and, unfortunately, all parts to the album were lost in the ensuing chaos, never to resurface... Deörþ has recently been in negotiation with the AURORA AUSTRALIS label in Australia for re-release of the “To Mend the Oaken Heart” and “Domgeorn” CDs, and are planning to precede this with a new full-length CD of material previously unavailable in this format, “Of Ages”, which is scheduled for worldwide release early in 2011. .