Bal-Sagoth are an extreme metal band from Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, combining elements of black metal, symphonic, and classical music. Vocalist/lyricist Byron Roberts, who came up with the idea for the band around 1989, took the name 'Bal-Sagoth' from a Robert E. Howard short story "The Gods of Bal-Sagoth". Their first demo was released in 1993; they have since released three albums on Cacophonous and three on Nuclear Blast.
The band incorporates black metal influences and symphonic elements into an overall grandiose canvas, with the elaborate lyrics of Byron Roberts painting a picture of battles in an antediluvian age where Atlantis had not yet been destroyed and the continents were still joined in a Pangaean mass. A predominant feature is the use of epic keyboards played by Jonny Maudling who composes and arranges the music. The guitar, drums and keyboards work together as an integral entity rather like a symphonic work. The vocals of Byron Roberts are a mixture of spoken word and black metal screams making the songs more like stories set to music than anything else. The stories are told like a play, with many characters (or groups of characters, speaking in unison) exchanging dialogue. Byron uses different vocalizations and effects to set them apart. The songs frequently have very long titles. Byron intends to release some short stories and novellas based on his lyrics and also some graphic novels created in collaboration with the artist Martin Hanford.
They currently have six albums out. The music for the latest one, "The Chthonic Chronicles" was recorded and produced at Jonny Maudling's studio "Waylands Forge", while the vocals were recorded at Academy Music Studio, the same studio where the band's previous five albums were recorded.
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