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  • Years Active

    1993 – present (26 years)

  • Members

    • Draugen

There have been three bands named Svartsyn. Prominently we find the Swedish black metal band here on
Svartsyn (swedish word for pessimism), are a cult name in the underground of Black Metal. Hailing from Nynäshamn, Sweden, the band began in 1991 calling themselves Chalice, with Ornias on guitar and Tormentor handling drums and vocals. Tormentor left just before the band cut a split with Illska and changed their name to Svartsyn.

Joined by Surth in 1994, Svartsyn once again had a complete lineup and began to work on their first serious tracks. Confident in the new lineup and name by February of 1995, they hit the studio. By the end of March the sessions had yielded nine new songs showcasing their evolution. Five were released as the demo “A Night Created By The Shadows”, with the other 4 tracks remaining unreleased to this day. In 1996, Draugen (of Dark Funeral fame) joined the ranks of Svartsyn and rounded out the roster, enhancing their sound further in the process.

Upon signing a deal with Folter Records the band hit the studio again with their new lineup and brought forth “The True Legend”. Cited by some fans as a sub-par album, its release was followed by a short tour in 1997 with Behemoth and Desaster - a tour which saw Svartsyn playing shows abroad in Holland and Germany. After finishing the circuit Surth left and was replaced by Kolgrim, which gave them the unique opportunity to re-record the “Tormentor” 7" and refine their earlier efforts. “…His Majesty”, was recorded the following year but put on hold before being released as a limited-edition LP in 2000. Thereafter Kolgrim was replaced by Mörk, but this arrangement was to be short-lived and unfortunately gave the band a reputation of being unstable.

In 2003 "Destruction Of Man" was released, and on its heels the legendary "Chaos Svarta Mar / Skinning The Lambs" split with Arckanum was dropped like a bomb on an unsuspecting black metal community. Bonus-editions of earlier recordings such as the entire "Tormentor" EP were included on new CD editions of "Bloodline", making some landmark recordings available in digital format for the very first time, along with quite a few limited edition, digitally-remastered re-releases.

In 2007 news was received of their fifth album, "Timeless Reign". The band have remained characteristically elusive ever since, and fans await the next album with mild trepidation. With a sound described variously by fans and journalists as everything from "majestic", "melancholic", and "haunting" to "cryptic", "blood-curdling" and "bleak", Svartsyn have remained true to their original goals and continue to pound out their own brand of melodic, lo-fi black metal as if it were still 1993.

After relocating to Belgium, Svartsyn released their sixth album titled Wrath Upon The Earth on Agonia Records in 2011. This album was a slight departure from their pure black metal albums and has elements of death metal. Draugen amicably parted ways with Svartsyn prior to this release and the session drummer was Baruch.

Ornias re-recorded the debut album The True Legend in 2011 and released it in March 2012 with new artwork by longtime collaborating artist Chadwick St. John on Agonia Records. Although 'Goatthrone' was omitted from the tracklist, this was the first time The True Legend was released on vinyl. A 7" 45RPM EP titled 'Genesis Of Death's Illuminating Mysteries' was released by Inferna Profundus records in 2012 - it contains a demo version of Raising Beast which was featured on the following LP, Black Testament, in it's final form and a track from the re-recorded The True Legend album, A Cursed Blaze From The Castle.

Their seventh album Black Testament recorded with a new session drummer, Hammerman, was released in May 2013 by Agonia Records. This album was described by Ornias as "a mix between Destruction Of Man and Timeless Reign." Ornias is currently looking for live members to play shows. A mini-album of new tracks will be released in 2014. There are also plans to release a compilation of older tracks as a 20 year anniversary marker.

Other bands named Svartsyn include a hardcore punk band from Trondheim, Norway whoich existed from 2007 to 2012. The only releases I can find are Tolv steg til elendighet, released 2007, self-titled live EP released on Crispin Glover records, 2007, and Hat og forakt EP, 2010 (self-released). Members were:
Ketil Lindberg - Vocals
Erik Sæther - Bass + Vocals
Jan Rune Kaasbøll - Drums
André Ulriksen - Guitar
Lars-Sverre Finstad - Guitar

and a Norwegian doom/black band who released one cult EP 'Aandens Melankoli' on Osiris Productions in May 1996.

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