ANCIENT RITES - BELGIUM

The Diabolic Serenades - 1994 - After Dark
Blasfemia Eternal - 1996 - Mascot
Fatherland - 1998 - Mascot
Dim Carcosa - 2001 - Hammerheart
...And The Hordes Stood As... - 2003 - Hammerheart
Rubicon - 2005 - Season Of Mist
Laguz – 2015 - Massacre

Ancient Rites image
  
 
Members
S= Danse Macabre, Iron Clad, Lion's Pride>>GUNTHER THEYS>>Danse Macabre, Iron Clad, Lion's Pride

G= Pascal - Bart Vandereycken - Inquisitor>>ERIK SPROOTEN>>Inquisitor - Prestige, Lacrimosa, Danse Macabre>>Jan Yrlund>>Danse Macabre, Angel, Imperia, Satyrian – Ahráyeph>>Raf Jansen>>Ahráyeph – Agathocles, Gracefallen, Lion’s Pride>>Domingo Smets>>Gracefallen, Lion’s Pride, Elusion, Persephone's Blade

B= Danse Macabre, Iron Clad, Lion's Pride>>Gunther Theys>>Danse Macabre, Iron Clad, Lion's Pride

D= Gae Bolga, Powerstone, Slaughter Messiah, Burial Ground, Nocturnal, Sacrilegious Rite>>JOHN BERRY>>Slaughter Messiah, Burial Ground, Nocturnal

K= Domingo Smets




History & Biography
Belgium's best-known black/death metal act Ancient Rites was formed in 1988 by singer and bass player Gunther Theys although some members had a background extending into the early '80s. The band's first output was the Dark Ritual demo tape. With a healthy interest in Ancient cultures, monuments and history, Theys built Ancient Rites into a well-known underground entity flirting with Satan, goat worship, history and mysticism. The rumours of violence at shows and supposed bomb threats against the band in Germany were not exactly lessening the band's notoriety either. Between the two early guitarists Johan left the band for not agreeing with the Satanic direction and guitarist Philip was killed in a car accident. Guitarist Guido had earlier killed himself. Drummer Stefan Bernar was fired and also killed himself.

While the band began releasing music - at first on its own Fallen Angel Records - via singles, splits and many compilations, today's Ancient Rites, for the most part, is releasing proper albums. The second album was promised to be on a "big German label," but instead appeared on a small Dutch one. The band was known to list drummers on albums when in fact the only drumming on the album is of the 'machine' variety. The Dim Carcosa album featured a full-time keyboardist and landed the title Of the Album of The Month in Metal Hammer Israel. Danse Macabre was a goth/Wave project with members of Septic Flesh and Necromantia that became Satyrian in 2004.

A planned European tour was cancelled in the spring of 2002. The band, however, did announce the recording of a live CD/DVD. Furthermore the Generation Armageddon tour featuring Dismember, Ancient Rites, Primordial, Impious, Septic Flesh and Blood Red Throne was also cancelled in late 2002. A live CD/DVD appeared in the summer of 2003. The band also played at Wacken, but not before seeing the departure of Jan Yrlund who was replaced by the band's earlier guitarist Bart Vandereycken. Belgium’s long running band signed to Season Of Mist in the autumn of 2005. The band entered Spacelab Studio and recorded an album called Rubicon. Guitarist Raf Jansen quit Ancient Rites after two years in the band in order to focus on his own band, Ahráyeph. COVID cancelled Belgian and Polish concerts for the band. Drummer Walter Van Cortenberg died of a heart attack in 2021. John Berry replaced him. Sinister, Ancient Rites, Exumer and Undergang were forced to cancel their appearances in the USA in 2023 as their visas were not forthcoming on time. The band was rebooked for the USA for Metal Threat Fest 2024 for October.


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