28 February 2005
'Some Troopers who attended
the recent AR gigs in Holland might already have seen our new Pagan
themed shirt and its very relevant message on its back. You can now
admire it as well as order it from our
page for the same price as the other shirts. Hope you'll be pleased...
19 February 2005
To our loyal Italian
Troopers : we regret to have to inform you we won't be able to play
the announced gig in Padova (19/02/2005), due to the fact that the local
promoter, Necrokult Agency, wasn't able to guarantee we would have the
proper musical equipment for us to provide you with a good show. As
you know, we take pride in playing live, and love to do so. We also
are willing to go beyond some circumstances that would withhold other
bands from playing, but if we can't guarantee you that you'll be able
to see a gig which is 100% Ancient Rites, we won't settle for less,
because you'll feel cheated and that is the last thing we want our fans
to be. One of the conditions Necrokult Agency put us in, was that we
would have to go without sleep for almost 48 hours, just so we could
play this gig, and we would have done that because we don't want to
disappoint our fans! We all have been looking forward to this gig, as
we always love to play in Italy, a country in which we always feel welcome.
We've been negotiating with the local promotors up until tonight 10
pm, Friday February 18th, to get guarantees about the proper equipment,
so we would have been able to come. Unfortunately, they could not give
us that guarantee, and so we regrettably have to stay home and feel
disappointed that the event both you and us have been looking forward
to will not take place. Once again : we really, really regret having
to make this decision and promise you all that we will more than make
up for it when we will be able to play in Italy again and we hope that
day may come soon!
Walter, Bart, Erik, Davy, Domingo, Raf
To all Pagan Troopers
: a merry Yule and Hogmanay to you all! To all others : Happy Holidays!
After a quiet couple of months, there is a lot of news coming from the
Ancient Rites camp. Some may very well baffle some of you. Here we go…
First off : you might have noticed that this website looked a little
bare in photographs the past week, and certain pages have been put offline.
The simple explanation for this is that the website is undergoing a
major upgrade. As this news is going out, things are already under way
to promise you a new and improved website. Of course, your forum will
not suffer from these upgrades, so don’t worry : you can still exchange
ideas about music, literature, favorite foods and of course Ancient
Rites themselves as you are used to. And we have the slight impression
the words following in this news update will spark a few comments, to
say the least…
Because this second news item may astound you : in a surprise move,
Ancient Rites have decided to welcome back some veterans into the fold.
Both former keyboard player Domingo Smets (Gracefallen) and Raf
Jansen (AhrŠyeph (formerly known as Crucifire), ex- 6 Pack Jesus;
formerly known as RafaŽl) will be taking up space on stage with Gunther,
Davy, Walter, Erik and Bart. Raf will reclaim his position as third
guitar player. His return might not come as a surprise to Troopers who
witnessed him taking over bass duties at the encore stage of the A.R.
gigs at Vlamrock and Blikfest, but the shocker is that Domingo will
take over bass duties from Gunther!
Gunther explains :
"For quite some time I felt like handing over the bass guitar in
Ancient Rites. During encores I often instinctively put the instrument
aside and†felt an adrenaline rush when doing so. A closer interaction
with the crowd was achieved this way as well. At one gig during the
encores, I suddenly pushed the bass guitar into one of our roadies’
(our former guitarist Raf) hands. On the spot he did a good job. The
last gig he was prepared for this and had rehearsed the tracks. But
as Raf was recruited again as a guitarist everyone was convinced it
was just a phase. After all for Raf, being a splendid guitarist, it
would have been†a pity to recruit him†for a different instrument. Recently
I surprised the band members with my decision†and†even presented†a replacement
to take over the bass duties. None else than our former keyboard player
Domingo!†I remembered him as a guitarist, string instruments always
were his first love.† Due to circumstances†both members were no longer
part of the band but still we all shared the best memories on a personal
level. Both always wanted the best for the band, know how to handle
their instruments† and instead of recruiting complete strangers we felt
they were the best choice. So today, A.R. is a strange combination of
old and new line ups, gathered as one family, everyone putting his own
style and character into the band.†Seven members, three guitarists.
Quite unorthodox but A.R.†never was about the obvious.† We are convinced
this renewed collaboration with†A.R.veterans†will be a step forward.
On both musical and personal level. It is not a farewell to my instrument,
but in A.R it is. I enjoyed every minute but the time†felt right to
concentrate on vocal duties. Soon our audience will witness a complete
new stage setting, prepare for the Madhouse (front and backstage)...".
This newly expanded line- up will be debuting at the ‘Wackeningen’ Festival
in Wageningen, Holland, on February 5th of next year, so be there if
you can, to witness the birth of yet a new phase in Ancient Rites History!
Last item : recording news…
We know most of you are eager to find out about the next Ancient Rites
album. We can assure you the band has not been sitting still, and some
songs have already been written. Of course, with the new band members,
there will be a lot more possibilities and influences, so the future
lies wide open.
Right now, however, the focus of the band is on integrating Domingo
and Raf in time for the upcoming gigs. The band will kick in full songwriting
gear after February. This will only be interrupted by a stint of three
gigs in Spain – Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona - and possibly some more
in Portugal, all taking place in April 2005. They will enter the recording
studio as soon as they have finished writing and rehearsing these new
We can’t, at this time, predict when exactly that will be, nor when
the new album will be ready, although it’s safe to say they are aiming
for the second half of 2005…
18 September 2004
gallery is open for visits.
To stand up and be counted, click the thumbnail to the left or the above
link and see some of the goings on of last August 28th.
Troopers gallery has received an extra
input going back to the
Kleudde festival, the
gallery of which now has ten extra photos added throughout.
Links section has once again been updated
and expanded with a few link exchanges.
23 August 2004
We've gathered pictures
Kleudde gallery which is now online.
Click the thumbnail to the right or the above link to gain access to
a good few shots trying to bring across the atmosphere of that night.
Links section has been updated and expanded
with a few link exchanges and we're featuring a new wallpaper on the
FAQ list is now more clear and can be more
easily navigated through a clickable list of the questions.
14 August 2004
Patches are a new addition
29 July 2004
The band has been confirmed
for an extra gig on home soil at the end of November.
As usual, details can be found in the
20 July 2004
of Darkness gallery has been expanded with a few more pictures.
Also find an extra picture in the
22 June 2004
The first photos of the Day of Darkness Festival the band played at
ten days ago have reached our shores so we immediately opened a new
here or on the image to the
left to see the first shaved live photos of Gunther with Ancient
We can also announce official Ancient Rites patches are on the
way. So you will soon be able to decorate your garments with these instead
of having to purchase cheaply done unofficial versions or having to
make patches of your own. Although when it comes to the latter, we can
say we've seen some good work along the way.
17 June 2004
The band has returned
from an apparently quite successful appearance at the Day of Darkness
Festival in Ireland. Nor the website Horde nor our cameras could make
it out there so like everyone who wasn't able to attend, we're eagerly
awaiting photographic material from our fellow Troopers.
In the mean time, in the forum Gunther has commented the gig and how
it felt to play with Ancient Rites for the first time bearing
his new looks: "I did my first gig with Rites without hair and somehow
I think it must have been the most aggressive show in years. Feels a
lot more intense, like war. Pure agro."
In another thread, Walter gave voice to reactions from Eire that seem
to agree: "We had a great time in Ireland!!! Thanks to everyone showing
up and making it such a blast... The only comment I got from our friends
over there is that it was one of the most brutal/extreme shows they
had ever seen... Salute to everyone involved!!!"
Even though we can't offer any concrete visual material from this show
for now, we did expand the
with some pictures of Erik. One of them dates back to his days of military
service while there's also a small batch of live shots of him during
a live guest appearance in Harderwijk (The Netherlands) with Joe Stump.
The latter is less known than such six string heroes as Joe Satriani,
Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai, but to put it in the words of Erik himself:
"He's at least as good."
26 May 2004
The site seems to have
taken a good start, which we are more than delighted with. It also didn't
take Troopers a long time to dig out a picture showing Gunther's new
look. The frontman himself puts it as being "shaved for battle", and
you can read his statement as well as Troopers' reactions in the
which we might add has proven to be quite an active, new section of
the site. For those interested; the "Shaved for battle" thread can be
found in the "General" subforum.
We're glad to be able to announce another extra to the site in the form
of a FAQ. So for a list of frequently asked questions regarding the
band, one more controversial than the other, direct your browsers
Another valuable addition to the
Much to the band's regret, it seems like the festival the band was going
to play in Turkey fell through as in that the organisers have gone dead
silent. Therefore, with only three days to go before the supposed gig,
it seems clear the band will not be playing the Bosphorus, after all.
15 May 2004
In a way, it was bound
to happen one day, and today is that day. The former Official Ancient
Rites WebCave, around since 1996, and Ancient Hordes - Division
Flanders, celebrating its second anniversary, have come together
under one flag as the Ancient Rites Official Website.
From here on up, we will try to bring you the best of two worlds, the
torch of maintenance henceforth being borne by the AH-DF Webmaster.
It has taken us some time and preparation to make both sites fit together
nicely. Now that we have a synergy, we hope you will like the end result
which we feel stands for an improved look compared to AH-DF as well
as a serious structural improvement from the WebCave days.
A clear illustration of how this step ahead has been taken on an entirely
friendly basis by all sides can be found in the statement the old WebCave
Webmaster wrote and which we're covering in full
We hope you will enjoy browsing through the site and finding familiar
items as well as new ones. Along with the incorporation of all material
that could be found on AH-DF, such as a full and detailed discography
and videography, lots of live and off stage photos, video images, links
and articles hosted by ourselves, we have created some new items that
we considered in the past but simply belong on an official page, if
anywhere at all. Apart from sustaining the
we now also have a
Forum on which you can discuss
various topics regarding the band. Not unlike the reborn Guestbook,
where control will be turned up a good notch, this Forum will of course
be monitored. Feel free to drop by this new feature of the Official
Website and see how it works for you. The moderators' keeping a close
eye on events should make conversing and discussing in the Forum an
interesting experience for all of us.
We have a good bit of new material lined up for the site. Now that everything
is online and we look back on the hard work to come to this result,
we can start focussing on bringing you more things that are Ancient
Rites. Be sure this will not be a dormant homepage.
We're also continuing the mailing list that AH-DF was running. If you'd
like to join at this point, simply
us. Needless to say reactions to the heavy construction works on
the site are welcome through the Guestbook, Forum or
12 May 2004
We didn't lie when we
said additional live dates are reaching us. On the 12th of June, Irish
Troopers will be able to witness another Ancient Rites battle
at the Day of Darkness Metalfest alongside Dismember, Abaddon
Incarnate, Mael Mordha and eight more bands. Again, details
have been added to the Upcoming Gigs box.
11 May 2004
One by one, new gig dates
reach us. This time, the band has received confirmation on short notice
that they will be playing at the Bosphorus islands in Istanbul (Turkey)
some two weeks from now, on the 29th of May. The Dark Sea Metal Party
will include a tour by ship around the Bosphorus after which the entire
event will dock at the islands and metal will fill the air until the
early morning hour.
Details have been added to the
Upcoming Gigs box.
06 April 2004
A new festival date is
set on the 28th of August, when Ancient Rites will appear at
Vlamrock in As (Belgium). Again, we've added the date as well as a link
to the organisation's homepage to the
Links section has been updated and link
exchanges were added to Viking Blood and Italian pagan metal band Opera
21 March 2004
is confirmed to appear at this year's Kleudde Backyard Metalfest in
Zemst (Belgium) on the 14th of August. We've added the date as well
as a link to the organisation's homepage to the
07 March 2004
We've added a few images
on different locations. Chronologically: the ticket to the
Tuig Festival (1992), the flyer for the Generation Armageddon Tour
which we added to the page with the
and the gig poster for the band's appearance in
Following our last update, we'd also like to point out the birth of
the Danse Macabre Justice Forum. For details and the possibility
to freely speak your mind, go to
27 February 2004
More often than not,
Ancient Rites Troopers also keep a close eye on the activities of the
bandmembers' other musical projects and endeavours. While news concerning
these "other bands" is not necessarily closely related to Ancient
Rites, we would like to take the opportunity to shed a light on
some of the recent happenings concerning Gunther's gothic rock band
Danse Macabre, which Davy also participated in and which Jan
was a member of until the co-operation ended due to the circumstances
that also lead to his no longer being part of Ancient Rites.
There has been a lot of speculation as to the how and what of an upcoming
Danse Macabre release and a lot has been going on behind the
scenes without either Gunther or Jan speaking out. More information
has recently surfaced and as a consequence we've noticed a lot of reactions
in the Ancient Rites guestbook in the WebCave, which seems to
be the only place people can openly discuss the matter for the time
being. Following these reactions, Gunther himself has posted a statement
explaining the goings on. After consulting, we've decided to give a
more permanent platform to that statement by repeating it here in full.
For those interested.
When I contacted our label to inform that we have a new Danse
Macabre album almost ready I received an answer saying that Mr.
Jan Yrlund was doing the same. Further investigation revealed that mr.
Yrlund had taken legal steps to put Danse Macabre on his name
as a trademark, without my knowing. Obviously in a legal attempt to
prevent me from working with my own bandname in the future.
The world knows I started Danse Macabre in Athens with Sotiris
of Septic Flesh and Magus of Necromantia/Rotting Christ.
Several years before I invited mr. Yrlund to join the band.
Questions concerning rumours about a new Danse Macabre album
being recorded in the Spacelab studio's have been asked here on the
website. Today I found a direct mail from the producer/Spacelab saying
they indeed would be working on a new D.M. record with Mr. Yrlund.
But stressed they wished to maintain a neutral position in the matter.
According to our label the plan is to erase my work from the latest
Danse Macabre album which was entitled "Memories are Made of
This" and ready for release. From an artistic point of view it is a
pity as I regarded it as the best work D.M. had delivered so
far. But things are beyond my control.
Nevertheless, I can't help but finding the situation larger than life
and injust. I can accept that former colleagues move their own ways
but re-writing history is not a noble deed. I never intended to minimize
mr. Yrlunds input in the band. However, I would have appreciated if
the courtesy had been shown to at least work under another name in the
future. And leave the band name to it's ethical owner. To the person
who founded the band.
So today I find myself in the strange situation that officially I would
be the one violating the law if I would record/perform as Danse Macabre.
Probably the fact I spoke out will be held against me. Eventually mr.
Yrlund will reveal his side to the story to justify this situation.
But check out any biography, study the history of D.M. and decide
for yourself. Truth reveals itself. My thanks to everyone who wrote
supporting mails to my address. If this music industry would be guided
by people with a heart for music instead of the Dollar sign it would
be a far better scene.
I do not ask for what is not mine in this matter. But this music industry
and the legal authorities seem to hold a different view on matters like
It are turbulent times and the future is uncertain.
When a fan goes to a DM show one will get to see a different
band with another frontman as happened in Finland last summer where
gigs under the name of DM took place without my participation.
17 February 2004
All is quiet on the Rites front, hence so is the fansite. Or so it seems,
for we understand the band has been busy behind the scenes and so have
We've gathered a few photos from the Summer festival in Nummijšrvi (Finland)
where Bart made his first re-appearance with the band. See the six atmospheric
shots we're presenting in the
We've also added an extra photo to the
Gallery. Upon reaching us, it struck us as having a great underground
feel to it, but you be the judge by clicking