Chapter I - Decadence Stillborn

The first chapter of EPITAPH OPERA takes us back to the year 2000 when the first idea of founding a black metal band came up. At this time I was listening a lot to old releases of HECATE ENTHRONED and ABYSSOS and actually these bands inspired me to create my own band that should be settled somewhere in the melodic gothic black metal genre.

Before I started to search for other musicians I was practicing singing and recorded some vocals over an instrumental song of ABYSSOS which was called “Wherever the Witches Might Fly”. I spoke to Rehn (front man of ABYSSOS) to whom I was in contact with and showed him my recordings and lyrics to his instrumental song. He was really surprised and directly offered me to become the lead singer in his band. But due to the fact that he was living in Sweden and I had business to do in Germany I could not join ABYSSOS.

So I concentrated more on forming a band by myself and started to write more lyrics first. Soon after finishing the first lyrics I was thinking about a fitting band name and after some days I came to the conclusion that EPITAPH OPERA would be the perfect name for the upcoming band and the music I wanted to create. With this name in my mind I figured out the bands logo and soon after that I was ready to search for the first line up.

The first official member besides me was Lena , who was my girlfriend at this time, and she wanted to play the keys and do the female vocals. Together we got to know Fabian, a guitar player, who was replying to one of our ads. After we met him and talked about our plans and ideas he became the third person who joined the ranks of EPITAPH OPERA.

It took us some time till we could find a drummer because in our region drummers are very rare and mostly not interested in playing black metal. But we found one! His name was Julius and he also offered us the possibility to rehearse in his own rehearsal room. That is how everything started. Also we did not have a bassist and a second guitarist we started composing and practicing the first song, which was “The Birth of Art Psychopathia”.

After only a few month after the band has been founded, Lena left the band because of personal reasons. We started searching for a new keyboard player and a female vocalist and got known to Lorethea. From there on she took over Lena´s part and joined the band. It was already the year 2001 and we still did not have a bassist and a second guitarist until we got contact to Sakib, who was a very skilled guitarist. He immediately joined the band but due to the fact that he was rarely appearing to our rehearsals we had to throw him out after some months because it was not of advantage for us to have a second guitarist that will never come to rehearse the songs with us.

But before we kicked him out, we managed to find a bassist player called Katharina.

For the first time we had a complete line up and we composed the songs “Nachzehrer”, “Morbid Dreams of a Phantasm Concealed” and “The Pleasure Throats of Innocence”.

Soon after the line up was completed we moved out of our old rehearsal room and found a new one nearby. It was a bigger one and the room offered us much more options. But we did not have much time to rehearse in there because the owner threw us out after he found out that we were playing black metal and having antichristian lyrics. So we went back to our old room and got rid of Sakib.

Again the constellation was broken up and at this time no one could know that we will have to face some heavily changes...
Chapter II - Resurrecting The Fallen

We kept on practicing our stuff without a second guitarist and started to do a cover of TYPE O NEGATIVE´s “My Girlfriend´s Girlfriend”. In late summer of the year 2001 I got contact to Aaron and I figured out that he was a guitarist playing mostly classical songs. I asked him to join the band as a lead guitarist and after he listened to one of our rehearsals he agreed.

Shortly after Aarons embrace, we decided to record a demo tape that should include our first four songs as well as an intro and an outro. So it happened that some weekend we met in our rehearsal room and started to record our songs and after two days everything was finished, so I took over the part of mixing and mastering the recordings. I also designed the booklet of the tape and started to think about a fitting name of it. The tape was later called “Within Disgraceful Ruins” and included six tracks. Those were “Prelude to Dementia”, “Morbid Dreams of a Phantasm Concealed”, “The Birth of Art Psychopathia”, “Nachzehrer”, “The Pleasure Throats of Innocence” and “Thy Torpor Forsaken”.

We were quite happy to have finished our first release. The demo tape was limited to only a hundred copies and after a short period it was sold out. That was really surprising to us and we really got motivated to keep the band ongoing.

But all of the motivation left again, when we discovered that Julius was planning his own goals and could not support the band anymore. We were thinking about using a drum computer so that we could still rehearse and compose new songs, but we also got thrown out of the rehearsal room that belonged to Julius.

At this time we had a broken line up and no possibility to practice and it was in spring of 2002 when Katharina also left the band. From there on we had no spark of hope left and we stopped the whole thing for nearly two years. In that time we started some side projects and that is how GRIMDEMON (with Fabian playing the guitars and me as a singer) and SCHATTENDASEIN (Aaron playing guitars and me playing bass, drums and singing the vocals) were found.

In January 2004 we thought about the whole band history and we decided that we should not give up and so we resurrected the band and started to think about the old songs. Soon we also found a new rehearsal room and started to restructure the old songs. For some time we felt great playing the old songs again but we still missed a drummer. That problem was solved when Karsten joined the band in summer 2004. He played drums very well and we could finally rehearse in a constant line up again!

One month after Karsten had joined the band we could persuade Andreas to enter our horde as a bassist player and for the second time in history EPITAPH OPERA should be complete again!
Chapter III - The Second Loss

For a short time everything seemed to be fixed again, but soon we should made the experience of false friendship… again…

So it happened that Andreas never appeared to our rehearsals and we were forced to threw him out of the band. We decided to continue without bass until I remembered Zigor who was the singer of the technical melodic black / death metal band HANDS OF FATE. I contacted him and asked him if he is able to play drums because I had heard that he is quite good in drumming, too. So we met and I played our demo tape to him. He was really interested in joining the band and after we discussed with Karsten that he should play bass we had a new line up again. Karsten seemed to be happy with playing bass (and he was honestly a better bassist than a drummer!) but after some time he quit and left the band without any serious reason.

Two weeks after Karsten had left the band he started to regret his decision and wanted to join us again, but we had too many problems with him why we would not let him back in again. We felt betrayed by his behaviour and thought it would be better continuing without a bassist than having one that is not sure about his relation to EPITAPH OPERA.

Chapter IV - Withstanding The Curse

So we continued without a bassist and started to compose new songs.

After two month Zigor could play our old songs and we had already composed two new ones. We practiced them a lot and in 2005 we decided to record and release a split CD with Zigor´s band HANDS OF FATE.

The split CD should be called “The Equinox Anthems” and it was planned to have five songs of each band plus a special interlude on it. We decided to put on the new version of “The Birth of Art Psychopathia” and “Morbid Dreams of a Phantasm Concealed”. Besides these two songs we included three new ones: “Ashes Soil the Morning Wine”, “Latent Stigma Possession” and "Winterblossom´s Serenade”.

In March 2005 we entered the studio and started recording our first CD. Three weeks later everything was done and the mixing and mastering of our songs was in progress.

That is where the history of EPITAPH OPERA ends for the moment. I hope you got a rough impression of the bands history and will keep track of upcoming chapters!

- Salgoth, 12-04-2005