Elegeion are a gothic doom metal band from Melbourne, Australia. The history of Elegeion traces back to 1993 when Elegeion founders Kwan and Wallbridge formed the Black/Death Metal band Greydawn along with Wallbridge's brother Morbius Warseth, Deathsaw Dave and Kwan's brother Chris. Greydawn lasted from 1993-1995, after which musical differences caused Wallbridge and Kwan to branch off to what was to become Elegeion.
Beginnings of Elegeion:
The band was formed by Kwan and Wallbridge in 1995, initially as an experimental side project to Greydawn, briefly under the name Sombre Skies, which was quickly changed to the name Transcendence.
The band crosses elements of doom metal as well as incorporating classical instruments, such ah violin and cello and female vocals. Their main influences are cited as My Dying Bride, Disembowelment, the Third and the Mortal and Henryk Gorecki, however the band have stated in interviews that they created Elegeion because at the time they simply could not find the style of music they were seeking so decided to write their own music blending their influences.
Several songs and riffs originally written in the black/doom style for Greydawn were re-worked for Elegeion and feature in many of their albums up until the present day. Songs such as Elegeion's "Beyond Despair" was originally a death/doom track entitled "Slough of Despond" by Greydawn. Many black metal riffs originally written for Greydawn were slowed to down stroke only open minor power chords for Elegeion, which is the main evidence of Elegeion's Black Metal roots. Kwan still occasionally draws on old demo tapes from the Greydawn era for inspiration.
The band started recording their first demo in 1995, however the first version of the demo was accidentally deleted in between recording sessions. The second attempt "Induction to Eternal Rest..." was recorded 1995-1996 and was released in 1996 still under the band name Transcendence. The demo received several positive reviews in magazines such as Terrorizer Magazine, and subsequently quickly sold out. It also grabbed the attention of such well known record labels as Head Not Found, Avantgarde Records and Candlelight Records, finally resulting in the signing of a record contract with Candlelight in 1996.
In 1997, the demo was re-mixed for Candlelight Records to be released as an EP. Just before the release, staff at Candlelight got wind of another band releasing a debut the same year under the name Transcendence. They notified the band, who immediately changed their name to Elegeion, which was previously considered at the band's inception. The debut release on Candlelight Records was entitled "Odyssey Into Darkness" by Elegeion in 1997.
After the release of Odyssey Into Darkness, James left the band resulting in Anthony searching for new musicians for the debut album.
Through the Eyes of Regret:
In 1999 Kwan commenced recording demo tapes for the album that was to be "Through the Eyes of Regret". These demo tracks are featured on the limited release demo entitles "Out of the Depths of Sorrow".
In 2000, Kwan entered Nesci Studios in Adelaide to commence recording. The album featured Kwan as the sole member of the band with all others listed as session musicians. The album featured vocals by both Natasha, who did vocals for the debut EP, and Dieudonnee, who was to also perform vocals on Elegeion's subsequent releases. The album was released by Modern Invasion Music in 2001, however the rights to release this album have been contested by Kwan, as the initial advance was never paid in full.
The album was a natural progression of the first EP, continuing the sparse melancholic doom, with brief uptempo sections and use of classical stringed instrumentation.
The Last Moment:
In 2004, Kwan again entered Nesci Studios to record "The Last Moment". This time collaborating with original bassist Wallbridge on drums, and Dieudonnee on piano and vocals. This time, the album took on a shorter more concise style, both in terms of song length and album length. Only four of the seven tracks were written by Anthony, the remainder written by either Jame or Dieudonnee. The album was released in 2005 by Dark Symphonies. The track "Scars" by Dieudonnee has had over 387,000 views on YouTube.
The album received acclaim from Australian National Broadcast JJJ's Full Metal Racket, where both the album, and track "Heaven's Torment" were voted in the DJ's Top 5 Aussie Metal releases and tracks of 2005.