"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Extol

Formed: 1993
From: Beckestua, Norway
Last Known Status: Active

Background

Extol came to life in the fall of 1993. David Husvik (drums) and Christer Espevoll (guitar) had been jamming for a few months and wanted to start a band. So Peter Espevoll joined on vocals. At that time David and Christer were 16 and Peter was 14.

May 1994, Extol played their first gig, with Eystein Holm on bass. After a while we wanted to try out with a second guitarist and so they added Emil Nikolaisen in 1995.

In January 1996, Extol recorded three songs for a Norwegian metal compilation called "Nothern Lights" that was released by Australian Rowe Productions.

Ole Børud from Schaliach had been stepping in on bass on a few shows while Eystein did his duties in the army. Not long after the recording of their demo "Embraced," Emil decided to leave the band to give all his attention to his other band Royal. Ole replaced Emil and became a permanent member of Extol.

In the late summer of 1997, Extol recorded their first full length album "Burial," which earned them a signing with Endtime in 1998. Extol played their first shows in the US (Texas Rockfest and Cornerstone festival), and "Burial" was licensed to Solid State for the US and to Avalon for Japan.

Eystein left the band in 1999 and Tor Magne Glidje came in as our new bassist. In December of 1999 we recorded "Undeceived." It turned out to be heavier and much darker than "Burial." It was very hard, yet melodic. A few months later Ole decided to leave the band. Tor Magne took Oles place and Jon Robert Mjåland joined in on bass.

After the release of "Undeceived," the band signed with Century Media and released "Synergy" through them in 2003.

Latest Extol News

Below is our complete Extol news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Extol Documentary To Air On Norwegian TV

Indie Recordings has issued the following announcement about an Extol documentary airing on Norwegian TV:

"The well-established Christian death metal band Extol can look back on a great career including a Norwegian Grammy nomination, several U.S. tours, top CD-sales and national recognition in press and music scene.

"In April they released the documentary 'Extol: Of Light And Shade,' the story of a band split in paradox between two worlds, Christianity and death metal. The film has been shown at various film festivals the past summer, and it will now be broadcasted on Norwegian TV channel NRK2, December 27th!

"Being strong believers in a music scene dominated by atheists and anti-religious practitioners creates some challenges. Extol, with its Christian content and death metal expression, has hence experienced its share of difficult situations and obstruction.

"Christians react with disgust on the aesthetics and effects the band uses, while the secular fraction of the music scene shows great dissatisfaction regarding the lyrical themes. On one side, local churches organized bonfire sessions of Extol products and held prayer meetings against the band, whilst on the other side they’ve experienced bomb threats from self-appointed Satanists before a gig, getting spat at and scorned.

"After 6 releases with success, 2007 was the start of a five year long break for Extol due to the vocalists strong tinnitus and anxiety. The documentary gives an insight on tinnitus and anxiety where the singer speaks openly about some of the challenges he experienced in 2007 and the years that followed. Questions about faith and freedom of speech set in a musical perspective are also important topics. The film does also illustrate the band's position in the Norwegian music scene and their international position. Eyvind Skeie, Hank von Helvete, now deceased Pater Arnfinn Haram and the charismatic American rock pastor Bob Beeman are some of the characters we meet in 'Extol: Of Light And Shade.'"

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Indie Recordings Releasing Holiday Sampler

Just in time for the holidays, Scandinavian hard rock/heavy metal powerhouse Indie Recordings looks back on a delightfully debaucherous 2014 with the Christmas Carnage sampler.

The collection includes sonic devastation from the likes of Viking metal behemoths Einherjer, Pagan extreme metallers Kampfar, avant Norse folk duo Solefald, and more. The compilation is due out tomorrow and will be available at iTunes here. The full track listing is as follows:

1. Einherjer - Nidstong
2. Kampfar - Mylder
3. Wardruna - Løyndomsriss
4. Tnt - 10,000 Lovers (in One) Live
5. Oslo Ess - Midnatt
6. Vredehammer - Cthulhu
7. Solefald - Songen: Vargen
8. Iskald - A Fading Horizon
9. Patria - Blood Storm Prophecy
10. Blodhemn - Evig Heder
11. Extol - Sting Of Death
12. Oslo Faenskap - No Skin, No Armor
14. Woland - Conquer All
15. Jack Dalton - 8 Times X Equals This
16. Riwen - Karlsgrundet
17. Posthum - The Black Northern Ritual
18. The Osiris Club - Mystery Sells
19. Deathbed Reunion - Bad Phase More...

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Extol Issues Documentary, Live Show Update

Extol has released a digital deluxe edition of the band's self-titled 2013 album. The new edition contains the exclusive new track "Sting of Death," as well as a new digital booklet containing never-before-seen artwork.

In addition to the release of the deluxe edition, there has also been an update from Animidas Productions on the release of the Extol documentary film:

"We've had our hands extremely full with post production and we´re now very close to a finished film! Thanks to many of you, this project has become a journey we dared not hope for 3 years ago. We have just signed the first (of hopefully many) broadcasting deals for television and we have started submitting the film to film festivals all over the globe.

"A DVD release is scheduled for the end of 2014, but we'll make it worth the wait! The TV/festival version is 70 minutes long. The DVD will be a much longer extended version, and will contain epic bonus material from the band on a second disc!

"Thank you so much for your patience and support. We´ll keep you posted on where and when the film is screened."

Extol has also recently announced that the band will be playing some live shows for the first time in seven years:

"It is now 20 years since Extol played the very first concert - in Sandvika, Norway May 17th 1994 to be precise. We want to celebrate this anniversary with some very few exclusive live shows later on this year!

"The last concert Extol did was in 2006, so it's been a while. We are really looking forward to getting on a stage again, playing both new and old songs, and of course meeting our fans and friends! Waiting more than 7 years is just way too long!

"Extol will be playing Gullbrannafestivalen in Sweden and Skjaergards Music Festival and SÅ2014, both in Norway."

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Facedown Records Offering Free Sampler

You can now download the free Facedown Records Winter 2013 / 2014 sampler featuring brand new songs from My Epic and Everything In Slow Motion as well as tracks from newly released albums by Extol, Leaders, The Burial and more.

Snag your copy at this location. The full track listing is as follows:

1. Everything In Slow Motion – “Most Days”
2. My Epic – “Curse”
3. Colossus – “Beacons”
4. Extol – “Open The Gates”
5. Leaders – “Hell”
6. Hope For The Dying – “Reformation”
7. The Burial – “En-Hakkore”
8. Fallstar – “Shallow Believer”
9. Ark of The Covenant – “Parasite”
10. Altars – “Something More”
11. Those Who Fear – “(Un)Holy Anger”

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Extol Posts "Betrayal" Lyric Video

Extol has released a lyric video for "Betrayal," taken from the band's new self-titled album, along with an exclusive T-shirt based on the song.

The T-shirt artwork was done by Dave Quiggle and all proceeds will benefit “New Life Mission Aid,” which works with street children in Kenya and was the inspiration for the lyrics of the song. Check out the clip below.

You can also watch Extol's previously released music video for "A Gift Beyond Human Reach" at this location.

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Extol Releases New Music Video

Extol is due to a release a new self-titled album this coming June 25th, 2013. The band has now released a music video for the track "A Gift Beyond Human Reach," which can be seen below. The album's track listing is:

1. Betrayal
2. Open The Gates
3. Wastelands
4. A Gift Beyond Human Reach
5. Faltering Moves
6. Behold The Sun
7. Dawn Of Redemption
8. Ministers
9. Extol
10. Unveiling The Obscure

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Extol Posts New Album Trailer

Extol will release the band's new self-titled comeback album on June 24th in Europe (June 25th in North America). A new teaser trailer for the album is available online and can be viewed below. The track listing for "Extol" is as follows:

1. Betrayal
2. Open The Gates
3. Wastelands
4. A Gift Beyond Human Reach
5. Faltering Moves
6. Behold The Sun
7. Dawn Of Redemption
8. Ministers
9. Extol
10. Unveiling The Obscure More...

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Extol Streaming New Single

It's official: Norwegian act Extol is back together and releasing a new self-titled album via Indie Recordings.

"Extol" will be the band's first new full-length album since 2005's "The Blueprint Dives," and is due out June 24th in Europe and June 25th in North America. Pre-orders are available right here, and the album's first single "Open the Gates" can be heard below.

Extol was also previously covered in our "Unearthing the Metal Underground" column focusing on bands that have drastically changed style. Check out the article at this location.

The track listing for "Extol" is as follows:

1. Betrayal
2. Open The Gates
3. Wastelands
4. A Gift Beyond Human Reach
5. Faltering Moves
6. Behold The Sun
7. Dawn Of Redemption
8. Ministers
9. Extol
10. Unveiling The Obscure More...

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Headline News

Extol Reuniting For New Album

Norwegian Christian metal act Extol, which hasn't released an album since 2005's "The Blueprint Dives" and was recently featured in our Unearthing the Metal Underground column, has now issued the following announcement about reuniting for a new release:

"New album in progress: we are happy to announce that Extol now after 5 years of silence returns to the studio to record their fifth album.

"We are very excited about the new material, and as expected from the musical legacy of Extol, no compromise is offered. Stay tuned for more information…"

Extol is also currently running a crowd funding campaign to release a documentary, which can be found here. More...

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Column

Unearthing The Genre Flip-Flopping Underground

The overall realm of metal is an incredibly expansive and diverse place, with many different styles and sub-genres all vying for your attention. To help our readers navigate the metallic landscape we unearth three underground or unsigned metal bands every Monday that deserve to be heard.

Awhile back we covered bands that combine different genres or simply ignore genre trends, and on a similar note this week we’re uncovering three bands that drastically changed either sound or lyrical theme from the early works to their modern releases. There are plenty of more well-known (in the extreme metal community anyway) acts that have gone through such a transformation: Samael’s change from black metal to electronica, Katatonia’s move from harsh growls to a cleaner rock sound, Amorphis switching gears with “Am Universum,” Ulver changing things up on pretty much every album, and so on. Instead of rehashing those bigger names that everyone knows about, instead we’ll cover three lesser known acts that have essentially become different bands over time.

Ereb Altor

Ereb Altor’s underground days are very quickly waning, with the band now releasing new album “Gastrike” through Napalm Records, but there was a time not long ago when nobody knew about Ereb Altor, and it is a side project of an already unknown band, so we’re going to slip this one in here.

The Swedish duo’s debut album “By Honour” (reviewed here) definitely wanted its audience to take the scenic route and enjoy the ride, with slow moving, Viking-style doom metal that took some clear cues from Bathory. Things started to change a bit and the songs become shorter on the follow-up release “The End,” which as the title suggests, was intended to be the demise of the project. Ereb Altor just wouldn’t die however, and now with third album “Gastrike” (review coming soon) the band has radically shifted gears into mid-paced black metal, with only a few underlying doom and Viking metal moments.

To hear the change, check the title track “By Honour” below, and then listen to either of the two songs from “Gastrike.” With the exception of the atmospheric intros, we’re dealing with two completely different genres between these songs.

“By Honour”
More...

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OpEd

The Unblackening Of Metal

From the very beginning, heavy metal has been about rebellion against established norms and restrictive social institutions. That theme has never prevented metal from being influenced by the greatest of mankind’s various systems of organized repression, however. Using a guitar and a microphone to express discontent over the actions of parents and governments inevitably led to bands expressing their disgust with the beliefs behind those actions. Whether musicians are singing about it, railing against it, or just simply partaking of it in their free time, religion has an undeniable role to play in nearly every sub-genre of heavy metal.

Plenty of bands have been built up around an anti-religious atmosphere, whether a simple general sentiment or a full-on fervor that drives the music. Despite metal being frequently identified with an anti-religious standpoint, the style has more than its fair share or religious spokesmen. Famous musicians such as Dave Mustaine of Megadeth have never been particularly quiet about their Christian faith, even if they don’t expressly promote it in any given song. Explicitly Christian metalcore acts are also rapidly gaining widespread attention, with groups like August Burns Red taking over Hot Topic and acts like I The Breather touring the U.S.

In general, it would seem the thrash metal world either doesn’t care about Mustaine’s religious affiliation or is willing to overlook it for the sake of the music. Thrash certainly has its share of anti-Christian songs, but it’s a genre that’s more concerned with social issues or an overall aggressive musical feel than anything dealing with supernatural belief systems.

As any fan of metal can easily attest, not all genres are built equal, and what appeals to one metal head is a serious turn off for another. Black metal is easily among the most infamous of all metal styles, having cut its teeth in the early ‘90s across a back drop of church burnings and sensational media stories of power struggles between Satanic leaders. Names like Emperor and Mayhem were starting to make waves and become recognized in the underground not only across Europe, but also in the U.S. and abroad. More...

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Mantric Streaming Entire New Album

Norwegian metal act Mantric, which features former members of Christian death metal band Extol, released their debut album "The Descent" today in the U.S. and yesterday in Europe. The entire "The Descent" album is currently available for streaming through MetalSucks.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Asylum 2013
2. Tower of Silence
3. Symptoms
4. The Invasion
5. Spear of Heaven
6. Cognitive Cocaine
7. Alihorn
8. Choice
9. Exorcism - In a Treacherous Kiss
10. Water Through Fire
11. Dark Passenger
12. Uro

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Mantric Reveals New Album Details

Norway's MANTRIC, formed from the ashes of EXTOL, have set the release date for their debut album, "The Descent," which will be issued on Prosthetic Records worldwide. The album will hit the streets on April 27th in North America and April 26th in the rest of the world. The album cover artwork has also been unveiled.

MANTRIC's vocalist and guitarist Ole Sveen commented, "Our first album using the Mantric-name does to our ears deserve to get out to lovers of hard music all over the world. Our music embraces creativity and originality outside the limits of narrow genres...This is a release that is both accessible and original, catchy and complex at the same time, and we can't wait to get it out!".

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Twisted Into Form Sign With Sensory Records

TWISTED INTO FORM, the Norwegian band featuring Kaj Gornitzka (guitar, ex-SPIRAL ARCHITECT), Erik Aadland (bass), David Husvik (drums, EXTOL) and Leif J. Knashaug (vocals, ex-SPIRAL ARCHITECT session), have inked a deal with Sensory Records for the release of their debut album, "Then Comes Affliction to Awaken the Dreamer". The CD was recorded between January 2004 and October 2005 at Top Room Studio (MAYHEM, BORKNAGAR, EXTOL, etc) and Multimono Studio with producer Asgeir Mickelson (BORKNAGAR, SPIRAL ARCHITECT) and is being described in a press release as a collection of "intense, complex and emotive pieces of music that defy categorization." Mixing duties will be handled by noted producer Neil Kernon (SPIRAL ARCHITECT, NEVERMORE, QUEENSRŸCHE, CANNIBAL CORPSE). You can download an MP3 of the song "Torrents" at this location.

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Opeth and Extol To Tour UK

Opeth will be supported by Extol on their upcoming UK tour. The tour dates are as follows:

September 6 - Birmingham Academy
September 7 - Manchester Academy
September 8 - London Mean Fiddler

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Extol Added to Opeth's European Tour

Opeth have announced that Extol would be the opening band for their upcoming European tour in September. Tour dates are as follows:

Sept. 06 Birmingham, UK - Academy
Sept. 07 Manchester, UK - Academy
Sept. 08 London, UK - Meanfiddler
Sept. 09 Antwerp, Belgium - Hof Ter Lo
Sept. 10 Koln, Germnay - Underground
Sept. 11 Tilberg, Netherlands - 013
Sept. 13 Paris, France - Locomotive
Sept. 14 Amsterdam - Melkweg
Sept. 15 Essen, Germany - Zeche Carl
Sept. 16 Berlin, Germany - Columbia Club
Sept. 17 Hamburg, Germany - Grunspan
Sept. 18 Malmo, Sweden - KB
Sept. 19 Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
Sept. 20 Goteborg, Sweden - Sticky Fingers
Sept. 21 Stockholm, Sweden - Klubben
Sept. 23 Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
Sept. 24 Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
Sept. 25 Helsinki, Finland - Nosturi

Opeth are currently on the Sounds of the Underground Tour with Lamb of God.

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Extol's "Pearl" Video Available Online

The video clip to the Extol song “Pearl” has been made available online at this location. The video was directed by Øystein Moe & Alexander Soma of Helmet Productions and filmed in the band’s home country Norway.

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Dwell in Darkness Festival Details

The Dwell in Darkness festival will take plance in Elbos, Ohio from June 10-11. Bands are as follows:

Friday, June 10:

EXTOL
INCANTATION
CIRCLE OF DEAD CHILDREN
SUMMON
ESTUARY
WEHRWOLFE
JUDAS GOAT
THROCULT
SIN ORIGIN
Black Trinity
SKULLCAP
FECAL CORPSE
EVERMOURN
DAY I DREAD
PREMATURE BURIAL
ELUSIVE TRAVEL

Saturday, June 11:

BOBAFLEX
DOG FASHION DISCO
Into Eternity
All Shall Perish
BYZANTINE
BROADZILLA
THE HEAVILS
4 IN THA CHAMBER
TWISTED TOWER DIRE
AVERNUS
HELL WITHIN
FAST EDDIE
A WAKING NIGHTMARE
THE MESSIAH COMPLEX
REV. 9
PROJECT 44
JACKALOPES
I Died Trying
MORPHIC RESONANCE
SPLITT
CAJE
LOWCHAIN
LUDAVICO TECHNIQUE
SECONDS FROM DISASTER
ESLAVED TO MERCY
SOUTH GATE
REGIMENT
DISSONANT HATRED
KRIMSON REIGN
NEEDLESS GUILT, REWIND
DISKREET, METAPHYSICAL
WOE OF TYRANTS
FOURTYFOUR More...

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More Info On Ohio's Dwell In Darkness Festival

June 10th-11th will mark the return of the nationally acclaimed 'Dwell in Darkness' festival that is set to bring a dark cloud over the city of Dayton, Ohio for two straight days. In a waning metal scene, SMNnews.com in conjunction with JagerMeister, and The End Records will be breathing new life back into Dayton, Ohio for a two day metal extravaganza that will feature a myriad of international, national, regional, and local bands.

The 2 days of pure metal fury will be unleashed at Elbos, a premiere Dayton venue that will be housing most diverse festival that North America has to offer. Located in the heart of the "Oregon District", Elbos features an outdoor patio, pool tables, vendorville and merch areas, and a full bar.

Headlining Day One (June 10th) of Dwell in Darkness II, all the way from Norway will be Century Media Records' mighty Extol. The band will be performing in support of their May 3rd release "Blueprint Dives" as they trek across North America. Co-headlining with Extol will be Listenable Records' road-warriors Incantation who will be making a special one-off appearance before heading out on a full US tour with Hate Eternal. Like a turd in your easter basket, Friday's lineup wouldn't be complete without the almighty grindcore quartet of Circle of Dead Children. Day one of terror continues with the addition of the incredibly brutal black metal stalwarts Summon, regional powerhouses Estuary, and Cleopatra Records artists Wehrwolfe. Also flying in from Norway to make a rare one off US performance, will be up and coming death metallers Judas Goat. Fusing the best of the mid-west and east coast with a flavorful touch of European metal delight, June 10th is set to make metal history in Dayton, Ohio. Throcult will also be making there way across a few states to debut some new material for all to see and hear. On top of that…preparing to send a bold, powerful statement to their local metal community, rounding out the day's lineup will be Blackmetal.com artists Sin Origin, regionals Black Trinity and Skullcap, New York's Fecal Corpse, Kansas Metal Awards winners Evermourn, Kentucky's Day I Dread, West Virginia's Premature Burial, and locals Elusive Travel.

If Friday wasn't enough - prepare for the unstoppable lineup of Saturday (June 11th)…Headlining the 2nd day of this amazing event will be the insane, intense, musical powerhouses who recently inked a deal with TVT Records and go by the name of Bobaflex. Known for their brutal live show, and onstage intensity, the band will be taking time out of the studio to headline this prestigious Ohio event - so start preparing yourself. Adding to the tally of the east coast's biggest names in rock and metal that will be appearing at Dwell in Darkness II is Artemis Records' Dog Fashion Disco. DFD will be making a special one off appearance to take to the stage in Dayton, Ohio as they continue to work on their major label debut. Century Media's finest Canadian act, progressive-melodic-death metallers Into Eternity as well as one of Nuclear Blast Records latest signings All Shall Perish will be storming the front, part of an all out main stage Ohioan aural assault.

Also diverging away from their regular touring schedule, from the white-hot West Coast label, Prosthetic Records (Lamb of God, All that Remains, Himsa, etc.), will be one of West Virginia's most merciless and forthright acts - Byzantine. Alas, what would a true festival be without a bit of female spice? Broadzilla, who have toured the world, will also be stopping by to tear the house down. Jetting over from Illinois, with bottles of Jager in hand, and plenty of free merch, will be Metal Blade Records artists and rock and roll virtuosos the Heavils - expect a set-time full of surprises! The pit doesn't stop there. Upping the ante and flying in from New York City to wreak havoc upon the city of Dayton, a band who will be making their second Dwell in Darkness appearance, is former Century Media/Kingfisher Records hardcore artists 4 in tha Chamber. Also making the trip from the East Coast, a group who has taken to the stage at European Festivals such as Wacken, and have toured relentlessly all over Germany, will be Twisted Tower Dire. Other namesakes rounding out the billing for Saturday, June 11th will be doomsters Avernus, who recently inked a deal with Flood the Earth Records, Lifeforce Records' Hell Within, New York City's Mr. Bungle Fast Eddie, as well as, A Waking Nightmare, The Messiah Complex, Rev. 9, Project 44, Jackalopes, I Died Trying, Morphic Resonance, Splitt, Caje, Lowchain, Ludavico Technique, Seconds from Disaster, Enslaved to Mercy, South Gate, Regiment, Dissonant Hatred, Krimson Reign, Needless Guilt, Rewind, Diskreet, Metaphysical, Woe of Tyrants and Fourty Tour.

This two day phenomenon, that features artists from Ferret Records, Metal Blade Records, Century Media Records, Prosthetic Records, Cleopatra Records, TVT Records, Listenable Records, and Lifeforce Records, with bands coming in from Norway, Pennsylvania, Kansas, West Virginia, California, Illinois, Kentucky, and New York. The show will ONLY cost a mere $15 dollars a day, with two-day passes running for a discounted rate at $27. Bringing in genres of music from all across the world, and from all across the United States, Dwell in Darkness II provides the best in hardcore, metal core, heavy metal, black metal, death metal, doom, industrial, and much, much more all for the cost of a 3 band club show.

There will also be hourly giveaways, raffles, contests, festival shirts, merch booths, autograph sessions with performing artists, vendorville areas, and much, much more. Also on hand to complete your two days of metal will be SMNnews.com and SMN Promotions Staff, who will be flying in to meet and greet fans, and MC the event. Discounted hotels rates are available for traveling parties through the Red Roof Inn in Miamisburg, Ohio @ 937-866-0705 - just mention the group name of 'Dwell'!

More show information is available at: http://dwellindarkness.SMNnews.com.

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Into Eternity Posts Mexico and Ohio Festival News

Canadian progressive death metal artists has posted the following message on their official website:

April 21, 2005 - México and Ohio festival news
All of us in Into Eternity are extremely blown away to be chosen to play the main stage of the Monterrey Metal Fest II!. It is our first time playing in México and we get to play at such a great festival! I think I am more excited to meet all the legendary bands we are playing along side with. Jag Panzer, Metal Church, Hammerfall and Motorhead are all class act bands. We plan to make the most of this opportunity and give 110% onstage!

We are also happy to play Dwell In Darkness II Festival in Dayton, Ohio on June 11th, along with Extol, Incantation, Bobaflex, Dog Fashion Disco and many more (presented by SMNnews.com)!

See you on the there & keep it metal!!
TIM

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