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

Ancient Rites

Formed: 1988
From: Flanders, Belgium
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Ancient Rites News

Below is our complete Ancient Rites 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.

Rock City Open Air Cancelled

Romania's forthcoming metal festival, Rock City Open Air, appears to have either cancelled or postponed. A message from black metal legends Mayhem reads as follows:

"Unfortunately, Mayhem will not perform in Romania next week as the whole festival has been canceled (or apparently postponed). We are deeply sorry for the fans who wanted to see us performing there. This is of course totally out of our control.

"A statement regarding the reason of the cancellation should be posted on the festival's MySpace page soon."

This news come after the recent news that Immortal, Blood Red Throne, Macbeth and Trail Of Tears have all pulled out of the event. The festival was scheduled to be held from August 20-23rd in Fetesti, Romania.

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Paul Di'Anno & Blaze Bayley To Play Romanian Show

Romanian rock festival Rock City Open Air will feature two former Iron Maiden vocalists this year in the form of Paul Di'Anno and Blaze Bayley. The festival will be held from August 20th - 23rd in the city of Fetesti.

The lineup is as follows:

Agathodaimon
Amon Amarth
Ancient Rites
Blaze Bayley
Brainstorm
De Profundis
Eastern Front
Einherjer
Ghamorean
Hanzel Und Gretyl
Hollenthon
Moribund Oblivion Sirenia
Paul Di'Anno
The Cold Existance
The Revenge Project
Theatres Des Vampires

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Ancient Rites Vocalist Talks New Album Inspiration

Vocalist Gunther Theys from Belgium's ANCIENT RITES has issued the following update:

"It is no secret that I always took a deep interest in history, ever since my childhood. Before I became a musician (or pretended to be one) I tried to express this passion through drawing and creating graphic novels. Through Ancient Rites I found a perfect channel to express these interests in an active way (next to travelling to museums and historical locations). Most people celebrated 2008, these past weeks my mind was occupied by the 18th century. So I wish you all a splendid 1745. Since the age of five I am fascinated by a mysterious phenomenon called De Bokkerijders. I recall asking my father to read about them, as I wasn't able to read yet. Meanwhile I manage to read on my own, thank you. De Bokkerijders are strongly rooted in legends and folklore of certain regions of nowadays Holland, Flanders and parts of the German Rhine Land. Their name still is known in the areas where The Bokkerijders have been active. Very conveniently many like to think of them as folklore or legends. They were as real as the Jacobins or Knights Templar or any other secret organization. The Bokkerijders (the name 'Bok' refers to the Goat in our language, 'rijders' means riders, as people believed the Devil transported them on his back during their nightly raids) were considered a Black Guild; their nocturnal attacks were aimed at churches and the leading cast. Bonded by a Satanic oath they created fear during three generations and slowly turned into an organized militia consisting of hundreds of members. Prosecution, extreme torture and ritualistic death awaited those who joined the Cult and got caught. Authorities took extreme measures to set an example, the trials were treated as a combination of crime and witchcraft, and hence the punishments were hard, beyond the usual. After private torture, in castle cellars, public executions awaited all members, parts of their mutilated corpses left on public display, other parts offered to the purifying fire. It remains a mystery why so many individuals kept on joining their ranks, despite the harsh fate awaiting them. As I mentioned before, these past weeks I have been consulting many books and documents on this occult phenomenon and discovered a political agenda. During their last up rise a huge amount of weapons were ordered to arm the militias but mass executions ended their anti religious revolution before it started. On our Evil Prevails debut ep, I already wrote lyrics to a track named 'Obscurity Reigns (Fields of Flanders)' dealing with this topic. The song was re-recorded and released on our debut album a few years later. Their history is unknown to the outside world as it was a relatively 'local' phenomenon, overshadowed by the French/Austrian wars and the French Revolution; both had a larger worldwide impact, besides failed 'revolutions' are not remembered. Since I discovered, in two different sources, the names of direct ancestors (names, nick names and location match), who were a part of The Bokkerijders Coven, I feel the need to write a new lyric regarding the matter, now that I have proof their peculiar gloomy story became a part of family history. Many were executed, one ancestor, called Peter Theys, escaped from prison, writer Anton Blok insinuates he left the region to set up a new Horde belonging to the first generation of Bokkerijders, elsewhere. One of the untold family secrets mentions vaguely a few people migrating in order to escape the authorities and our calculations reveal we are talking Bokkerijders era. As it was a spread phenomenon many families had sympathizers on both sides, some supporting the authorities others attracted to the Bokkerijders, all depending on one's personal situation and religious preferences. Peculiar how certain Bokkerijder fractions genuinely believed in the Devil, others pledged the Oath to symbolically mock the ruling authorities and clergy, others had a political motivation. I know it is not professional to talk about future works before they are realized but I thought it would be a nice idea to inform our friends, here on the Rites page, about one of the future lyrical contents...

After lurking in the dark on a local basis for a few centuries their spirits will ride out again in one of our songs. Their story revealed internationally.

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Ancient Rites Announce New Live Dates

Belgium-based black metallers ANCIENT RITES have announced a string of live dates through November and one festival date in January.

Dates are as follows:

November
17 - Live Metal Club - Bucharest, Romania
18 - Club One Venue - Galati, Romania
19 - Club Area 51 - Varna, Bulgaria
20 - Club 8 Ball - Sofia, Bulgaria
21 - TBA - Skopje, Macedonia
22 - TBA - Craiova, Romania
23 - Club Barock - Petrosani, Romania
24 - Club Metalbox - Timisoara, Romania
25 - TBA - Cluj, Romania

January
5 - Frostrock - Staden, Belgium

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Ancient Rites Cancel North American Tour

ANCIENT RITES mainman Gunther Theys has issued the following update:

"ANCIENT RITES were approached to tour the USA/Canada during winter. We agreed on the terms. Many dates were booked. The word was spread. The band kept the dates free and prepared for the tour.

"One day we received a mail from the original promoter, who said he would hand the tour over to someone with more contacts. We received this mail from the new promoter who stepped in, terms were changed. Understandable from their point of view:

'The problem is, the promises that John made to you will not be possible, as we will not be receiving enough money from the venues to secure those arrangements. Most bands who tour in the U.S. for the first time will lose money — they pay for their own plane tickets (or get tour support from their label to cover them), and the guarantee money per night is used for vehicle rental and gas.

'I would like ANCIENT RITES to remain a part of this package, and here is what I am able to offer. Most importantly, I cannot pay for plane tickets. There are no booking agents in this country who offer to pay for flights — and generally the labels are responsible for supporting their bands with this cost, otherwise the members pay for their own flights.'

"Since we have no management, and the label doesn't pay tour support and we don't have the money ourselves, we cannot come over.

"That's the tragedy of underground bands. There is no $$$ to support bands like us. We all had taken unpaid leave from work but if we now also must pay to play we cannot afford it. The world belongs to acts with business men behind them who invest cash. That is the reality, also in metal. It won't keep us from fighting, though.

"Sorry to bring you this bad news. We don't point finger at anyone, these are the simple facts. The original promoter was guided by idealism but the plan failed, the second one was realistic. It is a pity our American and Canadian fans now will not have a chance to see us and we regret first steps were taken by the tour agency creating a hope in our minds. That is why I always state that all in this music industry, be it MADONNA or metal, comes down to money. Hopefully one day we can make it but we are not willing to change our style or lyrics to attract business men willing to invest. ANCIENT RITES never has been about that. This battle is lost but the war is never over.

"From the trenches I greet you all, with unbroken spirit."

ANCIENT RITES's latest album, "Rubicon", was released in May 2006 via Season of Mist. The follow-up to 2001's "Dim Carcosa" was recorded at the Spacelab Studio in Germany under the watchful eye of veteran ANCIENT RITES producers Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos.

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Ancient Rites Guitarist Leaves

After two years and one album ("Rubicon") with the band, guitarist Raf Jansen has left Belgian metallers ANCIENT RITES.

Commented Raf: "I've enjoyed playing with ANCIENT RITES, but I had to make a decision. As things are these days, something had to go, and after a long deliberation, I chose to leave ANCIENT RITES. AHRÁYEPH [Raf's solo project] demands much of my time these days, as do producing and I have a day job on the side as well. More...

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Ancient Rites Guitarist Releases Solo Track

Guitarist Raf from Belgian epic black metallers ANCIENT RITES has released a new demo track from his solo project, AHRÁYEPH. You can check out the track 'Lilith' at the project's MySpace page.

The track will be featured on the forthcoming debut, Marooned On Samsara. The recording of the album suffered a month long delay due to technical difficulties, but is now slated to be finished by the end of October.

The album will feature some brand new songs, which were written during the recording delay. More details to follow.

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Ancient Rites Change Day and Stage At Grasspop

Contrary to what had been scheduled before, ANCIENT RITES will not play on Friday, June 23rd, on the Metaldome stage of the Graspop Metal Meeting festival, but on Saturday, June 24th, on the Marquee 1 stage.

The reason is that Gunther Theys and his troops were granted the slot initially alotted to death metallers DEICIDE, who recently cancelled their European tour. According to the GMM organisation, ANCIENT RITES is the perfect substitute to fill this slot. While the band will not headline, they all feel it's worthwhile to make the exchange, since the Marquee 1 stage is the second biggest of the GMM.

In related news, ANCIENT RITES mainman Gunther Theys recently spoke to the Terrorverlag.de webzine about the controversy surrounding the band's recent appearance at the Ultima Ratio Festival in Krefeld, Germany.

Commented Theys: "Things really need to be cleared up around this. Our management had been at the festival long before we arrived. Suddenly Flemish fans came to tell us rumours had been spread that we refused to play because the time schedule was not respected, that people were angry on us. We were informed that on stage was announced that ANCIENT RITES would not play and that the audience were offered a choice between us and the other bands. Later on we ran into one of the promoters who said he had been having trouble with us but that he always had been a fan and would regret if we didn't play. We knew nothing of the whole situation. All got cleared up when we heard that our management and the organization had been in a fight over the delayed schedule and that without consulting us the management had threatened ANCIENT RITES would not be playing at all. We did not like this situation at all and after the show our management resigned. We understood the management tried to get us on stage on time, they panicked as they saw how late it was but this was a wrong judgment, a wrong move and not at all in harmony with the ANCIENT RITES attitude or spirit. As a result we played too late anyway but on top many people were angry on us because they believed we were boycotting the fest and the other bands. When the P.A. people dismantled the stage many people believed we had ordered this so other bands could not play their show, others thought that we packing to leave. The P.A. people also were dealing with time pressure. By the time the stage was finally ready for our show many thought we had left for home and others were too angry to watch us. We started a quarter to two in the morning. There was a die-hard crowd of ANCIENT RITES fans still present who never doubted us. So it still turned out great. However, the next day I read angry posts on German forums of people accusing us of rock-star attitudes etc... A pity these misunderstandings had to happen and backfired at us while we honestly had no idea about what was going on. Our management resigned but we were left with the trouble. Ironic, isn't it? I would like the other bands and all people attending the fest to know that cancellation never has been our way or a weapon we would use to put pressure on anyone. Only rock stars and spoiled brats would behave in such a manner and that would be an insult to the underground character of our band. Of course it was a pity we hit the stage far too late but we are used to difficult situations and play with heart and soul no matter how many people are present or regardless what time it is. I hope this is settled."

Read the full article at Terrorverlag.de.

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Ancient Rites Post "Templar" MP3 Online

Ancient Rites has posted an MP3 of the song "Templar," off their new/upcoming album "Rubicon." You can download the mp3 here "Rubicon is scheduled for a May 15 release.

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Ancient Rites' "Rubicon" Tracklisting Revealed

Season of Mist has release more informationon Belgian metallers ANCIENT RITES' upcoming album "Rubicon," available on May 15th. The album was recorded at the Spacelab Studio in Germany under the watchful eye of veteran ANCIENT RITES producers Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos. The track listing ha been announed as follows:

01. Crusade
02. Templar
03. Mithras
04. Thermopylae
05. Rubicon
06. Invictus
07. Ypres
08. Galilean
09. Cheruscan
10. Brabantia

Following the release, ANCIENT RITES will once again play live to spread their new music. Concerts all over Europe and the U.K. are currently being negotiated and arranged, so expect the band to be out there in full blast later in the year.

Two gigs currently on their schedule are:

29 Apr 06 Camden (UK) Purple Turtle, Infernal Damnation festival
06 May 06 Krefeld (DE) Kulturfabrik, Ultima Ratio 2 Festival

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Ancient Rites To Play Infernal Damnation Festival

Belgian metallers ANCIENT RITES, freshly signed on Season of Mist, will headline the third edition of the INFERNAL DAMNATION festival that will take place on Saturday, April 29th, at the Purple Turtle in Camden, UK. Other bands will be Avulsed, Desolation, Vesperian Sorrow, Demonizer, The Worms of Sabnock, Iconoclasm, Ethereal, and Decapity.

Ancient Rites recently finished recording their new album "Rubicon." The album was recorded and is being mixed at the Spacelab Studio in Germany, under auspices of veteran ANCIENT RITES producers Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos and will be released some time in the first half of 2006.

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Ancient Rites Name Album, Mixing It

Belgian metallers ANCIENT RITES, freshly signed on Season of Mist, have finished the recording leg of their new album and are currently mixing the songs. Meanwhile, they have decided to name the album "Rubicon". Song titles will follow soon. "Rubicon" was recorded and is being mixed at the Spacelab Studio in Germany, under auspices of veteran ANCIENT RITES producers Oliver Phillips and Christian Moos and will be released some time in the first half of 2006.

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Iron Clad / Lion's Pride Split-CD Planned

The Iron Clad / Lion's Pride Split-CD Will Be Out within a few weeks. Both bands featuring Gunther Theys from ANCIENT RITES. Iron Clad's 'For Folk and Land', the first 8 tracks on this split bring us great melodic medieval oriented 80'ies heavy metal.

Lion's Pride's 'Fortress Europe' can be described as straight forward Metallic Oi!-Streetpunk including 5 tracks with a Motörhead-cover. The limited disc features a total running time of over 53 minutes, 12 pages booklet including all lyrics and band pictures.

You can check out some mp3s files on nepherex.com and order online via info@nepherex.com.

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Ancient Rites Launch New Website

Ancient Rites has a new official website to be found at www.ancientrites.be. It's coalescence of the former "Official WebCave" and the "Ancient Hordes-Division Flanders" fansite. Always having stood close to its supporters, commonly known as "Ancient Rites Troopers," the band is tightening the bonds with its following even further by now hosting its own forum where visitors will be able to have their say about various topics regarding the band as well as converse with the members themselves. Furthermore the band is currently writing new material for their upcoming new album, to be recorded and released in 2005. Last but not least, Ancient Rites will play 3 festivals later on this year:

14/08 : Kleudde Backyard Metalfest in Zemst (B)
28/08 : Vlamrock in As (B)
27/11 : Metal Festival at JC Togenblik in Beveren (B)

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