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An intriguing mixture between Black Metal and Folklore, the Viennese formation ANGIZIA debuted with a split album with AMESTIGON in 1996. The group was formulated by Michael Hass ('Engelke') during 1994. Colluding with the teenage pianist Cedric Müller ('Szinonem'), guitarist Emmerich Haimer and Henning the first ANGIZIA product was crafted in March 1995 as the 'Nordheim' demo. A second session, 'Kissarna', soon followed that November and, restricted to just 200 copies, became ANGIZIA's debut commercial product. Bass guitar on these recordings came courtesy of Jürgen Prokesch. Approached by the Napalm label the band resolved to commit three tracks for use on a split album with AMESTIGON, utilising Aastedet for female vocals.

The curiosity piqued by the split album led in turn to the full-length 'Die Kemenaten Scharlachroter Lichter'. This conceptual baroque piece, with its reliance on bombastic grand piano and poetic lyrics given form by soprano Irene Denner and tenor Friedrich Rieder, certainly stood apart from the standard Metal fare of the day. Many reviewers would simply be stumped by ANGIZIA's adventurous theatrics. A sophomore outing, the Russian themed 'Das Tagebuch der Hanna Anikin', was readied in the Spring of 1997. KOROVA's Christof Niederwieser guested vocally on the trilogy 'Denner-Engelke-Niederwieser' and Irene Denner featured in a more upfront solo role. Although Cedric Müller decided to use his real name for this venture the pianist would sever ties with ANGIZIA upon completion of the album, forming THE VIRUS.

Engelke persevered, introducing new musicians for the third opus 'Das Schachbrett des Trommelbuben Zacharias', yet another novella set to music - this time a story about two Russian chess players. Joining Engelke and Irene Denner on this project would be pianist Julian Schönberg, guitarist Emmerich Haimer, DORNENREICH and HEXENWIND acoustic guitarist Jochen Stock, violinist Roland Bentz and accordian player Florian Oberlechner. Drummer Moritz Neuner, of KOROVA, KOROVAKILL and DORNENREICH repute, was also enrolled as band member.

Whilst Engelke was in the midst of piecing together 'Das Schachbrett des Trommelbuben Zacharias' he also began work on another endeavour billed as '39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann'. Respected Jazz drummer Alex Dostal added his deft touch to this album, which also witnessed input from Emmerich Haimer on guitar, Jazz bassist Harald Hauser, violinist Roland Bentz, accordionist Krzysztof Dobrek, clarinet player Bernhard Seibt and pianist Mario Nentwich. A vocal trio of Engelke, Irene Denner and Rainer Guggenberger, citing credits with CAPELLA CANTABILE and FREUND HEIN, gave vent to the tale of four Jewish musicians.

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