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FINLAND, Tampere


Categories: Gothic

Biography

The fetish vampire band TWO WITCHES is rooted in the Tampere group NOIDAT ('Witches'), conceived during 1987 by vocalist Jyrki Witch and keyboard player Anne Nurmi. With a switch from Finnish to English lyrics the following year the formative band also took on the new guise of TWO WITCHES. That October the first 7" single, 'Pimeyden Jousi', was delivered through theor own Darklands label. The group had already been through a succession of members by this juncture but settled down in 1989 with the introduction of Nauku and guitarist Toby. TWO WITCHES, adding bass player Juha and Ari to the membership, toured throughout mainland Europe on 'The Witches Are Burning' dates prior to headlining a major Gothic festival in Finland.

By the time of the debut TWO WITCHES album 'Agony Of The Undead Vampire Part Two' in 1992 Juha had relinquished his position and Timo R. of SHADE FACTORY filled in. Once again the group toured Germany, under the banner of 'The Undead Vampire' tour, securing a label deal with Talitha Records along the way. However, before the close of the year both Ari and Timo R. had decamped. In 1993 TWO WITCHES issued two albums in 'Vampire's Kiss' and 'Phaeriemagick'. Despite this progress Anne Nurmi, divorcing Jyrki, left the fold to join LACRIMOSA. The following year had TWO WITCHES members aiding other acts as Toby united with German act LOVE LIKE BLOOD for tour work and Jyrki teamed up with another German outfit SEPULCRUM MENTIS. Gigs with this band saw Jyrki maintaining his TWO WITCHES interests though by including two songs in the set list. Meantime the TWO WITCHES set up evolved with Nauku taking over keyboard responsibilities, Linde drafted on bass and Pave on the drums.

In 1995 Jyrki undertook further work with SEPULCRUM MENTIS and both he and Nuaka guested on the SAD PARADE EP 'Immortal Illusions', released on Jyrki's own Darklands imprint. TWO WITCHES next release came with the 'Bites' album that April. The group also cut a rendition of the BAUHAUS track 'King Volcano' for the Cleopatra tribute album 'The Passion Of Covers'. The German Vuz label capitalised on the burgeoning interest in the band by releasing the compilation of archive material 'The Early Years'. Once more the band toured Europe, including UK shows for the first time, after which the line up splintered yet again.

September of 1996 was marked by a run of headline Finnish dates supported by SEPULCRUM MENTIS and Berlin's EXEDRA. The band had newly incorporated Iris as piano player but after these gigs Levanen left the fold. Nevertheless, the group toured Brazil in 1997 as well as a package tour of Finland with MIDNIGHT CONFIGURATION. Subsequent live action took the band across Europe again before gigs in Mexico and Argentina.

Both Nauku and Toby exited in 1998. Subsequent fresh blood came courtesy of Petri Lenkkeri and keyboard player Liina Junna. Lord Gravehill (a.k.a. Marko Hautamaki) of SINMASTERS, MAJESTY, LA VAMPIRE NUE and SHADE FACTORY repute took over guitar responsibilities upon Lenkerri's departure in 2001. The band also boosted its number with the inauguration of second guitarist Heidi of AMARANTHINE and second keyboard player Timo Vaananen. Two tracks recorded at the Mexico City gig in 2001 later appeared on the 2002 EP 'May You Be In Heaven'. That same year both Jyrki and Toby guested on Finnish Electro band NYX's album 'The First Aeon' whilst Liina Junna featured in a promotional video for DANSE MACABRE. Liina Junna opted out upon fulfilment of European touring, being substituted by 'Tweety' in early 2003.

Jyrki is also active with a number of side ventures including SINMASTER, FIXED FRAME, GODLIKE and LA VAMPIRE NUE. The former project SINMASTER includes TWO WITCHES member Timv, ex-TWO WITCHES colleagues Nauku and Toby as well as Jan 'Örkki' Yrlund of ANCIENT RITES and Karina Eames of BELTANE.

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