Before Black Succubi
Black Succubi was formed in 2005 by guitarist Thomas Pedersen and drummer Jens B. They met at a concert some 5 years earlier when Jens had just moved from his hometown of Stockholm in Sweden to live in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jens and Thomas immediately got along and soon started jamming… rehearsing… composing… and eventually forming their first band together. Sons of Tomorrow, the band would be named and inspired by classic acts like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, they set out to record their first demo.
The band evolved, recorded, changed line-ups and eventually singer Jan Lundstrøm joined, resulting in a more modern and melodic, yet still heavy sound. Black Succubi’s friendship and occasional cooperation with Hank Sherman was spawned in those days when the famed guitarist contributed with two guitar solos on Sons of Tomorrow’s 2006 ‘Waltz of a Madman’ album (Turmic Records, available on iTunes). A much appreciated gesture he would later repeat for Black Succubi’s 2008 debut album.
Besides being a world renowned heavy metal guitar player and founding member of the ground breaking classic Danish metal act Mercyful Fate (Massacre Records/Metal Blade) and Force of Evil (Escapi Records), Shermann is also a photographer and has done several photo shoots with Sons of Tomorrow and Black Succubi for album covers and press.
In between recordings and gigs with Sons of Tomorrow, Thomas and Jens played death and power metal in Bleak and IronFire (Napalm Records), but still managed to keep jamming and composing hard rocking, still heavier music. Their Beyond Within 2001 demo ‘Path’ was old school thrash metal with fast and heavy guitars, double bass drumming, growling and screaming. Out of somewhere in between Sons of Tomorrow and Beyond Within, Black Succubi was formed, combining heavy riffing and thundering drums with melodic vocals and harmonic guitar solos.
Forming the band
The first incarnation of Black Succubi was a 4 piece band counting Mike Moses singing, Thomas Pedersen on guitar, Jens B. on drums and Stefan Krey, a long time friend of Thomas, on lead guitar (photo 2005, l-r). While in Black Succubi, Mike Moses still fronted the Thin Lizzy tribute band Black Rose and Stefan Krey was an active and founding member of widely known Gas Giant (Elektrohasch Records). The foursome recorded the first ever Black Succubi release in 2005, but shortly after the line-up would change for the first time as singer Mike Moses left the band to pursue other genres.
The rest of Black Succubi struggled on and in the summer of 2006, Norwegian guitar player and singer Yngve Raudberget joined Black Succubi as song writing for the next release was progressing. Yngve played guitar in Rebellion Nation and bass in Aladdin’s Cave, both in Norway, but as he was living in Copenhagen at the time and anxious to play, he hooked up with the trio as the band’s new singer. His contributions made a noticeable difference and pointed the band in new directions. Song writing was now more melodic, yet very metal as Yngve’s vocals were inspired by classic metal singers like Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
Still lacking a dedicated bass player, the band started scouting the Copenhagen metal acts for the fifth and final member. On the 2005 promo, bass was played by Thomas, but scheduled recordings for a full length album called for a complete band. Bass player Jesper Brogaard, who was in transit from Copenhagen bands 7thorns and Symbolic, joined Black Succubi in late 2005 and began recording right away. The band line-up was now Jens B., Yngve Raudberget, Thomas Pedersen, Jesper Brogaard and Stefan Krey (photo 2006, l-r).
The recording sessions resulted in a 13 track album of melodic, yet dark heavy metal. A staged and directed music video was shot in Den Grå Hal, a venue in famed Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen and one concert was played. Shortly after, the album and video ended up shelved when singer Yngve Raudberget returned to his homeland of Norway, facing Black Succubi with the difficult task of replacing the singer…again! The situation got even tougher when guitarist Stefan Krey left Black Succubi to concentrate on solo projects and his band Gas Giant. Black Succubi was two men short, pushed back, but not silenced…
Black Succubi was looking for band members again. Skilled and experienced musicians with a passion for metal and for the material already a part of the band’s set. The right singer was just at hand. Bringing in friend and former band mate, Thomas and Jens reconnected with their past in Sons of Tomorrow’s singer Jan Lundstrøm. The melodic directions laid out on the 2006 unreleased album were emphasised and brought even further by Jan. His vocals and catchy harmonies completed as well as complimented the heavy and dark music of Black Succubi. Now, more encouraged than ever, the band needed the final touch, a second lead guitar to keep Black Succubi connected with it’s roots in classic heavy metal: screaming solos and duelling guitars!
In the spring of 2006 Black Succubi had shared a Copenhagen stage with local rock’n’metal act Crafted who’s virtuous guitar shredder Michael Søgaard Larsen immediately impressed the band. Michael was a given first choice to fill the missing spot and the circle was completed when he joined Black Succubi for the 2007 pre-recordings for their debut album.
Michael is still an active member of Crafted and in early 2007 Black Succubi’s drummer Jens B. filled in as session drummer for the recordings of their forthcoming debut album. Besides playing in Black Succubi, Jens is a member of Fate (MTM Music/Replica Records) and Martie Peters Group (Sheer Class Music). Thomas is part of yet another guitar duo in award winning Danish melodic death metal act PitchBlack (Limited Access Records) while Michael and Jesper both pay tribute to Judas Priest in Breaking The Law alongside Richard Plougmann and Claus Weiergang of Hank Shermann’s Gutrix, Zoser Mez and Jackal.
As Michael joined the band, Black Succubi was ready and eager to record their long awaited debut album. The band then and onwards comprised of Jesper Brogaard, Jan Lundstrøm, Michael Søgaard Larsen, Jens B. and Thomas Pedersen (photo 2007, l-r).
The debut album
Pre-recordings for the debut album started right away, early 2007 in Earplug Studio (Gas Giant, Nightlight, Force of Evil, IronFire, Eciton, Fate) in Copenhagen where the preceding unreleased album was also recorded and mixed a year before. With excited new members and everybody in great spirit the band composed and recorded a 2 track demo as a kick off ritual to begin writing for the debut album. The demo was distributed to internet webzines and made numerous and very positive reviews from all over the world, spanning across Scandinavia, USA, Australia, Holland, Greece and Israel to name a few.
In conjunction with the demo, Hank Shermann directed and filmed a presentation video for the first song ‘Time To Get Even’ in Earplug Studio. The band also launched it’s official MySpace site which has since reached more than 18.000 plays and nearly 30.000 views.
Song writing and recording went well and the band enjoyed them selves and each other, bringing in guests for special appearances on the album. Again Hank Shermann delivered one of his trademark solos, chasing with Michael in ‘Cry For Your Brother’, but also guitarist Kirk Backarach of IronFire (Napalm Records) and California based female rock singer Rachelle Ramm laid down tracks that all contributed greatly to the final album.
The band was offered two record deals based on the pre-recordings, but opted for an independent digital release in appreciation of today’s iPod generation. Black Succubi’s self titled debut album was released worldwide through digital downloading on iTunes in July 2008.The reviews for the debut album started coming in, all very positive in words and supporting in spirit.
Black Succubi immediately began working on material for their next album, as well as rehearsing for upcoming shows to support the recent release. In June 2008 the band signed with Two Side Moon Promotion in UK to promote the debut album to the British audience.
In November 2008 Black Succubi went on a UK club tour arranged by Two Side Moon Promotion. It was a very fun experience and really connected the band members. They played along some cool bands and nice people. The best show was playing with American shredder, Joe Stump.
In 2009 Black Succubi continued writing new material and played some local gigs. Sadly founding member Jens B decided to leave the band and focus on Fate and Star Rats. The search for a new drummer turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Quite a few drummers auditioned but never really fitted in. Fortunately guitarist Thomas Pedersen remembered this cool guy he have had a recording session with at Earplug. His name was Jesper Olsen and he fitted perfectly into the Succubi family. Jesper has a bit more metal approach in his playing. So in 2010 the band was complete again. The writing process carried on and more gigs where played.
In 2011 writing for the upcoming album was almost done, more local gigs where played and the members where busy with there other bands: Pitchblack, Metallica jam, Deus Otiosus. Also band members families where growing so writing songs for the new album where delayed. It became obvious for Michael that he wanted to focus more on his family and his Metallica jam. Michael left early 2012.
Eye Of The Beholder
In March 2012 the remaining members started recording the new album at Thomas Pedersen’s Earplug Studio. The drums where recorded in 6 days and Jesper really nailed it.
The search for a new guitarist had started and after a few auditions Jan Weincke was chosen. Jan also play guitar in his own band Xcentric and a Black Sabbath Tribute band. Jan Weincke and Thomas Pedersen are long time friends and Jan fitted the band perfectly. Jan is also excellent at fixing guitars and is used by many Danish guitarists such as Ken Hammer and Søren Andersen.
Recordings carried on through 2012/early 2013. The long recording process was caused by Thomas’s commitment to other bands in his Earplug Studio.
Sadly Jesper decided to quit the band, after 7 years, at the end of the recordings in early 2013. Morten Sefeld from Danish punk rockers Haltefanden took over the bass duties. In the late 80ties-early 90ties Morten played bass in Danish trashers Extreme Feedback alongside members later to be featured in bands such as Invocater, Anubis Gate and The Haunted.
The latest album “Eye Of The Beholder” was released on CD August 2013 through Gateway Music and digital download on iTunes, Amazon.com, play.com among other sites. A European promotional deal is in the process and gigs for late 2013 and 2014 are planned. The band is as strong as ever and ready to hit the road.