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A dark November night of 2007, Stig Nergård could not sleep. In his boredom he took up his guitar and started playing. As his fingers swept the fret board an idea started to form. An idea that eventually would see to the creation of TELLUS REQUIEM. As he sat through the night, putting the idea to life, he realized the potential of the concept he just sat in motion.
The next morning Oblivion was completed, and TELLUS REQUIEM’s journey had begun. He invited his good friend, Arve Grytbakk, over to have a listen. Arve started to sing immediately, and his role in the band was clear. The hunt for the rest of the band started, and first they needed someone to pound the drums.
The right man was found in the darker corner of Trondheim’s musical society. Known from several local black and death metal bands, Espen Hektoen was a name that Stig recognized. His speed and precision quickly became the backbone of Tellus Requiem, and his lyrics a poetic scenery for Arves vocals to explore.
Early 2008, they found the perfect man for the bass. Ivar “The Beast” Bøe was a friend of a friend, and they were skeptical at first. They had only heard rumors of the long haired man with the bass. But their skepticism was quickly subdued as Ivar pulled forth his six-string bass and let his fingers do their work. There was no question; Ivar was the right man for the job.
Now they stood there, almost a complete band. But something important was missing. There was no man to play the keyboard. They searched far and wide, and finally found a young and promising prospect. Torbjørn Kobberstad was some years younger and somewhat less experienced than the rest of the band. But he tackled the challenge with heart, and soon they would find themselves on stage, supporting bands like Circus Maximus and Edenbridge.
But when the time came to record their first album, the first of a long chain of misfortunes happened. As the drums were recorded, Ivar crushed his hand. Several of the bones in his hand and wrist were broken, and a chill went down the spine of TELLUS REQUIEM. Would he ever be able to play the bass with the same amount of skill and precision? Two months went by, and when the cast finally got off, Ivar recorded the album with great conviction. He was lucky, his hand made a full recovery.
The album was recorded quickly after that, and they hired the legendary Tommy Hansen (Jailhouse Studios, Jorn, TNT, Helloween) to mix and master the album, and the extremely talented Thomas Ewerhard (Symphony X, Dream Theater) to do the artwork.
When the album was complete, the search for a record label begun. But no one was interested enough, so the album was only released digitally. But the results where still the same; the band had developed its unique sound, mixing daring harmonies with flying solos and melodies that leaves you longing for more.
The album got them nominated for several awards, among other for best studio production and live performance.
But at the same time Arve was faced with a dilemma; the band or his job. After a lot of thinking, Arve decided to leave the band, and his dream to become a musician. After hearing this, Torbjørn concluded he could not continue. He feared his skills could not match, and his interests lay in studying, which lead to him moving out of town.
And so Tellus was stuck, with only three remaining members, facing another hunt for the right persons. And it would be a long one. The year is now 2010, and the band is desperately searching to fill the two spots. Things were looking pretty grim, and the band considered giving up; there were simply no one in Trondheim able to act the part. But for once, luck turned to favor the band.
Keyboard players is a rare breed in Norway, and finding someone so far north is harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But by an incredible strike of luck, Stig found a promising figure at a local musicians store.
Anders Sundbø was at the time auditioning for the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim. After his audition he had a couple of hours to kill, so he decided to try out some new instruments. At the time Stig came by the store and heard this mysterious longhaired man play Chopins Fantasie-Impromtu and Beethovens “Pathetique” sonata. A quick discussion later, TELLUS REQUIEM was one man stronger. His experience as a classical pianist and his love for progressive metal made him the perfect man for the job.
And after countless vocal auditions, a name stood out from the crowd. Sondre Lyngwar had a voice that easily could match the greatest singers in the genre, but never had the chance to show it. Tellus was now his chance.
Rehearsals began, and soon they would find themselves on tour with Keep of Kalessin and doing support for even greater bands like Pagan’s Mind. But surely, things had to turn for the worse. As Invictus (The 11th Hour) neared completion, Sondres disagreement with the music became too apparent, and Tellus once again had to look for a new lead singer.
Six months later, after a worldwide search for the right man, auditioning with people all the way from Asia to America, they found the right guy in the pub next door.
Ben Rodgers raw voice took the band by storm. There was a new wave of inspiration and when Invitus was complete, they again contacted Tommy Hansen and Thomas Ewerhard to do the mixing and artwork.
But lightning struck from clear sky and Espen decided to leave the band. His studies and his family was taking too much of his time, and there was a very saddened farewell.
But drummers are not the rarest breed, and quickly their good friend Vidar Lehmann stepped forth. His audition really blew the band away, and they were quickly back on the road.
It is with this lineup TELLUS REQUIEM signed with Nightmare Records, where we now awaits a very interesting future to come ;)