Bal-Sagoth are a symphonic extreme metal band from Yorkshire, England, formed in 1993.
Bal-Sagoth began as a black metal band with more fantastic themes than usual in the genre, and mixed more and more elements of power metal in their music as they recorded new albums. Their lyrics are Dark Fantasy, Science Fantasy and Horror based, taking part in a Verse created by vocalist Byron Roberts and strongly influenced by Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Their name is taken from the Robert E. Howard short story The Gods of Bal-Sagoth.
Current line-up as of 2009
- Byron Roberts - vocals
- Jonny Maudling - keyboards
- Chris Maudling - guitar
- Mark Greenwell - bass
- Paul "Wak" Jackson - drums
- Jason Porter - live bass
- Vincent Crabtree - live keyboards, plus some tracks on 1993 demo and first album
- Leon Forrest - live keyboards
- Alistair MacLatchy - live bass
- Dave Mackintosh - drums
- Dan Mullins − drums
- A Black Moon Broods over Lemuria (1995)
- Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule (1996)
- Battle Magic (1998)
- The Power Cosmic (1999)
- Atlantis Ascendant (2001)
- The Chthonic Chronicles (2006)
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Warrior kings and chieftains abound.
- And the Voyager Prime of course.
- Beneath the Earth: A considerable part of The Chthonic Chronicles is dedicated to this trope.
- Beta Test Baddie: Zurra, he was intended to be a clone of the divinity named Zuranthus but his DNA source was corrupted by a chaos fiend.
- Cosmic Horror: Everything that comes from the Black Galaxy falls under this trope, including the Black Galaxy itself.
- Cursed with Awesome: Caleb Blackthorne, he was originally an atlantean who was cursed to always die in battle and be reborn, remembering his previous life, although he stated that there has been so many times at that point he only remember the most important ones.
- Deface of the Moon: A Black Moon broods over Lemuria, although this may also have been not the real moon but a Hell Gate.
- Demonic Invaders: The fall of the city of Kor-Avul-Thaa is one of the majors examples found in the lyrics, this apparently unconquerable city was taken with relative ease by the fiends of the Outer Darkness after some magic experiments went horribly right, Lemuria and Atlantis were besieged and eventually destroyed by hordes of demons, and the Voyagers had to face one invasion on their time, to be exact there are many songs who are themed about this kind of events.
- Detonation Moon: There were originally three moons orbiting earth, one of them fell from the sky.
- Dragon Rider: Black Dragons soar above the Mountain of Shadows and Draconis Albionensis feature them.
- Grim Up North: All over the place on Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: this is a usual price to pay for further knowlegde of the Verse.
- Heavy Mithril
- Hell: The Outer Darkness.
- The Black Galaxy seems to be a major portal to that place, fortunally is well contained by cosmic entities.
- Long Title: "The Dark Liege of Chaos is Unleashed At the Ensorcelled Shrine of A'Zura Kai (The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire: Part II)" is just the most extreme example.
- Right after that is "And Lo, When the Imperium Marches Against Gul-Kothoth, Then Dark Sorceries Shall Enshroud the Citadel of the Obsidian Crown."
- Hell Gate: ups, you opened a portal to the Outer Darkness.
- Lost Technology: and sometimes Lost Magic, or a fusion of both.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The answer of why the entire civilization of Mu no longer exists? Zurra, he has been also responsable in part for the destruction of Atlantis, Lemuria and Ys, yes, he is a Complete Monster.
- Lord Angsaar to a lesser extent, who also is a Chessmaster.
- Portal Network: One of the features of the Verse, it's described up to a point at Star-Maps of the Ancient Cosmographers.
- The Empire: One of the states of the Antediluvian World, The Imperium fits particularly well to this trope, not to be confused with that other Imperium of Warhammer 40,000.
- The End of the World as We Know It: 6 times, nothing less!
- The Precursors: The Mera and to a lesser extent the Voyagers, although the lyrics hint there are even older races who even them call gods.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Caylen-Tor from "To Dethrone the Witch-Queen of Mytos-K'Unn (The Legend of the Battle of Blackhelm Vale)" and many others.
- Purple Prose.
- Rousing Speech: The Hyperborean King gives them to his troops when they are going to face the minions of Angsaar:
Hearken, sons of the glorious Empire...
Here we stand upon the Field of Blood...
Though this day we may die,
Our legend shall live forever.
- Spoken Word in Music: The vocals alternate between this and Black Metal-styled shrieks.
- Stalker with a Crush: Zurra, guess who is singing "Return to the Praesidium Of Ys", probably this contributed to make Zurra even more evil.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Mera, in one of the songs they are called "the gods-who-are-not-god".
- Symphonic Metal
- The Alcatraz: The Black Pyramid contains the Well of the Black Flame, a horrible place were Zurra was imprisoned and the escaped, then he was put beneath the Mare Imbrium in the Moon.
- The Black Galaxy also works as a prison.
- The Legions of Hell: Everything that comes from across the Black Galaxy or directly from the Outer Darkness, and I mean EVERYTHING.
- Time Abyss: Caleb Blackthorne again, during his first life he marched with the vast atlantean armies, long before the birth of our current civilization.
- Also the Voyager Ones.
- War Is Glorious: Many songs. Look at "The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire":
Hearken, the clarion is upon the winds,
now the call to arms is upon us all.
The glory of battle is nigh at last.
Our banner shall fly this day in victory!
My warriors, a legacy shall this day be wrought by our blades.
Decreed by the gods, blessed by the blood of vanquished foes.
Our destiny beckons...