Skyforger was founded in 1995 when the three members – Pēteris, Edgars and Imants from the doom metal group Grindmaster Dead decided to take on new musical challenges and turned to the research of the history and traditions of their ancestors.
at the ethno festival Sviests Skyforger will perform their rarely heard folk programme “Zobena Dziesma” (Sword Song), a compilation of ancient war songs and mythological songs, that were released in an album in 2003.
Especially for this festival the group will be joined by the French bagpipe player from Belgium Geoffroy dell’Aria Delaria.
A French musician, bagpipes, whistles and ethnic flutes player. Immersed in music from a very young age, he began to show interest in the bagpipes and more generally in folk music at the age of 6, and started to follow music lessons with Jean-Pierre Van Hees in 2006. A few years later, he got into the world of ethnic flutes and particulary the Irish whistles. In 2013, he joined the Belgian folk metal band Ithilien and toured with them until 2016, releasing two albums. From 2014 to 2019 participated in the Belgian folk medieval band La Maisnie Hellequin, releasing their first album in 2017. He joined the Canadian folk viking band Les Bâtards du Nord in 2018 and took part in the recording of their fourth album. Frequent appearances as guest musician on various folk (and) metal projects, such as the American symphonic metal band Gone In April.
About his encounter with Skyforger: “My journey with Skyforger began a long time ago, when I was a young metalhead. I kept listening to them through years and I finally contacted them in summer 2019 to propose them my services as folk musician.The contact went well, I played a gig with them in October 2019 and afterward, they told me about Etnofestivāls Sviests and the opportunity to play again with them. Of course, I said yes and I now can’t wait to share again the stage with the mighty Skyforger!”
Edgars Zilberts’ path to traditional music and the kokle went through ancient martial arts. He grew up in a family of musicians, got introduced to classical music and was educated in piano playing. He joined the folklore and ancient martial arts group “Vilkači” as a fighter with a special interest in history, archaeology and reconstruction, however he got inspired by folklore and discovered the wast area of traditional music. He studied with different Latvian masters and from field recordings and learned traditional kokle playing techniques. In the past years he has participated in different musical projects – with the Hip-Hop group Misters un Nospiedumi, accompanied choires and performed as solo-artist.
At the moment his main interest lies in experimenting with the vast possibilities of the kokle. Its soulful and archaic sound particularly blends in with the music of the Pagan Metal group Skyforger. Two years ago he joined Skyforger for the first time for the Metal Opera “Kurbads. Ķēves dēls” performance in Lucavsala, Riga. Next time they joined forces in a large-scale concert in the concerthall GORS in Rēzekne. Now he will be playing with Skyforger for the third time in the specially prepared folk programme “Zobena dziesma” – the Sword Song – at the Ethno Festival SVIESTS!