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Biography

The Sogndal based WINDIR, initially constructed as a folkloric Black Metal solo project of multi instrumentalist Valfar (a.k.a. Terje Bakken) in league with session drummer Steingrim (a.k.a. Jørn Holen), issued two demos 'Sognerikit' and 'Det Gamle Riket' prior to the 1997 Head Not Found album 'Sóknardalr'.

With strong sales and underground support a second album was commissioned and 'Arntor' was duly cut at the Grieghallen Studios in Bergen between August and October 1998, being issued the following June. The folk influences would now become dominant with several tracks being re-arranged traditional pieces. Although various session musicians were enlisted for these sessions Valfar still handled vocals, rhythm guitars, bass, synthesisers and even the accordion.

WINDIR's October 2002 album '1184' intriguingly came with lyrics delivered in both English and the ancient Norwegian dialect of Saognamaol. For this release WINDIR grew into a full band unit inducting Hváll (a.k.a. Jarle Kvåle), Sture Dingsøyr, Strom (Stian Bakketeig) and violinist Righ (Gaute Refsnes) of ULCUS. Additional vocals came courtesy of SOURCE OF TIDE, MINDGRINDER and ZYKLON man Cosmocrator. The band unveiled plans for an October 2002 package tour of mainland Europe as part of a strong billing comprising BORKNAGAR, SUSPERIA, FINNTROLL and SUIDAKRA. However, problems with transportation resulted in the cancellation of these dates.

WINDIR cut a new studio album 'Likferd' during December for early 2003 issue. In July, WINDIR played their first North American dates, which included an appearance at the Milwaukee Metal Fest. A headlining Norwegian tour followed in the Autumn, taking in gigs at the 'Mosh Fest' and the '1001 Watt' festivals. WINDIR's first album for Tabu Recordings was due to be recorded at Sweden's Abyss Studio over a four-week period in May-July 2004.

Frontman Terje Bakken was found dead on 16th January of 2004. He was 25. It appeared the singer was trying to make his way to a family cabin at Fagereggi but was caught in extreme weather. Bakken was found just above Reppastølen, forensic evidence stating he had died of hypothermia. The Black Metal musician was buried on 27th of January at Stedje church. WINDIR officially folded in early March, the remaining band members announcing a two CD set of WINDIR material would be issued in honour of Valfar.

The remaining band personnel planned a tribute concert to Valfar, dubbed 'Heidra Valfar' for 3rd September, what would have been the singer's 26th birthday, at the Rockefeller Arena in Oslo. Joining in the occasion would be Valfar's elder brother Vegard Bakken, ENSLAVED, FINNTROLL and MINDGRINDER. A posthumous WINDIR album, including contributions from ZYKLON / EMPEROR men guitarist Samoth and drummer Trym along with Cosmocrator of MINDGRINDER and Invictus from DISIPLIN, would surface on the same date. Featured would be 'Dauden', performed by ENSLAVED, 'Ending' performed by FINNTROLL, 'Mørkets Fyrste' by E-HEAD, 'Destroy' recorded by the NOTODDEN ALL STARS and 'Likbør' performed by WEH. Also included would be September 2003 live recordings of 'Svartasmeden og Lunnamyrstrollet' and 'Blodssvik' recorded at the Rosendal Scene in Trondheim. This double disc set would see all proceeds going directly to Valfar's family.

In 2004 Sture Dingsøyr contributed guest vocals to the FINNUGOR album 'Darkness Needs Us'. Former WINDIR personnel vocalist / guitarist Sture, bassist Hváll and drummer Steingrim forged a new venture entitled VREID, signing a three album deal with Tabu Recordings. VREID debuted with the album 'Kraft' that October.

As 2004 closed it would be revealed that the September 'Heidra Valfar' tribute concert would be released in DVD format, entitled 'SognaMetal', adding an interview with Valfar from Norwegian national television, archive footage from a 1996 Gaupne concert, film from 2001 and 2002 Sogndal gigs plus the 'Inferno' festival in Oslo 2002.

Refsnes initiated the COR SCORPII project during 2005, drawing in ULCUS and WINDIR guitarist Stian Bakketeig and drummer Steingrim of WINDIR, ULCUS and VREID repute. The band would be completed by Rune Sjøthun on rhythm guitar, Inge Jonny Lomheim on bass and lead vocalist Thomas S. Øvstedal for their opening demo entitled 'Attergangar'.

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