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Symphonic metal band Bal Sagoth was helmed by vocalist Byron Roberts, who first conceived the project in 1989 but did not set his ideas in motion until teaming with guitarist Chris Maudling and Maudling's brother, drummer Jonny, in mid-1993. With the additions of bassist Jason Porter and keyboardist Vincent Crabtree, the original lineup was complete, and as the year drew to a close Bal Sagoth recorded its first demo, promptly signing to Cacophonous Records and beginning work on their debut album. The release of the completed LP, A Black Moon Broods over Lemuria, was delayed for over a year, with the disc finally appearing in the spring of 1995; by that time Crabtree had exited Bal Sagoth, and was replaced by keyboardist Leon Forrest. After completing their sophomore effort, Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule, the band dismissed Porter, with bassist Alistair MacLatchy signing on for their first European tour; in the wake of 1998's Battle Magic, Jonny Maudling, Forrest, and MacLatchy all left Bal Sagoth as well, resulting in the recruitment of bassist Mark Greenwell and drummer Dave Mackintosh for 1999's The Power Cosmic.