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One of the more respected bands in the Greek metal underground, Necromantia plays occult-themed metal marked by a raw production aesthetic and an ear for unusual instrumentation. Their use of two basses (and, in most cases, no rhythm guitar) lends a thick, bottom-heavy texture to their music, while saxophones and even flutes have also surfaced on their records on occasion. The band formed in the late '80s under the leadership of the extravagantly named Magus Wampyr Daoloth (vocals, bass, keyboards), a busy musician who has also contributed to such bands as Rotting Christ, NAOS, Diabolos Rising, and Raism. Necromantia's only other steady member has been eight-string bassist Baron Blood; drum, lead guitar, and other instrumental duties have been filled in by various guests including Slow Death (backing vocals, howling), Inferno (keyboards), the Worshipper of Pan (saxophone), and Divad (guitar). Necromantia's official debut, Crossing the Fiery Path, was released in 1993 on the French Osmose Productions imprint. Their second full-length, Scarlet Evil Witching Black, came out in 1995, while a mini-CD, the pagan-themed Ancient Pride, followed in 1997. After parting ways with Osmose, Daoloth and company returned in 2000 with IV Malice, this time on the Black Lotus label. Around this time, Daoloth announced that he would be limiting his involvement with other projects in order to focus his attentions more fully on Necromantia.