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Latvian folk metal collective Skyforger (named after Perkons, the Latvian pagan god of the sky) formed in 1995 from the ashes of doom metal outfit Grindmaster Dead. Skyforger's punishing blend of traditional regional folk music and classic thrash and power metal is cut from the same earthy cloth as acts like Finntroll, Korpiklaani, Windir, Turisas, and Eluveitie, as is their penchant for blending Marshall stacks with period folk instruments. The band released its debut album, Kauja Pie Saules, in 1998. Subsequent records include Latviesu Strelnieki (2000), Perkonkalve (2003), Zobena Dziesma (2003), Semigall's Warchant (a 2005 reissue of their 1997 demo), and Kurbads (2010). ~ James Christopher Monger
1995 in Latvia