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All Music Guide:
The innovative, genre-bending metal act Hollenthon is largely the work of Pungent Stench frontman Martin Schirenc, who plays guitar, bass, and keyboards, and also handles vocal and production duties for the band. Their music mixes elements of black and death metal together with synthesized string sections and choirs, ethnic/folk melodies, film soundtrack influences, and more to create an unusual, yet epic and bombastic sound. The idea for Hollenthon stretches back to 1994, at which time Schirenc appeared on an Austrian black metal compilation under the name Vuzem. It took several more years for him to put together his first full-length album, which he did with the help of new drummer Mike Groeger. Released under the Hollenthon banner and entitled Domus Mundi, it eventually came out in 1999 on France's Napalm Records and received rave reviews across Europe and elsewhere in the underground metal community, but it wasn't available in the U.S. until late 2000. The second Hollenthon release, With Vilest of Worms to Dwell, followed in 2001, also on Napalm Records.
Hollenthon is a heavy metal band from Austria.
The beginnings of Hollenthon date back to 1994, a time of an active Austrian Black Metal Syndicate and an incognito project known as Vuzem. He joined forces with drummer Mike Gröger (Collapse 7, Bloo Vodoo, Only Attitude Counts, Mudbreed). At the urging of A.B.M.S. members, Martin Schirenc anonymously included two Vuzem tracks on self-produced compilation Norici Obscura Pars.
Following favorable reviews and multiple requests, Martin decided to release a full-length recording of Vuzem's music. Other commitments, however, delayed the realization of this endeavor until late 1998, when unfinished material was brought to the attention of Napalm Records. Shortly thereafter, Vuzem signed to the label, releasing critically acclaimed debut Domus Mundi in 1999 under the Hollenthon banner.
In June 2001, Hollenthon released With Vilest of Worms to Dwell. Not unlike its predecessor, it boasted a superb soundtrack-like production, as well as a fierce and wicked atmosphere created by a perfect symbiosis of heavy guitars, symphonic interludes, thrilling choirs, and bewitching melodies.
The album was promoted with a European tour together with Eisregen (GER) and Siebenbürgen (SWE). The live line up was completed with Mike's bandmates Mario Klausner (Collapse 7, Ex-Pungent Stench, Ex-Belphegor) and Werner Freinbichler (Collapse 7). The following years saw Martin concentrating on Pungent Stench although the writing of new material was never stopped. 2007 Hollenthon intended to return and continue to walk the chosen path. Wanting a real band and not just additional live musicians Martin and Mike chose to recruit Gregor Marboe, who Martin shared stages with since early 2006 in Pungent Stench on bass and backing vocals and who has been active in the Austrian scene for years in his bands Defender Kfs and Vargsriket. In need of a second guitarist Martin Arzberger (Molokh, Defender Kfs) was introduced to the band.