The Russian label CD Maximum offered us to release “Made in Fear” in the Russian territory. We accepted their offer and it is out from the beginning of June 2004.
ANTARES took part on the rock megafestival “Night of the stars” in Třinec (Czech Republic) which was unfortunately the only one festival in that summer. After this event the keyboard player Michal Patúš played his last gig with us in Liptovský Mikuláš. He was replaced by young and very talented Juraj Šimek. We started to prepare new songs for the third album.
There are coming first replies to our new material. All appealed labels liked it very much but no one offered concrete contract. Therefore we decided for the self-production of this album. Really professional artwork on the cover was made by Dodo from Galadriel. Reviews from magazines, fanzines and netzines were very positive and therefore we decided to offer it also to other labels.
After recording “Made in Fear” the keyboard player Juraj Dubovský left our band because of studies and his successor was Michal Patúš.
|October - November 2002|
Album “Made in Fear” was finally recorded in Exponent Studio. Dodo Ďatel (Galadriel) helped us with vocals in several songs and Roman Slávik is the author of intro in Devil’s gift. Album was mastered in Exponent as well and at the beginning of November was prepared for a distribution to labels.
ANTARES completed a new material for the second album. The title is “Made in Fear” and it contains eight songs. But there were some problems in the communication with our label. We should have recorded in the CCP Studios in Linz but the reality was different. All these problems led to the termination of the contract with the CCP Records.
First participation in the big metal festival in Přerov “Brutal Assault 2001”. We’ve got a lot of contacts and we’ve gained experience on this event. The headliner was Ancient. In autumn we played for the first time in Austria thanks to the good relationship with bands such as Olemus, Vanitas and No Pride. The very first concert was in Vienna followed by two gigs in Zwerndorf.
On 26th March the album “Sad Hope” was released and first reviews were coming out mainly in the states of EU. This album was distributed by SPV and promotion was published in Rock Hard, Legacy and Nuclear Blast Catalogue. Foreign reviews evaluated our album as more than ordinary but there were also better and worse reviews, too. ANTARES started to play gigs all over Slovakia
The one and only offer came from the Austrian label CCP Records and ANTARES signed a contract for three years and release of the debut album “Sad Hope”. Till the end of this year we played on first more “serious” concerts out of hometown stage and we were preparing for the official term of the debut’s release.
For the third time we went to the Power Sound Studio to record the album “Sad Hope“. This album is perhaps the most important turning-point and we were getting well-known in the Slovak underground. Intro + seven songs are in deathmetal sound and lyrics are completely in English. We can‘t exactly specify the style of songs because we gave more space for keyboard. Following the recording we were sending this material to record companies in the Czech republic and in abroad.
ANTARES appeared on its first summer festival ever – Rock Summer in Sliač – together with Screaming butterfly, Matka Guráž, Iné Cafe, René Lacko Band and others. During the autumn 1999 and at the beginning of the year 2000 we were preparing material for our new album. Despite the fact that Michal Puškár studied in Bratislava and the keyboard player Juraj Dubovský studied in Prague, in spring 2000 eight new songs were prepared for recording.
Finally we were again together and we were working on brand-new songs with the death-metal features. But still prevailed the trash influenced by doom and heavymetal. In this period the first keyboard player Juraj Dubovský joined our band because the keyboards were played in each ANTARES song and they were missing on live concerts.
The vocalist and the bass guitarist Peter Kaštíl had to do a military service. But during this period he was in Martin (our hometown) so rehearsals could carry on. Moreover, after the return of Juraj Mác, songs were being made and played on several concerts but never released on cassette or CD. We are speaking about songs like “Angels in Chains” and “Devil’s gift” – first version.
Three members of our band went again to the Power Sound Studio to record a demo “Bleeding sun” which contained two songs. One song has the same name as demo. The second one “Dialogue” is a free continuation of the song “Schizophrenic dialogue in front of the Mirror” from the debut album. The theme of Schizophrenic dialogue in front of the Mirror wasn’t only the most successful song from the first demo but it accompanies us up to the present.
In this period progress of ANTARES was slowed down by the military service of the guitarists Juraj Mác therefore making of a new material was also slow. Despite this fact there was a certain creative process which moved us to the doom style.
The first recording in the professional studio. The demo called “Antares” had six songs and it was recorded in the Power Sound Studio in cooperation with Peter Kalmár. There were songs in English but one slovak song “Móla” and one instrumental song “Seven”, too. Thanks to this song our band got to the first contacts in the Slovak metal underground. This first demo was reviewed in the Slovak zin magazines and fist interviews were published.
Name of our band was changed in ANTARES. We were inspired by the brightest star of the constellation Scorpius.
First concert of S.W.A. took place at our grammar school where we spent together four years. About 100 participants listened to our brand-new songs and many covers, as well. Although it was our first appearance, the concert lasted almost two hours and we played about 15 songs. After graduation the period of hard rehearsing and composing followed. The music was getting closer to the metal and we were gradually collecting the material for our first demo
Establishment of the band S.W.A. which was the direct predecessor of ANTARES. Composition of our band haven’t change since the establishment. Founders of S.W.A. are: Michal Puškár – guitar, Juraj Mác – guitar, Michal Miko – drums and Peter Kaštíl – bass guitar and vocals. At the beginning hard-rock was typical for our music. Besides own songs we were playing also covers from Metallica, Megadeath, etc.