Early 1990’s, De Haan, Belgium. After a few years of musical experiments in various bands, brothers Geert (drums) & Marnick Serreyn (guitar) attracted Matthias Vanden Berghe (bass) and Ortwin Lietaert (vocals) and started looking for a second guitar-player. The plan was to play face-melting Metal. With Iron Maiden, Metallica, Tygers of Pan Tang, Accept, Ozzy, … as inspirational examples.
Mid 1993 a second guitarist Chris Borny (ex Erode to Greed) joined the ranks . The style of music evolved into solid Metal with the necessary tempo changes. A first demotape called “The Book” was recorded in the neighbors backyard in 1993. “Melodic, yet very solid powermetal” was how Morbid Geert called the style of music in the Belgian fanzine Mind View Magazine (febr. 1995).
By the end of 1994 a second demo-tape with 5 tracks was recorded at the Studio de Hautregard. Produced and mixed by André Gielen who had already worked with Belgian Metal Gods Channel Zero and Deviate among others. That demo was distributed under the band-name ORTHANC.
ORTHANC started opening up shows for bands like Deviate, Crumb, Ancient Rites, Congress, The Company and others. ORTHANC opened a Metal Christmas show for the Belgian national radio Studio Brussel Metalopolis radio-show in what was then Belgium’s most important heavy rock venue called the Biebob and played the 5 to 12 concert at Vooruit Gent with Chanel Zero headlining. They also got selected as special guest to open up for the Belgian show of the European tour of Canadian Metal Gods Annihilator.
1995 was a very important year for ORTHANC. The first “Metal Fun Race” was organized by Studio Brussels Metalopolis. Out of 65 selected demo’s 20 bands were selected and presented to the listeners of the radio show. Listeners could vote who the 10 selected bands would be, that would participate in the battle. ORTHANC received nearly a thousand votes and was selected for the finals. The grand finale was a live battle in the Oktoberhallen at Wieze. A jury of 20 people, composed out of musicians and press from the Belgian metal-scene, voted ORTHANC as winner of the first Studio Brussels Metal Fun Race. With a variety of concerts as a result, headlining on local festivals, or as opening act for bands such as Channel Zero, B-Thong among others.
In 1997 the band split up. ORTHANC was described as the most underestimated band within the Belgian metal-scene. Given the music style and the honors list “What happened?” sometimes people asked. Well, life happened I suppose, jobs, houses, families, …
The band members stayed active musically, in bands like The Colony, Rafflesia, Healer, Patriarch, Mörehead,…
In October of 2014 we were asked to do a one-off reunion concert with a number of guest musicians. This after 17 years of inactivity! Fun, let’s do that! In the following months we decided to carry on with the current 4 headed line-up . The pure ORTHANC songs were dug up, dusted down and refreshed.
Concerts up until today : Cocqrock (july 2015), DelRockfest IV (nov 2015), Elpee Deinze (nov 2015), B52’s (jan 2016), Zandrock (june 2016). We noticed that fans did not forget us, given their presence on these gigs. Having Fun with a capital F and enjoying playing our music and give the fans a good time, that is what keeps ORTHANC going \m/
Since early 2018 we’ve been working hard composing and arranging the songs to get them ready to record. A selection of these tracks are now gathered on 2019’s cd ‘CARNIVAL’ recorded and mixed at Reddrum Studios by David Ooms.
ORTHANC is :
– Ortwin Lietaert – vocals.
– Matthias Van Den Berghe – bass.
– Geert Serreyn – drums.
– Marnick Serreyn – guitars.