TERJE ‘VALFAR’ BAKKEN

Valfar, born as Terje Bakken (September 3, 1978 – January 14, 2004), was the lead singer, multi-instumentalist, and founder of the Norwegian black metal band Windir.

He was born and grew up in Sogndal, a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. He was very proud of his birthplacee and often referred to Sogndal in his lyrics. He founded Windir (‘Warrior’ in Sognamål) in 1994, originally it was his own project aimed at mixing black metal with Scandinavial folk music and mythology. The band’s lyrics were written in Sognamål, local dialect, and referred to the history of the place, Valfar even named Windir’s musical style as ‘Sognametal’. Valfar had published two demos, Sogneriket and Det Gamle Riket before Windir’s debut album Sóknardalr was released in 1997. The next album, Arntor (1999) was the last one where Valfar was playing all the instruments, soon after he decided expand Windir into a full band, with some of his classmates becoming the other band members. The next album, 1184 (2001), was recorded with Strom (lead guitar), Sture (rhythm guitar), Righ (synth), Hvåll (bass) and Steingrim (drums). Composed with the band Ulcus, this album was a change in a band’s style towards the music based on the electronic instruments. Likferd, Windir’s fourth and final album, which was released in 2003.

On January 14, 2004, Valfar went for a walk towards his family’s cabin at Fagereggi, but he never arrived. Three days later, authorities found his body at Reppastølen in the Sogndal Valley. He had been caught in a snow storm and died from hypothermia. He was buried at Stedje Church in Sogndal on January 27, 2004.

A compilation album containing Windir’s outtakes and B-sides, Valfar, ein Windir, was released in 2004 as a tribute to Valfar. On his birthday, September 3, 2004, in Oslo, Windir’s remaining members performed their last concert together with Enslaved, Finntroll, Notodden All Stars, Weh, E-Head and Mindgrinder as the guest bands.

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