PENUMBRA was founded in 1996, by Dorian (guitars) and Jarlaath (vocals, oboe) who both felt classical music had to be a more important influence in metal music. After several months of working together and completing the line-up, PENUMBRA was already asked to open for well-known French acts like Misanthrope.
With seven musicians playing in the band, PENUMBRA recorded their 1st album "Emanate" to gain the interest of the record labels. The band received quite some offers, and signed to the up and coming Serenades Records, Last Episode. "Emanate" was released in 1999 and received excellent reviews, especially in Germany. PENUMBRA was invited to play at some of the biggest Goth festivals like Wave Gothic Treffen and Z7.
Realizing that the visual aspect of PENUMBRAs shows
plays a very important role, its shows are completed by theatrical effects like costumes, masks, pyrotechnic stakes, and more.
In 2000, PENUMBRA and Serenades Records parted ways. Several members - professional musicians, hired by the band - then left the group. The core however decided to continue and new talents were added to the line-up. PENUMBRA recorded a three-track demo and concluded a record deal with Season of Mist.
The recording of the second release, "The Last Bewitchment", took place at different locations in order to work with a choir
and a classical string quartet, while the mixing was done in Sound Suite with producer Terje Refsnes (Sins Of Thy Beloved, Tristania, Carpathian Forest) to optimise the sound. After a successful
French tour supporting Within Temptation during April 2002, PENUMBRA played several shows in The Netherlands.
After the satisfying cooperation with Terje Refsnes for "The Last Bewitchment", PENUMBRA decided to record its third opus "Seclusion" entirely in Sound Suite. While Kyrsten sang during all live shows, for "Seclusion" PENUMBRA decided to work again with their former female vocalist, Anita Covelli, and Arathelis joined the group to play the drums.
"Seclusion" includes Irish bagpipes, flutes, let hear traditional Bulgarian melodies, and have a choir of eight, ranging from
baritone to soprano. Like "The Last Bewitchment", this album tells the story of the love quest between the angel and the mortal, though a new adventure begins...
After an informal recording of 3 new songs (Charon, Avalon and Eerie shelter) in 2007, Penumbra members decided to take a break due to profesionnal and family constraints... but also to take the opportunity to rethink their music in order to offer a new musical experience and, as well as possible, to differ from the gothic metal standards.
In 2015, Penumbra released produced on its own its 4th album entitled "Era 4.0". More than ever, this album is promising to be an incredible blend of musical styles (symphonic, gothic, death, electro, ethno, black, classical, doom,...), definitively making the band a floating electron of the gothic metal scene, with a unique musical style.