Celtic rockers Merzhin formed in Landerneau, France, in 1996 -- college friends Pierre Le Bourdonnec (vocals), Stéphane Omnes (electric guitar), Vincent L'Hour (acoustic guitar), Damien Le Bras (bass), reedist Ludovic Berrou, and drummer Mathieu Person named the group in honor of the Breton name of the renowned Arthurian magician Merlin, and as traditional Celtic instruments like the bombarde (a type of flute) began to dominate the band's otherworldly sound, the moniker proved increasingly apt.
In 1998 Merzhin self-released 200 copies of their self-titled debut EP, funded in part by the Landerneau club Le Spleen. Despite its limited release, the disc piqued the interest of the BMG affiliate Stormy Music, which issued the 1999 follow-up, Première Lune. Merzhin's first full-length effort, Pleine Lune, hit retail in 2000. Their 2002 sophomore effort, Adrénaline, proved true to its title, abandoning much of the overt mysticism of previous releases in favor of straight-ahead alternative rock. A long creative hiatus followed, during which time Person left the group in 2005. After adding new drummer Christophe Rossini dit Tof, Merzhin completed 2006's Pieds Nus sur la Braise. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi