Born in 1991, Adramelech released the Grip Of Darkness demo and got a
deal with Adipocere Records which lead to the Spring Of Recovery EP in
1993. The band's next move was the The Fall demo which brought them to
Repulse Records. Repulse fit the band on one of its compilations and
released The Fall as a 3" MCD. The band's first CD proper appeared in
1996. Recorded at Tico Tico studio (Impaled Nazarene, Sentenced, etc.),
the album established the band as one of the heavier Finnish bands with
Demilich and Demigod. The band toured Europe as part of the Repulsive
Tour with Incantation, Avulsed and Deeds Of Flesh.
Signing to the self-owned Severe Music resulted in one more album
although the line-up was a moving target. This album was supported
through select shows in Europe. The band signed to Repulse/Xtreem again
in 2004 and issued a third album in 2005. Terror Of Thousand Faces was
three years in the making and featured Marko Silvennoinen on vocals.
band was reduced to a duo at this point with only Marko and Jarkko
symbolically constituting the band.
ADRAMELECH - TERROR OF THOUSAND FACES - XTREEM
There is only one face on the cover of this album and similarly the band's only musical _expression is that of genuine death metal. There obviously is not any uncertainty regarding the band's musical direction, as if the name Adramelech itself did not make that clear, given song titles like Halls Of Human Tragedy, Descend To Eternal Torment, I Don't Care About Your Murder or Bleeding For Supremacy. After a long period of dormancy Adramelech has returned from the dead to continue its output of growly vocals, varied-speed death metal with underlying melody and powerhouse drumming. The band also has slow songs like Slain In The Grace Of Thy Name. What is a little perplexing is the intentional static placed onto the disc. It makes the album noisier than it needs to be and, in that sense, similar to old Blasphemy without making stylistic comparisons, of course. What the band needs is a stronger sound and a few guitar solos to mix things up.
Adramelech still recalls the old Finnish style of developing deathly metal with a hint of melody underneath. The music might not be fashionable, but is formidable and uncommon given the scene's propensity for deeming commercial sell-out jokes 'death metal.' - Ali "The Metallian"
Adramelech is a band whose name should mean something to all death metal fanatics. Nevertheless, it is probably the more mature followers of the scene from the mid-'90s who remember the Finns. The band has just issued a new album after a six year lull through Xtreem Music and Ali "The Metallian" was curious to understand from drummer Jarkko Rantanen what the delay inferred and what the band is after with new album, Terror Of Thousand Faces. - 30.08.2005
METALLIAN: Jarkko, the band is back with a new album, but the recording and release process apparently has dragged on for years. Can you elaborate?
JARKKO: We have always had problems with the line-up, and that still hasn't changed. I really don't know how we are going to continue if we are going to be like that. I think I will continue to do some new stuff and later we will see if there are some musicians available to record with us. At the moment there is only me and our vocalist Marko. Guitarist and bassist Jari Lane has a lot of other things and has told us he will not be available anymore. I don't let it worry me. I will just try to make some music and if I have enough creativity left I will see if I can find some guys to play on the next album.
It is really a pity we can't play live. I would really like to do that. The Terror Of Thousand Faces album was already recorded in 2003, but first we had
problems with the covers and then we decided not to release it through Severe Music, our own label, so we had to find a company to release it. We had no money
or motivation to continue with Severe Music, so we thought it would not be so wise an idea to release it by ourselves. I am really happy that Xtreem Music
liked the album and wanted to release it.
METALLIAN: The album is a return to Repulse/Xtreem for you? How did that happen?
JARKKO: As I said, Severe Music is not going to continue for a long time. We are trying to get rid of the stuff we have in stock. We were happy when Xtreem Music got interested in releasing the album because Dave of Xtreem has always lived for the metal underground. It has been his life for many years and we felt they were a good choice for us.
There are not so many good labels that want to release old school death metal anymore. The story behind getting a contract from Xtreem Music was simply that I
wrote Dave and told him that Severe Music is not going to release anything anymore and that we have this Terror Of Thousand Faces on our hands ready to be
released. He wanted to hear it so I sent him a copy. He liked the stuff and wanted to sign a contract with us.
METALLIAN: Then let us talk about the album. Can you describe Terror Of Thousand Faces in your own words? What does the title refer to?
JARKKO: Musically, the album is the fastest Adramelech album so far and I think the songs are much more straightforward and the song structures are simpler. Sound-wise, this time we wanted the album to sound more underground after the clinical sound of our previous album from 1999, Pure Blood Doom, and we managed to succeed in that regard. The sound is much rawer. It could be better, but I am quite happy with it.
The title was taken from one of my brother's lyrics. They address Hekate, a dark goddess in several religions about whom my brother read a book and got the idea for lyrics from.
1996's Psychostasia was completely my album, except some lyrics on it. It was a collection of all the best songs we had made thus far. On Pure Blood Doom I got some help from former members Ali and Jari. Ali even composed one song completely by himself. This new album was done from the beginning in co-operation with Jari, and also at the beginning with Ali before he left the band.
METALLIAN: Your description of it notwithstanding, the albums mixes speeds and tempos. A good example is Slain In The Grace Of Thy Name. The slow pace is different, but what were your intentions given the mixture of approaches?
JARKKO: I have always liked tempo changes. After a good blast part a slow and heavy riff just explodes your mind. I am going to do more of that on the next album. It would easily get too boring if we were playing fast only. We will have a lot of that fast tempo stuff also in the future, but there has to be also some of that slower tempo crushing as well.
The last song, Orphica Holodemiurgia, is a totally slow tempo song and I'm quite proud of it. It works really well. It is my favourite track on the whole album. It is a good 'outro' after all that fast blasting that the album features. Slain In The Grace Of Thy Name is another one of my favourites. I think the mixture of fast and slow parts work pretty well in that song.
METALLIAN: There is a constant static, or noise if you wish, on the album. Why was this worked into the production? It reminded me of Blasphemy's first album where they intentionally put some noise into the mix.
JARKKO: I don't know! It somehow came there and we had nothing to do with it (demonic possession ATM). It is not there on purpose. Do you think it is disturbing? I don't see it as that bad a thing. We should ask our engineer about that noise, maybe he knows something about it. He probably can't remember it anymore as the album was recorded such a long time ago! The sound is not very good. It is OK, but we have to get a better sound next time. What is better in it this time is that it is much rawer than that of Pure Blood Doom.
METALLIAN: I am a little surprised by your reaction to the static. When did you notice it and why did you not immediately take action?
JARKKO: We didn't notice it in the studio. It was later when we listened to it at home that we noticed it. I didn't see it as so bad that we should do anything about it. Yes, it's
noticeable, but it is not so bad that it would bother me either.
METALLIAN: Why is there only one face on the album's cover?
JARKKO: That is a question that should be asked from the artist himself, my brother Turkka. I called him and he said that the reason is simply that if you put a thousand faces on a CD cover then the faces are so small that will be too difficult to see. He decided to put only one face on the cover. I am happy with the result.
METALLIAN: Let's talk about the line-up. Adramelech cannot keep a steady line-up, can it? Also, who is Marko Silvennoinen and where does he come from and which bands has he been in before?
JARKKO: People are moving. They are changing. Loimaa is a very small town and there are not so many musicians available here. There has never been anything very dramatic about anyone's departure. Someone has had to move to another city and someone else lost his interest in the band. Looking at the long list of previous band members, it gives people an impression that I am such a difficult person that no one can work with me for a long time, but that is not true. I am actually very easy to work with.
Marko is a bit over 20 years old, so he is quite much younger than I. He lives in Loimaa right now and has been playing in several local black metal bands, Emissary for example.
We had to find a replacement for Ali, and Mika Haapasalo, who recorded the album, suggested we ask Marko to try out for the vocals. Marko came and we were impressed with his voice, so he handled the vocals on the album.
METALLIAN: Ali was a member from 1999 to 2002. What is he up to nowadays?
JARKKO: Yes, Ali was a full-time and permanent member maybe between 1999-2002, it's hard to say, because he didn't leave the band at any specific moment. He just stopped showing up when we rehearsed and we finally decided not to continue informing him about our rehearsals. I have absolutely no idea what he is doing nowadays. I heard that he had some big problems with drugs and later I heard that he had been seen in Tampere, a city in central Finland, that time in quite a reasonable condition. I haven't seen him for years anymore, but I just hope everything's fine. I have nothing too bad to say about him. It was a pity that he started having those problems because he is a good musician and our band was a well working unit when there was Ali, Jari and me.
METALLIAN: Back to the present, what are your expectations from Terror? What is the band's big-picture goal in the year 2005?
JARKKO: I don't expect much. This kind of music is not very popular. I'm just happy that this album is finally released. We have got good and bad reviews already. Our music is old school death metal and some like it, while others don't. There are so many young listeners who can't understand our way of playing metal, they have grown up with different kinds of music and our style sounds strange to them.
We are a two-man band now. Jari is not going to continue with us. He has so many other projects, Torture Killer for example. The current line-up doesn't allow us to play live so our only goal for this year is to get some new material done for the next release. We are going to continue with the
traditional death metal way. We can improve in that section so much that we don't need any big changes in our style, but I guess the next album will contain more tempo and other variations than Terror of Thousand Faces.
METALLIAN: You referred to your involvement in Severe Music. What is going on with this label?
JARKKO: Severe Music is not so active anymore. There are so many other things in my and the colleagues' lives that we can't find enough time or resources to do it properly, so we have to quit. All of us, that is me, Jari and my brother Turkka, have been participants. We have never used any titles. The company format that we have did not require a leader. We are all equally responsible for the company.
I don't play in any other projects. I have enough to do with Adramelech. You can see how often we are releasing new stuff so you can understand that we could never get anything done if I played also in any other bands! Maybe I could play in a project if I had nothing to do with songwriting and I would be only playing in the band? I am a student, but at the moment I'm working in the Helsinki mail sorting centre which processes about 70-80% of all the mail deliveries that are sent from and to Finland. In the beginning of September I will continue my schoolwork, but I
will also work at the evenings at least to the end of September. I hope I will find some time to play my guitar to see if I have any new ideas. I have rather good equipment, for example a hard disc recorder.
I can also use my computer for rehearsing.
I can play the guitar. My first instrument was guitar. I used to play the guitar in Adramelech for years before I changed to drums. Nowadays I play drums, but I compose only on the guitar. On the album Jari played all the guitars and also the bass tracks. I played only the drums. I am considering changing back to the guitar were there another Adramelech album because playing drums needs more of that continuous
practice to keep the skill reasonable, at least for me. It is much easier to keep it up with the guitar. I have played that instrument so much longer than drums. Marko plays drums with his other bands, so maybe he could do the drumming part next
time. It's good that we are able to swap instruments if needed!
METALLIAN: Do you have any other plans? Is another album due in six then?
JARKKO: Probably no touring, there is no time or possibilities to rehearse as a band. We have no band members to do any live shows at the moment and that will probably not change. Another album is something I wish we could record, but let's see what happens. I can't promise anything yet. I haven't lost my interest in the band, but there are so many other things in my life also. I have to study, I have to work and I have other hobbies too. Playing death metal is not my whole life. I have sacrificed so many things do be able to do this, but I guess I will not play in this band forever so I have to do some other things also. I don't pressure myself to do another album. It will come if I have enough time and creativity.
METALLIAN: It would interest me to hear your opinion on the state of the so-called Finnish metal scene. Finland was once the domain of the extreme a la early Disgrace, Adramelech, Demigod and others. Things are radically different now. Can you explain this phenomenon and give us your thoughts? ,
JARKKO: I mostly hate the Finnish metal scene nowadays. There are so few bands that even deserve to be mentioned. There are some 'new wave' bands also that still play very brutal music, but it's mostly that terrible shit that I don't want to hear at all. I can't really explain that phenomenon so well because I haven't even tried to listen to any of these wimpy bands.
I can recommend Sotajumala and, of course, Kataplexia to you. There are also some other promising acts. I also like Rotten Sound very much, but they are already quite an old band. They kicked ass at the Tuska Metal Festival here in Helsinki in July. They are absolutely a killer band on stage!
There you have it from the horse's mouth. Adramelech's Terror Of Thousand Faces is now available through the usual outlets.