Published on September 7th, 2015 | by The Beige Baron0
One of the sweetest things in life is discovering a band completely at random and feeling the prickles of excitement on your arms and neck, and knowing only a few bars in that you’ve found a new favorite.
So it is with Finnish psychedelic black metal band Abyssion, their album Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihreä Liekki [2015, Svart Records] flying largely under the radar but nonetheless one of the coolest metal albums released this year.
Over five tracks roped together by buzzing feedback, the album takes you through a feast of blackened riffs built on dense layers of synths and effects. Comparisons to early-era Burzum are inevitable, but the music is animated by pure punk energy with an incredible amount happening electronically under the guitars and bass. You want to smash shit up and lose yourself in the cavernous sound.
It was surprising to learn that Abyssion—the recording iteration of the band, at least—is just one guy, Lauri, with occasional contributions from his friend Antti, “Who is no longer in a condition to play live or make whole songs. Maybe one day again.
Most people are pissed off most of the time, me included.
“I make the songs and do synth, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals in the studio,” continues Lauri, who (if the band’s Facebook profile is anything to go by) seems to have a pretty healthy sense of humor about the music business and life generally.
“Always there are a few friends that play some synths or leads or some vocals or something [who contribute]. For live sets there is Jussi on synths, Vefa the Effect Man, me on guitar and vocals, and Hakalax on drums.
“Sometimes like on the last song in the Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihreä Liekki vinyl and also at some live shows [Antti] is singing.”
BNU: I think the coolest thing about Luonnon Harmonia Ja Vihreä Liekki is that it sounds like you’re having a lot of fun. Isn’t having fun against the rules of black metal? Are you part of that scene in Finland or do you hang out and play with all different kinds of bands?
Don’t know really what is black metal. It is up to everyone’s own thing and thoughts. And also for the scene, there are some people we meet and greet sometimes.
The keys give this record a psychedelic feel. There is so much going on in every song. It’s “head” music but it gets you in the guts too. Can you tell me how these songs came together?
Songs come together easily. Just start playing the guitar or drums and if the inspiration is there, the songs come out spontaneously. When you have a feeling that you are in harmony with the universe, then the great inspiration usually is there.
I love how this album sounds too. It sounds huge, but it’s not glossy, it’s has a really live feel to it as well. Who helped out recording, mixing, and mastering it?
We recorded and mixed this at Wastement, our rehearsal place, with the Wastement crew. Mastering was done by Jack Control.
I’m curious about why you’re angry? The image of Scandinavian countries is that they are very socially progressive, advanced, great education.
It seems like a paradise. Why are Scandinavian countries like the capital for aggressive metal?
I don’t know why it is, but most people are pissed off most of the time, me included.
What other bands do you dig or do you find inspiring? What are some other cool Finnish bands you would recommend?
Atomikylä’s live set is best quality! If you are into ambient, there are great records and live performances from Wojaz and Radiolaari. Wojaz is more like a one-man jam session, and Radiolaari is more a traditional ambient set.
What’s coming up for Abyssion? Do you have a tour planned? Where can people buy your music?
We have a few vinyl releases coming soon as we get them recorded and released. I’m planning a mini-tour playing in our favorite bars in Finland. Hope we can make it happen.
Next year there are a few gigs outside Finland, but you’ll see about them when everything is ready and announceable.