SATAN’S FALL shoot for the stars with their debut album “Final Day” and hark back to metal’s past. According to co-founder Tomi Mäenpää. “the lyrics address mortality and how to push on through all the shit life throws at us.” Tunes offering memorable riffs and melodies galore, these guys delivers an album so full of energy and so addictive that we cannot avoid to have a chat with them to know more about it all.
Hello guys, “Final Day” is your debut album to be published on December 11th via High Roller Records, 5 years after the formation of the band. First steps are always the hardest?
Joni: Hi there! I wouldn’t say the first steps were particularly difficult; we got a pretty nice start to everything with our first demo (Seven Nights) and the following EP (Metal of Satan). After the EP, in 2017, we went through a transformation as three of our bandmates left and Miika, Lassi and Ville joined our ranks. Together with this line-up we’ve already released a single (Forever Blind) and now the full-length album.
Previously you had released several songs that you gathered together in the collection “Past Of …”. How important were those songs to build up and release your first album?
Joni: Those songs have, of course, formed the basis of our setlist in live concerts so far and defined the roots of our sound. However, as the name says, they’re the past of our endeavours and we’re about to take a big step forward now with FINAL DAY.
Is it true that you have self-recorded the album?
Joni: Yes. Our lead guitarist Lassi is not just a tremendous musician but also a studio wizard who’s recording, producing and mixing all kinds of projects. We’re extremely happy to have such a talent in the band.
Something truly positive for you. How was the composition of the songs and the creative process of this “Final Day”?
Joni: There’s no one specific formula, but it’s been a joint effort and there’s greater diversity in songwriting credits than on our previous records. Tomi has traditionally been the most productive of us, while Lassi and I have also joined writing more actively this time. Miika has been writing most of the lyrics and vocal melodies, and Ville’s been a vital part in shaping the rhythm section of the album. All of the songs have found their final forms and arrangements in our rehearsal sessions.
The title “Final Day” sounds very apocalyptic, something to do with the pandemic that flogs us?
Miika: No, I think everything was going to hell even before the pandemic… The title has more to do with the running themes on the album and the song itself which is something I would like to be able to say on my “final day”. Still it fits to release the album at the end of this weird year.
The cover artwork is also very significant, five guys (inspired on you I guess) looking into the eyes of destiny?
Joni: That’s about right. However, interpretations are many and we‘re not to specify those into too much detail. You can try to sort out who’s who in the painting!
Are you conscious of any key evolution in your musical approach since the band was formed until now?
Joni: Definitely. With FINAL DAY, it’s way more about good songs and the album as a whole than single riffs, speed or whatsoever particular attribute. We’re not afraid of the melodies and choruses being catchy, either. Give it a spin and decide yourself!
If I have to define your music I would say speed and good melodies come hand by hand
Joni: I would agree. We definitely enjoy both.
In this sense, do you identify with any of the metal trends nowadays, say for example NWOTHM?
Joni: We prefer to leave the labeling for other people, if they wish to do so.
To me your music has that appealing energy and freshness that young bands as Riot City, Traveler, Gatekeeper, Stallion, Haunt, etc are showing married with the classic sound of guys as Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, etc
Joni: Don’t see anything wrong with that! We enjoy many of the names you mentioned, too.
Let’s know a little more about the members. On guitar we find Lassi Tiainen and Tomi Mäenpää, who is who in terms of roles inside the band and what are their influences as guitarists?
Joni: I can answer this as an outsider, hah! Tomi’s a key driver of the whole band and takes care of a lot of practicalities outside the composing and playing, too. Lassi has been taking a notable amount of solo duties on this album and as mentioned before, is our main man in the studio. Both are active in writing music and have their personal styles when it comes to playing.
A positive point is also Miika Kokko’s vocal performance, he has that kind of a bit raspy voice that gives a lot of feeling to the songs
Joni: We agree! In addition to having a great sound and range Miika’s been essential in forming superb vocal melodies for the album. He’s a real singer, not just someone who had to do singing besides playing another instrument.
A vocalist is born or you can change and adjust your voice depending on what you want to deliver? What are the limits of a good vocalist?
Miika: I definitely wasn’t born good singer, haha. I admired singer’s like Halford, Udo, Axl Rose, Brian Johnson, Blackie Lawless etc. who can really belt a tune and that’s what I am going for also. I sing of course differently depending on the mood of the song. I don’t know if there are limits other than your imagination on how to approach songs and vocal delivery…
As a band that seems worried by what happens in the world, how do you see the future of mankind or human societies?
Joni: Not too brightly, sadly. With science and technology we would already have a lot of knowledge and tools to fix many of the problems mankind’s causing, but time after time the world seems to be just another tragedy of the commons on the highest possible level. Self-centered, shortsighted politics is something not to even start with here in this interview. Personally I’m trying to maintain optimism nevertheless.
Everytime we have the chance to talk with bands from different countries we check the situation of the pandemic around the world, so how are you doing in Finland?
Joni: On a global scale, rather well. Depends on the metrics and who you ask, however.
What are your touring plans when all this filth let us be free again?
Joni: We’ve got a few shows postponed to 2021, but other than that nothing’s carved in stone. We of course look forward to get to play the album songs to crowds in festivals and other events!
Thanks for your attention, if you wish to add something…
Thanks! Stay healthy and keep on listening to Modern Talking.