Welcome my HeadBangers from Myrskylä, Finland:
“Hail of Steel”
“Aeon Of Cold”
Let’s look at some bio on these guys:
The most overworked and undervalued busy bee on the Finnish metal scene, Tuomas Saukkonen shocked everyone in 2012 with his announcement that he will bury all of his metal music projects at the same time to start anew. Before The Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Dawn Of Solace and RoutaSielu received their coup de grâce February 23rd 2013 with one last show, in which material from all the projects was played.
After years of pouring his creative juices to projects too numerous to count, since the end of 2012 Saukkonen has focused on just one labour of love, Wolfheart – the musical entity and form of expression that finally allows him to siphon all his musical genius to just one outlet. Be the approach melodic and hopeful, acoustic and fragile, harsh black/death metal or atmospheric doom, Wolfheart has it all, in a mix like of which you haven’t heard before.
On 10 January 2013 through a press statement, Tuomas Saukkonen announced that he was putting Dawn of Solace to rest along with his other active bands (Before the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon and RoutaSielu), ending them in order to create new project called “Wolfheart”, which he will entirely focus from now on. When interviewed by website KaaosZine, Tuomas replied about his decision:
“Yes I have been thinking about this already for a few years from the Before the Dawn side and first time this was brought into the table was when we were releasing the Decade of Darkness EP to celebrate the 10th year for Before the Dawn. At that time I had an idea to end the band because it just felt right to end the band at that point. The band played their biggest shows in Europe by supporting Amorphis and in Asia by supporting Stratovarius. The CDs were selling great and we ended up signing a deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The album that came after the EP titled Deathstar Rising did an amazing job in the Finnish charts ending into the top 10. Still even though we achieved a lot I started to feel like it’s becoming more and more of a job for me and felt that I was drifting away from the most important thing in my life which is for the love of making music.
“At that time we also started to have a little bad chemistry within the band and it also started to reflect into the band’s live performances as well as into my own motivation towards the band because I became a bit frustrated. The line-up changes in 2011 gave me more motivation and it once again started to feel like it was right thing to continue after the Rise of the Phoenix album but after the successful tours in Finland and Europe and the great response to the CD both among the fans and press really gave me the opportunity to let go of my ‘old friend’ from the past 14 years. I felt like a winner and decided to put it aside because I could with a large smile remember all that great things we experienced with this band.
“At some point I recognized I was just keeping the band alive and it didn’t feel so right anymore. I lost the passion to make music my own way and the main reason why I had a lot of side projects like Black Sun Aeon, Routasielu, Dawn of Solace and The Final Harvest at the first place. Those were the bands where I had the ability to be artistically free and create what I wanted. Now when Before the Dawn is done it was logical for me to clean the table at once and start building something from scratch again.”
Here’s one of the songs that Dawn of Solace made, from June 2010:
“I Was Never There”
Saukkonen recorded and released the first Wolfheart album “Winterborn” entirely by himself playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals, with Mika Lammassaari (Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, Mors Subita) as his only guest, playing guitar solos. Such confidence Saukkonen showed in his new material that he self-financed the album release. This bold leap of faith was rewarded with sales placing the album to #7 on the Official Finnish Album Chart and to the Pole Position on the alternative indie chart “Rumban Lista” which tracks the sales in specialized record stores not eligible for the official chart. Yet, probably even more rewardingly for Saukkonen, “Winterborn” proved a roaring critical success scoring high ratings in reviews left and right. To cap off a great year for his project, “Winterborn” was elected the best debut album of 2013 in the annual Record Store Äx customers’ poll. Tuomas’ risk had paid off handsomely. Wolfheart deserved to be a fully operating band.
I just want to say that Saukkonen is just way to talented for us mere HeadBangers to understand. But we love him and his music. Not to mention he looks like a bad ass Viking Warrior.
Ok sorry guys couldn’t help myself, back to the bio.
Since the spring of 2014 Wolfheart has been a real, touring band. 2014 / 2015 took the pack on the road to the national stages with Shade Empire and Finntroll, into the international stages with the first European tour with Swallow The Sun and even to Tokyo with Sonata Arctica etc. Also big European / Scandinavian festivals were targeted and the climax of the 2015 was the 2nd album “Shadow World” which continued the path of critical praises and placed #7 on the Official Finnish Album Chart. The album was also the first product from the co-operation with Spinefarm records.
After a rapid ride since the release of the debut album the band cleared their calendar in the beginning of 2016, started the pre-production of the 3rd album and the legendary Petrax studios (CoB, HIM, Korpiklaani etc.) were booked for spring, only a few selected festival shows broke the studio cycle. The focus has been intense and the scheduled release of the 3rd album is set to the beginning of 2017 and the band is heading back to Europe with Insomnium and Barren Earth in January, making also their UK debut.
Three albums into their career, Wolfheart has become a staple in extraordinarily well-crafted melodic death metal. 3rd effort and tour-de-force to date, “Tyhjyys” (”Emptiness”) brings forth a dramatic, cinematic dimension to the music and turns it into an all-encompassing experience. From February 2013 onwards the name Wolfheart has been synonymous with atmospheric yet brutal Winter Metal.
In 2019 Saukkonen announced Dawn of Solace would be reforming for a second album entitled Waves to be released on 24 January 2020. The music video for the song Lead Wings was published on YouTube on 24 November 2019.
Ok my HeadBangers let’s meet the band:
Tuomas Saukkonen: Guitar, Vocals
Joonas Kauppinen: Drums
Lauri Silvonen: Bass, backing vocals
Vagelis Karzis: Session guitar
What drew me to Wolfheart, besides the fact that the Wolf is my spirit animal, it was the total strength in the voice of this man, Tuomas Saukkonen, not to mention all the projects he does at any given time. As you know I love growl vocals, it’s my thing. When I heard his, I actually got the chills. Why? Well there are growl vocals, and then there are GROWL VOCALS!!! I have seen some great growl vocalists at gigs and I thought I had heard them all, until now. Tuomas’s growl vocals are so deep, dark, commanding and primal to me, it grabbed and awakened something deep inside me that shook me. I had to take a minute and listen again, WTH! I thought I had heard everything in music, well I haven’t. I don’t think another vocalists could get the same reaction from me that he has, really this did more than speak to me, it froze me, I couldn’t do anything but listen to that voice. I get comments that I should say more, well I believe I could go on and on about this one, but it would probably bother some of you lmao. I chatted with a friend of the Carmilla Band, they are working on a special project and I told him when I listen to a song for the first time, I don’t look at the video, I just listen, this way I get all the feeling without the appearance getting me, yes I know if there’s a lot of hair I might go there, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was a Viking Warrior singing these growl vocals that had captivated me in a way no other had. The whole band just blends together to produce this sound that all works perfectly and at the head of the pack, the alpha leader is Tuomas, I will give a head bow to him, something I never do, but this time, yeah a head bow, and maybe a little side look, just like a wolf.
Well my HeadBangers that’s it for this week. Join me next week for another band and another song. In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..