100% Support: Hopesick, Homicidal Witches of the Everdark
On the 5th of June, Bandcamp is again waiving their purchase fees, which means that this Friday you should spend your entire savings account on music. If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got some choice cuts for you.
If you’d take some Mercyful Fate-inspired, blackened heavy metal and give it the slightest dash of Malokarpatan, then put it into a blender with deathrock, you might get something like Hexenbrett, but probably not. It’s rugged, ragged and raw. It’s got old, cheap horror movie synths and organs and manic vocals spat in German, presumably some shit about witches, but I haven’t had to use German in a long ass time, and I’m even rustier than I anticipated, so it’s on you, not me. This is the good stuff, and it’s Name Your Price, and you should be on it. Like, say, a bonnet.
A good while back I told you to support the Finnish grind-trio-that’s-also-sometimes-a-duo Cut to Fit‘s efforts to finance their new album by buying their 620 demo. You didn’t listen, but despite your best efforts, they managed to fund said full-length. Hopesick is a considerably more conventionally grinding record than 620 or even the preceding Faršas split, but their unconventional instruments (despite an overall conventional instrumentation), use of noiseloops as interludes (despite the lack of influence likened to power electronics elsewhere), unhinged rawness (despite an overall sonic clarity) and especially their freeform approach to songwriting lend Hopesick a unique flavour among its brethren.
I would like to say “Yes” to SuperNintendoChalmers, who posed a question regarding this band, over a year ago, that I promptly failed to answer because I don’t do the Disqus dance anymore. Yes, as in, it seems very likely to me that Cut to Fit, in fact, is named after the Nasum song of the same title.
I had the pleasure of premiering Fervent’s debut demo, Initation in late 2018. Excellent bog-land tomb death metal of doom, I think, I thought of it back then, and I know I think of it thusly now. Said 4-song demo is Name Your Price, but I strongly recommend giving the second demo, Everdark, a chance as well. The compositions are lengthier and even more heavily leaning on the doom part of the tag, though not foregoing the death, and the synths applied here and there make all the difference in atmosphere. Someone, and I wish I could remember who, described them as a doom metal Bolt Thrower and while I am not 100% on board with that I can definitely hear why some people might say that.
It hasn’t been all that long since Carcassbomb introduced to you the latest from Haapoja, but I find this an opportune moment to put it back on the table. The band is named after Matti Haapoja, whose actions during a period of prominent growth in the Finnish press, years spent in Siberia (veiled in darkness and plentiful folk songs and tales spreading his name), have ensured his place as the most infamous, though not necessarily the worst, murderer in Finnish history.
Abused by both his father and elder brother, Matti left home at 11, making a living as wandering help before enlisting in the army. He eventually returned to Ylistaro and made a name for himself as a Puukkojunkkari, and eventually killed his childhood friend Heikki Impponen at a wedding. Haapoja was sentenced to 12 years, but broke out of prison 4 times between 1870-80. His “adventures” during these breakouts became widely publicized and though it fit him extremely poorly, the cape of a “gentleman thief” was placed upon Haapoja’s, (who was known to strongly resist any attempts at capturing him) shoulders.
In 1880, his sentence was changed and he was exiled into Siberia, where he is known to have committed several atrocities, the exact number and nature of which remain unknown. He returned to Finland and strangled a sex worker, an action for which he could never give any motive, in what became another widely publicized case. During his trial he was kept in Katajanokka prison, where he befriended Mathilda Wrede, a known “friend of the prisoners”, who insisted that Haapoja repent for his his actions and become religious, neither of which stopped him from attempting escape yet again and wounding two guards, one of whom died of his wounds in the process.
Realizing his attempt had failed, he ran into the prison cafeteria and stabbed himself in the chest 7 times. He survived, but died in 1895, having hung himself from a line made from socks. And so convinced am I that as soon as you press play on any of the Haapoja’s records linked above or below, the latest, Carcassbomb-approved Mullan Keskeltä, the extremely strongly recommended 2013 self-titled or the 2011 Hallitsematonta Voimaa, you will not be able to resist the urge to buy them, that I can spend all the bandwidth reserved for them, telling this fact-check-lacking history of the man behind their name, instead of describing their twisted and twisting, blackened, hardcore-influenced, theatrical and gothic-influenced, even, perhaps, Tribulation-like thing.
All of said three albums are Name Your Price, and you shouldn’t shy away from their Collaboration LP with the Greek astrogrinders Dephosphorus either. Go buy, go spend, go revel.