Iron Fist Magazine


Rämlord from Finland deliver a very eclectic mix of styles with their recently released EP ‘We Are The Night’. Featuring veterans of the Finnish metal scene including Jarno Anttila, former guitarist in black metal pioneers Impaled Nazarene and underground black/death cultists Belial (the latter being no strangers to mixing diverse influences), that bravery comes across strongly in the music of his latest band. Combining a memorable mix of deathrock, ’80s heavy metal, Amorphis style folk, hard rock and black metal, the result is a versatile recording, which transcends any basic genre boundaries. Jarno answered our questions about the EP and their latest 7″.

Hi Jarno please give us a brief history of the band… what instigated the initial idea to form Rämlord? “After I left Impaled Nazarene I started to warm-up an idea about a old school metal band. I have been listening to that stuff since I was kid, but never really played in a heavy metal/hard rock band. I really wanted to finally play the music I love the most and Rämlord was born out of that idea. I joined forces with my old partner-in-crime, drummer Janne Mannonen, with whom I played in a rock band in late-’90s. After that I … Read More


By the grace of god, Iron Fist #19 has head off to the printers, and while it’s been a bit supershitty to the max to get this magazine into some degree of high visibility, we managed to finish off 100 pages full of the most grande rock, with the usual mix of new bands who will refute the claim that rock ‘n’ roll is dead, and the bands who have been around for years payin’ the dues. Now, we don’t want to be giving any clues as to who’s on the cover but we’ve been giving some hard stereo time to the type of band of late who know that you can’t pull from one limiting genre pool to create musical genius.

If you’re inspired by the three ring rock n roll circus of the ‘head, missed the last bus home like Lynott, live your life on Permanent Vacation, chill out to a bit of jazz, cool down with the blues, rev it up with some sleaze, are born to be wild and walk on the wild side, then you belong in our pages and over the next few days we will be highlighting some of the bands we think will take … Read More


When it comes to new bands who stand head and shoulders above the metal warrior brigade, Finland’s Mausoleum Gate are one of the first names that comes to mind. Their 2014 eponymous debut album was a shock to the system and of the best albums of that year. Now the band is back with a brand new 7” single (‘Metal And The Might’) so we took the chance to have a catch up with Count L.F. (guitars), Wicked Ischanius (bass so far, keyboards from now and on) and Oscar Razanez (drums)…

Two years after your debut album, how do you reflect back to those days and is there is something you might have changed? Count: I am very satisfied with the response. Absolutely better than we could expect. Our way of doing things is so different that one must be amazed at this response. I am also glad that we didn’t have to please anyone.We had basically a freedom to do what we like. Ischanius: I am still very very satisfied with the end product. It’s testimony of what Mausoleum Gate had been so far! Like with every release, it’s a product of its time and all the factors surrounding it. I personally always have a feeling … Read More


With new album ‘Darkness Drips Forth’ out now on Relapse, we sent Kat Gillham to interview Hooded Menace mainman Lasse Pyykkö, also of Claws and Phlegethon. With Hooded Menace clearly his main band these days we asked the Finnish master of doom about letting other people in on his long-running death/doom project and when we can expect his twisted dark vision to hits the road again Your new album ‘Darkness Drips Forth’ was recently released on Relapse Records, please tell us a bit about it? “Well, I’d say ‘Darkness Drips Forth’ is our slowest and heaviest, but also the most melodic work to date. There’s stuff I can’t imagine being put on a record during the early days of the band. I wouldn’t have been ready for it. The new album goes from extreme to extreme, basically. Just don’t expect blastbeats, that’s not our thing, really. We don’t need extreme tempo shifts to be extreme. We play with smaller nuances than that, and as a songwriter, I find this more restrained approach a lot more interesting and challenging. Of course there’s also some stuff to bang our heads to, but compared to the previous albums, this one’s a crawler. And when it’s slow, the … Read More

AMORPHIS INTERVIEW: “We got fed up with the idea of just playing death metal”

Finnish death metal godfathers Amorphis have recently given us the opportunity of seeing them perform material recorded right back in 1994, looking back to their second album ‘Tales Of A Thousand Lakes’ on its 20th Anniversary. Lead guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen has been there all along and one has to wonder if they have everything down to an easily workable formula now that they have finalised their 12th studio album ‘Under The Red Cloud’? How do the road dogs even find the time to record, perhaps they write the material on the back of the tour bus between shows? Esa makes it quite clear that this is simply not an option. “I think it’s an impossible idea. It’s such an uninspiring environment when you are on the tour bus. I don’t know how any musician can do that. Usually what happens is, when we have done enough touring, we start little by little to write new music. In the week we are at home and can concentrate on writing. That’s the way of the business though; you have to be on tour if you want to make a living out of it.”


On repeat on the Iron Fist HQ stereo, the new album from Finland’s Jess & The Ancient Ones (‘Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes’, Svart Records) is out today. You can read about it in the newest issue of Iron Fist, but back in February 2013, just before they were about to tread the boards at the hallowed Roadburn Festival, we asked Olivier ‘Zoltar’ Badin to grill them alongside their comrades, Seremonia. 


Since The Devil’s Blood arrived on the scene in 2006 there has been a steady flow of priestess-fronted occult rock bands following their path. Jess & The Ancient Ones and Seremonia, both from Finland and both with female singers, have been tarred with this association, despite sounding very different from each other. How do you feel about that? And have you had the chance to meet and play together? Thomas Corpse, Jess & The Ancients Ones: “No, not yet. I do have a feeling that we will meet though. I don’t believe that either one wants to belong to any scene. We just want to storm our own way, and forge our own true identity. It’s not our fault that people tend to drop everything in the same box.” Ville Pirenen, … Read More


Opinions always vary, which is why it’s difficult to say if metal is a festering domain of ageism or not. We’ll cheer Lemmy’s ability to defeat the Grim Reaper in a game of ‘Chicken’, collect mile-long discographies and excitedly praise reunions of ’80s favourites and obscurities. However, cynicism and scepticism rule when a bunch of kids come along who weren’t even born when Metallica was putting out good records. Finland’s Lost Society are one such youthful collective, but they’ve obviously studied thrash and crossover’s nuances and have poured those lessons into two furiously energetic and scorching albums – ‘Terror Hungry’ being their latest. Should it matter if they were the proverbial gleams in the eyes of two strangers during a bathroom tryst during a stop on the 1986 ‘Reign In Blood’ tour instead of actually at the show?

“The songs came the same way as usual, just jamming around riffs and so on,” explains guitarist/vocalist Samy Elbanna, sobering our conversation by discussing ‘Terror Hungry’s writing process. “The difference was the riffs became a bit more technical because we’ve progressed on our instruments. But we didn’t have any plans to make this-or-that kind of song; we just wrote 13 killer tracks that made … Read More


Formed in Helsinki in 2009, Finland’s Ranger started “as a five-piece speed metal band,” says guitarist Jaakko (ex-Swallowed). “There’s been a few lineup changes since, like Dimi picking up the bass and Miko moving from guitar to drums. It’s been us three who kept the band going. Verneri joined us last year after ‘Metal Gear’ [Ranger’s first demo] was recorded and completed the lineup with second lead guitar. He’s a real ripper and we really love to have him onboard. He completes our desire for over-the-top double guitar action.”

“Over-the-top” provides a perfect descriptor for Ranger’s furious and loose “hot burning metal” attack. The aforementioned twin “guitar action” definitely propels the chaos. Complementing the ripping guitars are Dimi’s frenetic, high-pitched vocals and banshee wailing. You might call Ranger’s self-styled “combat metal” sloppy, but a large part of their appeal derives from the “feel” of the naked, raw aggression and not technical precision – much like early Destruction.

“Destruction and Teutonic thrash rules,” agrees Jaakko, “but as a band, our main influences are the very basis of heavy metal. Pounding drums, dominating and powerful vocals with skull-splitting, double lead guitars that melt your face and send shivers down your spine. We worship bands … Read More


“Keep it simple, keep it old-school” is a pretty simple mantra, but Mausoleum Gate founder and guitarist Count LeFay makes sure his band lives by it. Sure you’ve heard that one a thousand times, but these Finnish worshippers of all things old school and heavy as hell really do mean it. Speaking to Count LeFay, he explains that their sound and approach to music harks back to years gone by; “We bring in quite a different approach to metal. For example, songs on our new 7” ‘Obsessed By Metal’ are pretty much driven by guitars instead of drums and bass. The rhythm section is floating on it, that’s quite uncommon in metal these days. Of course back in the ’70s it was different.” With that 7” out earlier this year with two brand new tracks, what can you expect to come thundering from the speakers? “Old school metal has lot to give and for me it has been a great part of my life”, says LeFay, but this is no straight-laced, by-the-book affair; “Sabbath, Deep Purple and Zeppelin are great influence for me and all the NWOBHM stuff of course. Then there is Mercyful Fate. We have a lot of different … Read More


Don’t you dare tell RS that Lie In Ruins and Desolate Shrine, the two bands he’s part of, are alike; “That’s total bullshit. The only link between those two is I’m doing the vocals for both, but I don’t have any lyrical nor musical responsibilities in the latter.” Ask Desolate Shrine’s ‘real’ boss LL what he thinks then and he’d agree that that, “the only link those two are our singer and the fact that we all know each other, share a rehearsal place, drink some beers now and then and operate the within the vast genre that is death metal, but even that’s a bit different.” Indeed, while Lie In Ruins’ 2009 ‘Swallowed The Void’ release was a classic yet solid throwback to the good old days of early ’90s Finnish death metal, Desolate Shrine’s 2011 debut ‘Tenebrous Towers’ and brand new ‘The Sanctum Of Human Madness’ album are different beasts altogether, two epic albums released only a year apart. Described by its creator as an album whose “lyrical, musical and graphic concept all revolves around the darkest corners of human mind – you can see it as a journey to the gates of hell if you will,” ‘Sanctum’ is … Read More

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