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Thursday, February 24, 2022

ROX Interview: Infirmum

 Infirmum saw the light of day in early 2019, like a phoenix rising from the

ashes. Emboldened by a creative spark, and at the advice of Fantom Studio’s

Samu Oittinen, musician Timo Solonen decided to take a risk and embark on a

musical resurrection through sombre atmospheres.


Without any other bandmates, Solonen was left to his own devices to show

the world what he has to say, after almost 3 decades of being musically

dormant. Only one raw EP was composed under the band name Kuolonkoura,

performed in Finnish. After positive reviews the decision was made to revamp

the band name and record the first Infirmum record, “Walls of Sorrow”, in

English.


“Walls Of Sorrow” was recorded professionally with a session bassist and

drummer and featured an artwork and logo created by the talented Jan

“Örkki” Yrlund (who previously worked with bands like Manowar, Wintersun,

Stratovarius, etc).

Infused with a bit of madness and love for the sinister, the album drags the

listeners through fears, pain and darkness, just to bring them back to life.

Described as “a potent debut album that has grace, heaviness, and

thoughtful material that pushes the 90’s origins of the sub-genre into 2020

adequately” (Dead Rhetoric), “Walls of Sorrow” received quite a bit of press

attention.


The album cycle also included 3 singles, “Silence”, “Cause of Sorrow” and

“Shadows Of The Past”. Lyric videos were also created for some of the songs,

Juha Janttonen designed the ones for “Shadows of the Past” and “Sail Away”,

and the label Wormhole Death helped create the one for “Doomed”.

Now Infirmum has turned into a septet. The newest additions are Anna Rose

as vocalist, Taka Eliel (Sanctuary of Hate) as vocalist, Erna Siikavirta

(previously in Lordi, Children of Bodom (session keyboards), Sinergy

(session keyboards), Arthemesia and Deathlike Silence) on keyboards,

Sammy Anttonen (Sacrament) on guitars, Joonas Siikavirta (Begrim) on bass

and Hanna-Leena (Selvityksen Alla) on drums. Solonen has retained his spot

as guitarist. A new logo has been created by Gogo Melone for this occasion.

Now the band has released its newest EP “The Great Unknown”, featuring 2

singles, “Mask” and “The Great Unknown”. Additional session musicians

have also been recruited for drums (Juuso Raatikainen from Swallow The

Sun), bass (Johannes Tolonen from Manzana), violin (Paula Gherasim from

AN THEOS and Raven’s Heart) and cello (Teemu Mastovaara). This is a new

era for the band in which it will continue its approach because gloom is

beautiful, be it fast or slow. [Bio courtesy of Infirmum].

Let's see what the band are all about shall we....?

        * Tell us about Infirmum  Who is in the band?

Timo: Anna Rose and Taka Eliel vocals, Erna Siikavirta keyboards, Hanna-Leena Lassila drums, Joonas Siikavirta bass, Sammy Anttonen & Timo Solonen guitars. Sometimes we also hire professional musicians to record for example strings and flute. 

        * When were you formed?

Timo: 2019 AD. After my first steps in long time in metal music 2018 I decided to give it a try and hit my head to the wall. Wall still exists. 



        * Were you in other bands before?

Timo: In the 90´s I played in few bands and we only recorded couple demos so nothing special.


        * Your debut full length album was in 2020? Called “Walls of Sorrow”?

Timo: True. It was my first professionally recorded and mixed&mastered album. It was very demanding but also very rewarding experience. Samu Oittinen at Fantom Studios really helped me to do my best. I had to take a break playing guitar in spring and beginning of the summer 2019 because had some serious problems with my neck. Too much headbanging I guess. So I am very happy I could continue in this journey through darkness.


        * How does the sound from then differ to now?

Anna: I think we have a more melodic and more complex sound overall. Not only do we have a few more instruments in the band itself than there were on the first album, but we also did a few great collaborations, for cello and violin, with musicians outside the band, which, I think, gave our music quite a lot of dimension. 


Timo: I agree. Teemu, Paula and Anna-Sofia performed as you would imagine when professional and talented musicians give their best. They had right feeling to touch the darkness of our songs. 


        * Tell us about your new EP “The Great Unknown”?

Anna: For me, personally, it's the most exciting thing I've done so far and the first time I could trully express myself through music. I had full freedom over the lyrics and vocal arrangements and, although I feel like I can always do better, I am also very proud of the end result. 




"Mask" and "The Great Unknown" were the first ones that were done. We were working on both of them simultaneously and I always envisioned them as the beginning and the ending of a story. Then, the version of Fearless that I created back when I auditioned for the band happened to fit perfectly between the two.


 Timo: It is our first record with Anna, Eliel, Erna and Sammy. Our songs in this EP are full of emotions and listener could travel with us through the darkness, pain and suffering and finally raise again. I hope people will find comfort from this album.


        * How did recording go?

Anna: It was complicated. We recorded the songs in the middle of the pandemic and, if that wasn't enough, we also all live in different cities across Finland. What ended up happening was that we each recorded where we could, from studios to our own homes, depending on the circumstances. 

Unfortunately, our male singer changed twice during the process, so that also contributed to the generally complicated process. 

All in all, let's say it was an exciting journey, with goods and bads alike! :)


Timo: When you see and hear the music come alive it is very rewarding moment. When everything fits and you can just close your eyes and enjoy the result. But before that moment it was hard and painful road to walk. Next one should be easier, I hope anyway. 


        * Any live dates planned?

Timo: Nothing yet. Hopefully our luck turns to better soonish.


        * Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Anna: We are incredibly grateful for your support and we are absolutely humbled by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received for TGU. We are currently working hard on new music and we hope to also get to share our music with you live soon! 


LINKS:

https://infirmum.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/InfirmumBand/




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