Seinäjoki, Finland’s metallic / apocalyptic hardcore band RAVAGE RITUAL are releasing their debut LP titled “Soul Eater” this August! With their music flowing through every member, having a bit of their personal influences to it, emerging their own interpretation of hardcore, these guys have managed to create a quality, dark, and heavy music that will take you on one hell of a journey. “We still like to show our roots and hope that people can hear where we come from musically.”, they say. Well, I decided to double check it and interviewed these guys about the place they come from, their experience, European hardcore scene and a bunch more.
I am very proud to premiere “Fortress”, the newest track from “Soul Eater”, to be released on August 29th via Swarm Of Nails Records, Sell Your Soul Records and I For Us Records. Pre-orders will be up in July! All
RAVAGE RITUAL have released their debut demo in December 2011, 5-track EP called “Revival” in July 2012 and a split 12” with TEETHING from Spain. They have played a bunch of shows in Finland, toured Seden with TEETHING and will play a string of European shows this coming Fall!
Hey Nord! Thanks so much for reaching out and taking some time with me. How are you? How’s Seinäjoki?
Hey and thank you! I’m fine and really excited to begin the LP recording. And Seinäjoki… Dark and isolated as always.
These are one of my favourite words, my friend :) No, but seriously, I love Scandinavia and Finland still remains one of the northern countries I have never had a chance to visit. I’ve just used Google Street view to go around the town and see what’s up, haha. It doesn’t look very gloomy though.
So, what are some of the pros and cons of living there? Tell me more about the city.
Well the Finnish summer at it’s best is really something to see but it lasts only a couple of months of the year. That’s what you see on Google street view. You should see the fall and winter… But even if Seinäjoki is dark and isolated it’s still home. Living there you might dream about moving somewhere else and when you do you just miss back. The culture and people of Seinäjoki is kinda mix of the all the even smaller towns nearby. Even though the town itself is really small, there’s a quite active heavy music culture in Seinäjoki. I just hope there would be more hardcore/punk bands.
Oh yeah, let’s dig into your local scene a bit more. Seinäjoki is known for hosting one of the largest Scandinavian festivals called Provinssirock. Can you tell us more about the event, as well as local venues, such as Rytmikorjaamo club? Are there any specific independent venues that have been particularly important and influential for you and your local scene?
Provinssirock is definitely something Seinäjoki is proud of. It’s been arranged over 30 years and it is truly great festival. Last year’s line up was great for me: CONVERGE, KVELERTAK, TURBONEGRO, DANZIG… Just to name some. But, I’m sorry to tell that last year was more or less a financial catastrophe. Because of that they’ve made some serious cuts to budget and the festival will be a lot smaller this year. I think this will be the destiny of all those local fests like Provinssirock and the reason is most probably big international festivals like Sonisphere, for example.
Rytmikorjaamo is actually our home as a band. We practice in the basement of the building along with many other bands. Besides of being club it also serves as a practice space and restaurant for example. An unique complex built to serve the music and culture in Seinäjoki.
In more center of the town there’s a local venue called bar15. It’s a small venue focused mainly on heavy and alternative music. We’ve played maybe the most gigs of our hometown there. The staff of the bar is great to work with. But, the future of the bar seems quite uncertain right now, the owner will change soon. We hope for the best that the new owners will keep things rolling.
Has Seinäjoki city been a home for punk squats?
Not really, we have done few gigs in the local skate hall, but with not so great succes. I think people here are not into punk/hardcore that much. That’s why we have played the most of our shows outside of Seinäjoki.
Yup, it’s time to focus on RAVAGE RITUAL, right? :) H8000, Cleveland, ENTOMBED , DISFEAR, INTEGRITY, TRAGEDY, RISE AND FALL, CONGRESS, metallic hardcore – these are just a few words that we could use trying to describe your work. How did you incorporate this particular aesthetics into your music?
I agree with all the words and names you used to descripe our music. When we started the band our goal was to make heavy and dark hardcore in veins of Integrity and Belgian hardcore bands. All our music flows through every four member and it adds a bit of our personal influences to it creating our own interpretation of hardcore.
Have you been in other bands before? Shoot us a brief back story of the band, will you?
In summer 2011 my and our singer’s previous band disbanded and i had a vision of a new band already. We found our bassist and drummer and first rehearsal was in following fall. None of has had really active band at that moment and it allowed us to focus full-time on RAVAGE RITUAL. Although everyone of us have previous band/bands I don’t see RAVAGE RITUAL linked to them. It was more like beginning something new.
You released a demo back in 2011, a 5-track EP in July 2012 and a split with Spanish band TEETHING last year. All in all, not too many tracks you’ve got there. How come? Why so carefully?
When we write songs we just don’t write a bunch of songs for the record. We write individual songs that are somehow linked to each other. Our goal is that every release is it’s own whole and stands on it’s own. And yes, there’s maybe not much songs in TEETHING split but the total length isn’t really short.
Sure thing. How did you end up putting a double record with this particular band?
Our friend Jon from Gure Hitzak knew both bands and Teething was looking a band to do a split with. Jon told us about them and we were up to doing a split with them. So, we were brought together by Gure Hitzak and he also organized the split release tour. Teething is a great band and they’re also great guys. Split release and the tour with them were one of the best moments in my life and i hope we could hook up these guys in the future… Maybe touring Spain with them, we’ll see.
Ok, Nord. So what’s coming up next for the band? Tell me more about your upcoming debut record. What’s the inspiration for the album and when is it scheduled to come out?
After the split with TEETHING was recorded we decided that our next release will be a full length. The idea of the LP evolved almost year and a half and we tried to find the perfect sound and feeling for the record. From the beginning we knew that it will be recorded and produced by Lord Mortula. He has recorded our previous releases and he’s an awesome guy to work with and he really knows how we want sound like. LP will be mixed and mastered by Arttu Hakanen who has also worked with our previous releases. He’s professional. The LP will be titled as SOUL EATER and it will be out through Swarm Of Nails (France), Sell Your Soul (Germany) and I For Us (Belgium) in August 29. We are happy we found so great people to release the album with. The coverart is desinged by RAZOREATER and we’re more than pleased with the final result. Just nail your eyes to the front cover and you will feel how your soul slowly dies. After the release we will tour Europe in October.
And the inspiration for the album… The most of the songs are written in fall and winter which is the darkest period in northern Europe and I find it really inspiring. I think every chord has the mood of the almost esoteric, dark and cold atmosphere of western Finland countryside where I originally come from. All this is pushed through frames of pure and heavy hardcore and you can hear the final result on LP. Lyrics are a huge part of our music and they shouldn’t be ignored. The themes deal with life and death and everything inbetween. I definitely recommend to read the lyrics and make your own interpretation of them.
Will do, Sir! Before we all do, we’ll gonna need a store and a label that handles the distribution. There are a bunch of great people involved, right? How and why did you team up with so many labels?
Definitely yes! We’re really excited to work with so many great people. When we had the whole album written I started to search for possibilities to get our album released. From the start our goal was to spread our music more over Europe and that’s why we mostly contacted to European labels. Sell Your Soul, Swarm Of Nails and I For Us we’re into our music and decided to co-release our album. They are all great people and highly appreciated labels, I recommend you to check out their previous releases also. We’re also happy we succeeded to get so many labels from different countries (France, Germany, Belgium). That will also help the distribution, our music will be spread to wider range and it will reach out more people.
You are planning a European trek later this year, right? Can you shed more light on your touring plans?
Yes! We are still working on the tour but I can tell already that it will take part to Northern and Central/Western Europe. Mostly Germany and some countries around. It will take place in October and we’re really excited because it will be our first European tour. We’re also stoked for playing new songs from the LP.
Can you afford heavy touring or is it always at the expense of all kinds of sacrifices in your private life?
With this music you can’t make money so we all have our daily jobs or studies. Touring will always need some arrangement in private life but I think it’s not hard for week or two. This band plays a quite big role in my personal life and if you really love something, you’re ready to sacrifice for it. For me touring itself, even though it’s heavy, is an effort that makes me carry on with everyday life. There will always be many good memories and it’s so exciting to see new places, play shows and meet new people.
And I sincerely wish you may still be able to be on the road as much as possible.
Ok buddy, thanks a lot for your time. Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers?
Thank you Karol for the interview! We wish that too. Our LP will be out in October 29, grab your copy from our labels or directly from us and come to see us on our European tour. Thanks and take care!
Live photos by J-P Niemela / Cover art by Razoreater
RAVAGE RITUAL official website
RAVAGE RITUAL Facebook
RAVAGE RITUAL Bandcamp
RAVAGE RITUAL Twitter