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Interviews

Seinäjoki Negative Hardcore: an interview with RAVAGE RITUAL

Almost three years since our first interview in 2014, we return with a follow up interrogation of Seinäjoki, Finland’s metallic hardcore act RAVAGE RITUAL! The band released their second full length called “Higher Power” in October 2016 via Soaked In Torment Records (UK), Sell Your Soul Records (Germany) and Unquiet Records (Poland) and it’s high time we nod our heads in appreciation of this great work. RAVAGE RITUAL have never compromised their massive, apocalyptic sound and negative lyrical approach to anyone, and “Higher Power” is a stark reminder of that. Listen below and scroll down to read our interview, serving a lot of details about the record, and offering the band’s thoughts on negative lyrics, metallic hardcore pioneers INTEGRITY and, as usual, drop some artists recommendations.

RAVAGE RITUAL will be joining INTEGRITY on their shows in Berlin, Poznan and Prague (see the full touring schedule for INTEGRITY at this location and go here to check out their new music video and new album details):

09/06/17 GER Berlin JKZ Linse
10/06/17 PL Poznan Klub U Bazyla
11/06/17 CZ Prague 007 Klub Strahov

Continued below…

Hey buddy! How are you? How’s Finland?

Hey Karol, Very well, thanks. And thank you for reaching us out. About Finland, spring is soon about to show itself in its full beauty but it won’t take long until the days grow darker again.

Tell me about it man, even Poland gets less and less sunny days. I used to be a gloomy weather enthousiast, but the older I get, the more sun I need haha.

Ok, so it’s been almost 3 years since we last talked. How was the post – “Soul Eater” era? How did the band spend those 2,5 years after the premiere of your debut record?

After “Soul Eater” release we toured Finland, Europe and Scandinavia. Beside that we also started working on a new material which formed to be our second full-length “Higher Power”.

Please shoot us some more details on that. How was the writing/recording process?

Writing of Higher Power began right after Soul Eater. The vision was quite clear from the beginning and became more clear throughout the writing process. Musically our goal was to create violent, primitive and crushing songs and sounds with pure negative energy and northern darkness. The album was meant to be and it is the second landmark to represent the world the true form of Seinäjoki Negative Hardcore, Seinäjoki Holy Terror.

Recording took it’s place in Pappila, Ylistaro, the same place where we have recorded all our releases. Pappila is an old house from 19th century and it’s located in countryside of Ylistaro, it’s a perfect place to record for us. The album was recorded by our trusted brethren Lord Mortula, He has recorded us from the very beginning and knows exactly what we are after, and he has also really worthy ideas and he has all the wisdom that is needed for recording. Mixing and mastering was handled by Master Arttu Hakanen, who is good friend of us and really skilled in processing the sound. He did a great job of processing the Raw and Violent sound without overproducing it.

Higher Power was released in October 2016 by through Sell Your Soul Records, unquiet Records and Soaked in Torment Records. The vinyl version was delayed and came out in last February. After release we toured in Finland and Europe. At the moment we’re preparing to invade Europe again for three shows with INTEGRITY in next June.

A perfect match. How do you feel about INTEGRITY 25 years after their most impactful days in the 90s?

Surely 90’s INTEGRITY is something that will remain in history and how the band will always be remembered. It’s unediable that INTEGRITY has been the main creator of the genre that we and thousands of other bands represent. But, comparing early INTEGRITY to present one I see no crucial difference. It’s actually just a process of evolution and transform, every different lineup have had it’s place in the legacy and now INTEGRITY stands more ruthless, more unpredictable and more pure than ever.

How did you book these shows?

Berlin based Stateless Society believed in Seinäjoki Negative Hardcore and called us to spread the northern darkness to INTEGRITY show they organize. They also booked Poznan and Prague dates.

A couple of years since your first treks with RAVAGE RITUAL, does touring need the same arrangements in your private lives? How do you deal with these sacrifices?

Of course, we all have our jobs and studies so it always needs some effort to make everything work out. But, if you have passion for something you’re ready to pay the price.

How has this passion evolved?

It has always existed since the very beginning of the band. RAVAGE RITUAL has always been about passion, commitment and devotion. Sometimes it’s in foreground in our lives, sometimes it’s lurking in the shadows preparing for a new incarnation.

RAVAGE RITUAL live

Apart from RAVAGE RITUAL, is there somemore space for a new project?

All the members have and have had more and less bands and projects beside RAVAGE RITUAL. Metal, hardcore and not so heavy stuff. But we don’t see a connection between RAVAGE RITUAL and our previous/current other bands. RAVAGE RITUAL is its own entity, which in time masters and also serves us.

Ok, so what are your next steps with the band?

As stated before, we look forward to unleash the northern darkness and preach extinction with INTEGRITY in Germany and first time and Poland and Czech Republic in June. We have also some shows coming up in Finland in late summer, Lappeenranta Hardcore Fest for example. This summer will be the summer of judgment.

We’re also writing new songs for a new record. What kind of release and when it would be out will not be revealed yet. But one thing is sure: it will be violent, pure and true Seinäjoki Holy Terror.

How about the lyrical content for your future releases? Are there any specific subjects that work as a good source of inspiration for you guys nowadays?

It depends on whatever the maestro is reading, listening, seeing or going trough at the time when he writes. Extermination, apocalypse, holy terror: as it is so be it. All themes and views discuss in terms of philosophical, spiritual and even religious language. The deeper meaning, the highest Vvisdom cannot be reached without the right words and right language.

This is true Seinäjoki Negative Hardcore in its pure meaning: Number thirteen has marked us since the very beginning and our view on the vvorld is apocalyptic and negative.

And nothing can change that? Do you have any hope that the negative aspects of the world could be followed by a different era? Or is it more like a permanent or an indefinite characteristic of the human race?

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Years, centuries and eras go by but one thing is sure: Humanity is marching towards condemnation and in the end the vvorld will burn.

Hopefully the human race will march towards the stars before it’s too late. Are you a sci-fi lover?

Not really. “Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down”

Haha, that’s the spirit! That’s what I love about gloomy metallic hardcire bands, haha.
Ok buddy, so let’s close it up with some good records recommendations. Which artists excite you right now?

Obviously upcoming INTEGRITY record and recently released ROT IN HELL LP shows to the world that holy terror constantly evolves and moves on. Full stream of BROKEN CROSS/VVEGAS -split just came out and both sides are just perfect addition to the holy terror legacy.

Lately I’ve enjoyed Never by WITHDRAWAL, Polish dark folk act BY THE SPIRITS and Finnish black metal beast HAVUKRUUNU. JUDAS CHAIR COLLECTIVE from Finland puts out tapes form amazing bands and that’s worth of checking out. And of course, I never get bored to my long time favorites JUDGE, W.A.S.P., ERIC CLAPTON and BATHORY.

Nice. We published our interview with WITHDRAWAL earlier this year.

RAVAGE RITUAL by JP Niemelä

Photo by JP Niemelä

Lastly, do you have any bigger plans for the Summer days?

Besides RAVAGE RITUAL, I’m going to concentrate for my work, studies, family and those I love.

Alright, so thanks a lot for your time and this quick update on RAVAGE RITUAL. Feel free to share your final thoughts and takme care!

Thank you for the interview! Let the vvorld burn again.

RAVAGE RITUAL official website
RAVAGE RITUAL Facebook
RAVAGE RITUAL Bandcamp
RAVAGE RITUAL Twitter
band@ravageritual.fi
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