May 252013

This started as one long post collecting new stuff from three bands that I saw and heard yesterday, the common theme being what they will do to your head. I decided to break it up into three parts. Part 1 started in Germany, with Beyond. In this part, we’re jumping over to Finland.


AoD was founded in 1986 by the brothers Kimmo (guitar) and Pasi Osmo (bass) and Jukka Sandberg (drums). From what I’ve read, they were one of the earliest and most influential thrash bands in Finland, though they broke up after releasing a debut EP in 1989. They re-formed in 2007 and finally released a debut album in 2010 named Gallery of Pain. There’s a lot more detail about the band’s history in a post I wrote back in January 2012.

What made me think of them again was their release yesterday of an official video for one of the songs from Gallery, “Suicide…Are You Fucking Insane?” The video sets the album track to a montage of film from a live show, but the real star of the show is the song itself. It’s a goddamn rampage of raw, radioactive, old-school thrash with a breakdown that hits like a battle tank, and of course you gotta love it when the vocalist blasts out the song’s title. I’d like to carry around an audio clip of “ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?!?”. I hear shit on a daily basis when blasting it in someone’s face would be the perfect response.

Might work on a suicide prevention hotline, too. Continue reading »

Jan 302012

Sometimes, the unfinished dreams of youth can be recaptured and brought to fruition despite the passage of decades. This is one such story.

I first learned about Altars of Destruction almost one year ago from fireangel of the Finland-based Night Elves blog, who provided me quite a lot of information about the band and their significance in the history of Finnish metal. To sum up:

AoD was founded in 1986 by the brothers Kimmo (guitar) and Pasi Osmo (bass) and Jukka Sandberg (drums). By 1988, the band’s line-up had solidified with the addition of guitarist Mika Ahlqvist, vocalist Mika Luoma, and new drummer Juhani Mäenpää. AoD was one of the earliest thrash bands in Finland, playing alongside Stone, who we featured in our Finland Tribute Week series (here) and whose former members are now in bands such as Children of Bodom (Roope Latvala) and SubUrban Tribe (Janne Joutsenniemi, who is also a producer for the excellent Finnish band MyGrain).

After the replacement of Mika Ahlqvist with guitarist Junnu Mäki, AoD released an EP (Painful Awakening) in 1989, but unfortunately dissolved due to internal and external difficulties before recording what was to be their debut album. But beginning in about 2006, the band began the process of re-forming, with Jussi Samppala (Tyrant Disciple) eventually stepping in on drums, and in 2010 — more than two decades after the band first formed — they finally released their “debut” album, Gallery of Pain. It’s a mix of old and new material and is available for streaming at MySpace (here). Continue reading »