Feb 242021


For those of you unfamiliar with baseball, a curveball is a pitch that causes the batter to expect it will cross the plate in one place, but instead it dives, or veers, or does both. When thrown well, it’s a nasty thing because it confounds and discombobulates the hitter and may make them feel foolish for swinging and missing so badly.

I actually enjoy throwing musical curveballs at our visitors even though I don’t do it often. Usually people come here expecting harsh, extreme, and perhaps very unsettling sensations, but the music may veer away. Which is what is about to happen.

It’s fitting that today’s veering pitch comes from Opium Warlords, because the man behind the project has himself been a living musical curveball for more than 30 years. Perhaps best known as Albert Witchfinder for his work with Reverend Bizarre, Sami Albert Hynninen has been involved in many diverse projects, and even just focusing on this one, you never know where a new release by Opium Warlords is going to go until you experience it. Continue reading »

Aug 292014


(Our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks returns with another interview. This time his conversation is with Sami Hynninen, who has been involved in a diverse array of musical projects over a 30-year career, now including Opium Warlords and Azrael Rising.)

Sami Hynninen is one of most extravagant men in the Finnish artistic world. He has explored realms of the musical underground for about 30 years, and some of his excursions are well-known by metal heads (especially “doom” heads) of this miserable planet. For example, Reverend Bizarre were a damned famous band of the traditional doom new wave. As this band is long gone, Sami continues his searches with Opium Warlords, Spiritus Mortis, March 15, another his electro projects, Tähtiportti, and the black metal band Azrael Rising. Maybe I’ve forgotten to mention something… well, in this case Sami will correct me. Terve Sami!


Terve Sami! This year you have reached an interesting date — the 30th-year anniversary of your musical career. It’s a pretty long road, but dare I ask how you would sum up the experience of these years?

First of all I have to point out that those early years 1984 – 1990 were very rudimentary, but still, all of that chaotic noise I started with has connection to what I do now, so I think it is appropriate for me to celebrate these thirty years. It is all the same journey I am still on.

My career as a published music maker – first with noisecore tapes released by underground “labels” – started when I was sixteen or seventeen, and since then I have done the same thing that I keep doing today. Because of this I have never felt getting older, in the same sense as some people I used to know are really starting to look tired with their lives. I am that same sixteen year old boy. I have just gained some experience, and knowledge, and intelligence.  But emotionally I am just as fragile as I was back then. Continue reading »