Feb 172022


(Comrade Aleks has brought us his interview with Eero Pöyry from the Finnish funeral-doom lords Skepticism.)

Skepticism has been a funeral-style standard for 30 years. Founded in Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme, in 1991, the band personifies an integral element of the funeral doom scene, its sound essential, its image flawless. And I see no problem regarding the relatively short Skepticism discography. Their latest album Companion (released by Svart Records in September 2021) is the sixth full-length in their list, but look – I have a feeling that they are always here.

The band’s presence is constant. You know what to expect from them, yes, and it… soothes. Each of their albums is like a part of a journey through a forest: You can walk this or another path listening to different albums, but “the forest” is the same and yet different. But I don’t see a reason to further waste our time with metaphors. Here’s the interview we started with Eero Pöyry (keyboards), let’s say, some time ago. It took some time to complete it, but it’s now a good, actual thing. Here we meet in shadow of (our pale) Companion. Continue reading »

Jun 072021


Today’s roundup of new music and videos is a real hodgepodge (or perhaps you would prefer mishmash) of metallic creativity. At least one of the entries is a massive hodgepodge unto itself. A full trip through all of them may leave you shaking your head — hopefully in wonder.


2021 marks the 30th anniversary of this pioneering funeral doom band, remarkably with its original line-up still intact. To celebrate their long survival, they have a new album named Companion that’s ready for release on September 24th by Svart Records. The first single, “Calla“, emerged last week with a beautiful and haunting video made by Tuomas A. Laitinen that perfectly suits the music and the equally haunting words, which incorporate references to pale calla lilies in a story of longing and closure. Continue reading »

Aug 302018


Today has been one of those days when most of the NCS slaves, including myself, have been diverted from NCS slavery by other compulsions. Without meaning to take anything away from the one review and one premiere we’ve furnished today, we just haven’t had time to do more.

This state of affairs gnawed on my brain to the point when I decided I would at least provide another quick hit of new music. I chose the songs in an odd way: I didn’t listen to them before making the choices. For a while this morning I was in a place where I could write but couldn’t listen, so I wrote first and listened later, and then wrote a bit more before having to bid NCS good-by until tomorrow.


Admittedly, I wasn’t taking a complete shot in the dark when I picked this first song without listening to it. First, duh, it’s Skepticism. Second, I’ve heard the song before… sort of. Allow me to explain. Continue reading »

Jan 072016



Our evolving list of 2015’s “most infectious songs” has been short on doom so far, but I’m addressing that deficit today with the two newest additions to the list. To see and hear what has come before, go here.


After a seven-year wait following their last full-length, these Finnish progenitors of funeral doom returned in full force with 2015’s Ordeal — a truly magnificent album. My first exposure to music from the album came at last May’s Maryland Deathfest, where Skepticism appeared in broad daylight at the Edison Lot and proceeded to stagger and mesmerize the crowd with the tragic strains of their sound notwithstanding all the brightness in the sky. Continue reading »

Sep 172015



(Leperkahn is on a roll again, with a multi-part roundup of new music streams. Here’s Part 1.)

The metal world is really good at trying to drown us in new stuff. Here, we take a stand and fight back, trying to cover all that we can. A new wave of defense for NCS starts with this post, in which we cover (briefly) five albums you can now stream in full on the interhole.


We’ve been covering Antiliv, the new album from these Norwegian black metallers, pretty much since it was first announced, so I’ll cut to the chase and say that this ripper is available for you to stream via Decibel. If you like your black metal staunchly traditional, yet still pretty well-produced, dig in. Continue reading »

Jul 272015



I had thought I was finished posting things on our site today and would turn to what we have planned for tomorrow. But then my friend MaxR (Metal Bandcamp) linked me to what you’re about to see and hear — the debut of a video for a new song by Finland’s magnificent Skepticism from their new album Ordeal.

The song’s name is “The Departure”. You listen, and it’s not difficult to imagine being transported beneath the vault of a dim gothic cathedral, with the light of candles flickering on your face in the chill breeze cast by the passing of lost souls. Matti Tilaeus’s graveled voice is as staggering as the huge, dismal riffs and the ponderous drum blasts, and Eero Pöyry’s keyboards are soul-shaking. It’s as grief-stricken and sorrowful as a cancer ward, but tremendously moving, and yes… beautiful. Continue reading »

Jul 022015


I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…


Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.

And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film. Continue reading »

May 252015


Alas, our revels now are ended. Maryland Deathfest XIII is over and in the history books, and it was an amazing experience. I’ve got to pack up and vacate my hotel room soon, and I don’t have nearly enough time at the moment to say everything I want to say. For now, I’ll show you some photos I took from the first three performances I saw yesterday (the last day of the festival), with a few words about each of those first bands I saw on Sunday. More pics and words will come in the next few days.



 I arrived late to the Edison Lot and missed the first four bands of the day, but caught all of Primordial’s set — which floored me. Alan Averill is an amazingly intense and charismatic front man, and his voice is an instrument of incredible power and passion. In the category of clean vocals, he probably took the prize for the fest, though ICS Vortex performing with Arcturus the night before was a very close second. Continue reading »

May 092014

(Saint-Petersburg-based guest writer Comrade Aleks has delivered to us the following interview with Jani Kekarainen of the seminal Finnish funeral doom band Skepticism.)

Skepticism (Riihimaki, Finland) is one of most ancient funeral doom bands on Earth. The band did appear in far off 1991 and since then have slowly paced into the Hall of Doom Myths and Legends, even though they have only four full-length albums in their stock. The last grand work Alloy was released six years ago, and it seems that Skepticism are now waking from their slumbers and returning to active creative life. We got in touch with Jani Kekarainen (guitars) to learn some details about the forthcoming visit of Skepticism to Moscow and ask a question or two about the new album as well.


First of all I’d like to ask you about one big deal: It’s said that Skepticism started composing music for a new album about a year ago. How does your progress go?

Pretty well, I would say. It’s always a long process for us. We have been creating the new songs and basic structures and 80% of the songs are ready for the new album. Our target is to do the first demo recordings for our internal use during this summer. It will be used for fine-tuning the arrangement of the songs. I hope we will be able to record the new album around the end of 2014.


It would be interesting to know some details about the new stuff, considering that your last album Alloy was released 6 years ago. Will you reveal any secrets?

It’s still the same old Skepticism, but however, we have been trying some new methods and ideas. We have been focusing on the atmospheres of the songs, even more than earlier. Currently we are doing a song where there is less drumming and vocals than usually in our music. I’m pretty curious to see the final result of that particular song. A new “march song” has been written again and most probably there will be a new record label releasing the album. Continue reading »

Dec 052010

In today’s installment of our make-it-up-as-we-go tribute to Finnish metal, I’m doing something I probably shouldn’t do. I’m writing about a genre of metal about which I’m almost completely ignorant.

Wait a minute. Why did I just say I shouldn’t do that?  If I were to limit myself to subjects I know something about, this site would have folded long ago. Either that or I would have been forced to change the focus to NO CLEAN UNDERWEAR. I wonder what groverXIII would have come up with as a banner for that?

Anyway, since I’ve never let abject ignorance stand in the way of expressing my opinions, I’m forging ahead. And you can’t stop me! Today, the focus is on funeral doom, Finnish style. Since I know next to nothing about this genre, I’m being guided 100% by the suggestions we received when I solicited ideas for this ongoing tribute.

And speaking of ongoing, in an e-mail Andy Synn helpfully pointed us to the following passage in the quite hysterical Uncyclopedia:  “Earth’s orbit around the sun also contributes to it’s aging process. Each new orbit is considered one local year, which in universal terms of time is simply a standard galactic week. As you can imagine, the Earthlings don’t get much done within this massive waste of time.” And yes, this does put Finland Tribute Week in an whole new perspective.

The suggestions on which I relied came from what appear to be some very reliable sources. Misha Nuis, the vocalist/guitarist for Akelei (a Dutch band whose very impressive 2010 debut album we reviewed here) and self-professed doomster, pointed us in the direction of Tyranny, with these words: “This is crushing funeral doom at its best. If you put this album on and sit down while it plays, you’ll find it hard to get up again after it’s finished. That’s how heavy it is.”

Our second source, CarlSk, named two more Finnish funeral doom bands, one of which was Colosseum. And finally, Canopy‘s Fredrik Hultgren brought Skepticism to our attention, calling them “nothing short of amazing” and “mesmerizing” on stage. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »