ZT interrogation: The Mist From the Mountains

Hailing from Finland and featuring some scene veterans, the new atmospheric black metal band The Mist From the Mountains delivered an impressive debut that in vein of (early) Dimmu Borgir, Kampfar, Old Man’s Child, but with a progressive twist. Enough reason for Zero Tolerance to have a chat with these scene veterans about their album Monumental – The Temple of Twilight.

ZT: The Mist From the Mountains exists since 2020. Can you tell us something about how the band was founded?

Tuukka: The idea existed for a long time for me and Tuomas and some song structures were done and even pieces of those were used on the album. But things really started to take off when Tuomas played some demo songs to Kim. The three of us gathered and started to talk things through like who are suitable for doing this and who we wanted to participate in the band.

ZT: Based on the cover and the band name, one would assume the lyrics are (partially) nature-inspired. I imagine living in Finland nature’s cycles and sometimes harshness impact life directly, or at least much more than in the more sheltered mid European countries. How does this influence your songwriting?

Tuukka: Nature has a huge impact on daily basis, at least for me. Finding the peace from within and that’s how it starts to inspire creativity side in me. Musically, lyrically and concept wise. Also, the seasons have a big part of the thinking process because we have a short summer, long and rainy autumn, cold winters. But in the spring time you can start seeing life again, the rebirth. These things have quite a massive effect on a common day and that reflects into the art.

How did you go about writing and recording your debut album Monumental – The Temple of Twilight?

Tuukka: All the bases for songs come from me. Most of our tunes have been written by using the 12-string acoustic guitar. Then turned into the metallic side of composition. When things are starting to sound as planned, I’ll make demos from there. After thumbs up of other members, Henri starts building rhythms & bass on the structures. Then me and Henri throw ideas back and forth till we have a song. Upon the instrumental audio comes vocals etc. So, it is long and painful process from zero to final stage. Drums on the album were recorded in Jyväskylä. Everything else in Helsinki by Henri. He also mixed it. The album was mastered at Tico-Tico by Ahti Kortelainen

Your sound seems rooted in the mid 90ies and reminds of bands such as Old man’s Child, Kampfar, early Dimmu Borgir, old Borknagar. Yet you also do not shy away from some – for black metal uncommon instruments and melodies – in for example ‘Thus Spake the Tongueless Spirit‘. What do you value more in your music: a certain degree of innovation or a more classic black metal approach played with conviction and passion?

Tuukka: The most valuable point in our music is that it feels and sounds right. That already begins when I start making riffs and structures. It needs to have a little bit of magic and it needs to speak to me at a certain level. Otherwise, I just skip it and move on. Also there needs to be some sort of drama line in the songs. Strong emotions, feelings or just pure wrath. Mixing all the poison together you might have a songs like ”Thus Spake… or After God.

Who created the cover artwork and can you explain what it represents?

Tuukka: Henri has done the artwork and inlays. The picture on the cover is a photo taken by me in Lapland. Clouds are from the painting which is done by Henri’s father, Mauri Villberg. And also some drawing from Henri’s pen. So it is quite a combination of different things. All  the artwork is based under the album title and theme.

Some of you have played in various bands in the metal scene over the years. What is it about metal that attracted you to start playing the genre in the first place and how has that developed over time?

Kim: Most of us play in several bands even today. Not all bands are metal though, but to me personally metal was the only music genre that existed after spending the teen years with heavy and thrash metal. It was the natural way to go.

What are your thoughts on black metal present day?

Kim: People in our age, who survived the 1st and 2nd wave of black metal, still kind of think “those were the days”. And in a way it is true. Black metal was at its best in the 90s and that echoes in our hearts even today. Still, there are loads of new bands popping up and doing their thing, which is good. Our thing is more of a reflection of the 90s with a small progressive cling to it.  New blackness is hard to find when all light is already consumed by darkness.

The Finnish metal scene is quite varied and strongly represented throughout several genres: from (melodic) death metal, to black metal, to folk metal and more. How would you explain this large creative output in a less populated country and in such a variety of styles?

Kim: It’s the weather, and Finns tend to have a certain melancholic vibe in their DNA.

What can we expect in the future from The Mist From the Moutains? Are you planning on playing the album on the road, whenever it’s possible again?

Tuukka: The plan is to hit the stages, but not on tours. Festivals and some interesting gigs will hopefully open up. So far we are booked for one festival, but are also talking to other venues and organizers. Also writing the next album is on the table.

Check out The Mist From the Mountains on Facebook.

Thanks for dropping in!

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