Interview With Antony Hämäläinen (NIGHTRAGE)

[By: IRoar]

Melodic death metal has seen many transformations over the years. And like anything that gains popularity among the masses, it's seen its fair share of watering-down. With many bands choosing to blend (read: rip-off) the genre's sound for their own leverage.

Then comes Nightrage. Nightrage stand as a true testament to that what melodic death metal should sound like today. All it takes is a group of skilled veterans with a true passion towards their music to keep it alive. 2003's extreme masterpiece "Sweet Vengeance" is considered a cult classic among many melodic death metal purists. The album was reissued last year as part of a 2 disc compilation also featuring 2005's crushing "Descent Into Chaos."

Now the band is about to unleash a melodic death metal mammoth in the form of their latest studio effort titled "Insidious" (out September 26th via Lifeforce Records!) which might be the band's heaviest work to date. The album features guest appearances by the likes of Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, EX-Nightrage) Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind, EX-Nightrage), Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind), and John K (Biomechanical).

I got a chance to catch up with frontman Antony Hämäläinen to chat about the band's latest effort, their back catalog and which songs he enjoys performing live, among other topics.
Here's how it went:

First of all I'd like to thank you for this opportunity; it's always a pleasure to have you on Metality.

Thanks for having me!

Nightrage has just released it's latest offering, and probably heaviest to date, titled "Insidious" via Lifeforce Records. How has the reaction been from fans towards the new material so far?

It has been really good! People seem to be very happy with the idea of having some old and new guests come to the table and contribute a few parts. I'm glad everyone likes it.

What can you tell us about the lyrical concept behind the album? What subjects does the music explore?

Pretty much the same as we have always done. Marios and I get together with a bunch of potential song titles, and he picks the ones that fit the music. Usually subject matters on the human being in general ad how we treat one another. All the different emotions of life. Then when a title is picked, Marios gives me his ideas on the subject, I do the same, then I compose the vocal phrasings and melodies and fit the lyrics into them.

"Insidious" is the first album to feature the same line-up on more than one release. Did that help form a better chemistry between the band as songwriters? How was the writing for this album handled?

Well basically we had those guys come in and play what we had already written. We felt that these parts would better suite the music rather then just have the same old guys doing it. We just wanted things to pop out at the listener and create a well rounded album.

You brought in an array of guest musicians to contribute to "Insidious;" such as veteran front man Tomas Lindberg, Gus G., Tom S. Englund, Apollo Papathanasio, and Elias Holmlid. How was it working with a wide variety of musicians on the album?

It was very easy. These are all guys we have known a long time and have worked with in the past. They came in and did their parts like the true professionals they are. It was an amazing pleasure to irk with them.

With the new album released. Nightrage will be going on tour with Firewind in October. What do you guys have in-store for your fans? Which songs can fans expect to hear live from the new album?

We have lots of goodies for them thats for sure! They can expect to hear the first two tracks from the new album, that much I will give away. And of course the so called "hits" from the other albums.

Back in November, 2010. Nightrage released a 2-disc compilation titled "Vengeance Descending," that featured reissues of the band's earlier releases "Sweet Vengeance" and "Descent Into Chaos." When looking back at the band's catalog, which songs would you personally pick as your favorite(s) to perform live?

Wow, that's a tough one to do, but I'll give it a shot. Since you mention this compilation album, one of my all time favorite songs from Nightrage is a song called "Black Skies". It was the Japanese bonus track for the Descent into Chaos album. That song is amazing and I hope we can play it someday live. "Glow of The Setting Sun", and "Being Nothing" are always fun to play live.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions. It's always a pleasure to catch up with you. Would you like to add anything?

Thanks for the interview, and I hope to see all the Nightrage fans on tour!

Pre-order the new Nightrage record "Insidious" out September 26th via Lifeforce Records via
: CD | Mp3

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