Joni Koskinen - Growls & Guitar
Antti Koskinen - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Simo Lehtonen - Bass & Backing Vocals
Rinksa - Lead Guitar
Atte Marttinen - Drums
Kivimetsan Druidi Bio:
Eighteen months since their acclaimed Century Media debut album ‘Shadowheart’ and loads of gigs, mostly outside their home land Finland, have seen these up and coming Finnish Fantasy Metal shooting stars to mature into a firm crowd favourite. Kivimetsän Druidi’s unmistakeable, heavy, drivingly fast and highly athmospheric sound has won them quickly a worldwide fanbase. Two successful European tours, recent North American tour – Heathenfest America in November and numerous festival gigs in 19 different countries. Now these youngsters have already a total of 140 gigs under their belt!
Founded in 2002 Kivimetsän Druidi was first recognized as a part of Finnish folk metal genre. Gradually, however, they have adopted influences from various metal genres and their music has evolved towards more extreme expression. Although you can hear echoes from symphonic, folk, pagan and even thrash metal in their unique sound, they tend to describe their heavy but melodic music as extreme Fantasy Metal. “Extreme” because of the extreme sounds, dark growls and various influences, and “fantasy” not only because of the lyrical themes, but also because of the freedom to mix together elements from all different kinds of Metal. And Metal – yes, they definitely play Heavy Metal although they are also a significant part of the female fronted Metal movement.
‘Betrayal, Justice, Revenge’ was recorded at MadMix Studio in Kivimetsän Druidi’s home town Kouvola between September and December 2009 by Aki Väkevä and Jani Huusari. It was mixed by Aki Väkevä who also co-produced the album with the band members. Mika Jussila then mastered the album at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki earlier this year.
The new album is versatile, diverse and full of surprises. If the debut album was more or less a collection of songs from a lengthy period of three or four years, ‘Betrayal, Justice, Revenge’ expresses what Kivimetsän Druidi’s music is right now. Although the brothers Koskinen (Antti and Joni) have once again been mainly responsible for the music, Atte Marttinen, Antti Rinkinen and Leeni-Maria Hovila have also taken considerably part to the writing process. And most of the lyrics were written by Leeni-Maria. So this time the songwriting process has very much been team work.
In addition to the strong set of songs it’s easy to notice Leeni-Maria’s vastly improved singing on this album. Her vocal work crowns the heaviness and epicness of the songs. With Joni’s growling vocals the combination works wonders here. Joni’s and Rinksa’s guitar riffs attack the poor listener severely and Antti’s majestic keyboards are supported by Atte’s skilled orchestrations. The heavy and accurate basics are once again provided by the rhythm duo Atte and Simo.
The industrious touring can be heard on this album. They can really play their instruments. The Heathenfest America tour with Eluveitie, Alestorm, Belphegor, and Vreid convinced them that they have great support also in the USA and Canada, not only in Europe. This was concretely proved in San Francisco, CA where the audience knew the songs and sung along. With a new album to support Kivimetsän Druidi raise their horns and are ready for the battle. They will first tour in their home country, then conquer as many festival stages as possible in Finland and the rest of Europe and finally tour once again in Europe latest this fall. And if asked, they would love to go back to the North America as well!