Riku Hopeakoski - Guitars & backing vocals
Mikko Hepo-oja - Bass
Toni Qvick - Drums
Sauli Jauhiainen - Guitars
Jussi Sauvola - Keyboards
Catamenia (FI) is a melodic dark metal band, founded in ‘95 by their original members Riku Hopeakoski and Mika Tönning in Oulu, Finland. Their first two demos caught attention and lead to signing a contract in ‘97 with Massacre Records, with whom they are cooperating till today.
»After the recording of our first album “Halls of Frozen North”, Sebastian, one of our first fans ever, asked me : “Riku, do you know what Catamenia means ?” and I said “NO ?” .. He said “Catamenia means MENSTRUATION” ! I told myself : “No it can not mean this … SHIT !” So, we wanted to change the name, but it was too late cos the album was already pressed and released … So we decided to keep the name. But this name means nothing to us, it just sounds good.«(Riku, in an interview for Metal France, 2007)
First full-length album, “Halls of Frozen North” was recorded at Commusication Studios, Germany, working with Gerhard Magin (Crematory, Mystic Circle, etc), and released in 1998. It took only a year before the release of “Morning Crimson”, which was recorded in Sweden, at Sunlight Studios with Thomas Skogsberg (Katatonia, Dismember, etc).
The band already experienced first line-up changes; drummer Toni Tervo and guitarist Sampo Ukkola were replaced by Sir Luttinen and with current guitarist Ari Nissilä.
The next albums were recorded in Finland - “Eternal Winter`s Prophecy” (Tico-Tico Studios with Ahti Kortelainen (Kalmah, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Dawn of Relic) and “Eskhata”, at SoundMix Studios with producer Mika Pohjola (The Black League).
Chaos was born (“ChaosBorn”), at Neo Studio in Finland with Kari Vähäkuopus and Immu Ilmarinen (Burning Point, Embraze, Afterworld, Sentenced).
After great feedback from media and fans of 'ChaosBorn', Catamenia didn’t rest long and decided to make the sixth album at the same studio, Mastervox Studios with producers Kakke Vähäkuopus and Immu Ilmarinen. The studio sessions were temporarily blocked because of unprofessional behaviour of some of the band-members, which led to line-up changes. Vocalist Mika and bassist Timo were replaced by new vocalist O.J. Mustonen and bassist Mikko Hepo-oja. Despite the facts of line-up changes, producers and the band itself, recorded and produced band’s most powerful album to the date, “Winternight Tragedies”.
After the great feedback of 'Winternight Tragedies', band did their first East European Tour, managed by ProMusic Production which was complete success. Despite the successful year 2005, Catamenia decided to replace bassist Mikko Hepo-oja unanimously, cause of non-working chemistry between the rest of the members. New bassist Toni Kansanoja (Black Swan, Burning Point) joins and stays with the band since.
In the end of 2005, Riku started to work on the seventh studio album and Mastervox studios was booked again for early summer 2006 with Kakke and Immu. This is the last contractual album for Massacre Records, so again it's time for negotiations and decisions to be made for the future.
Their seventh album had been anxiously expected, and they have finally entered the Mastervox studio, when the band had to face serious problems again. Vocalist Olli lost his voice after singing four songs and they had to replace him by their friend Antti 'Hape' Haapsamo from Mors Subita, who sang the rest of the songs. These unexpected troubles seem to be pushing the band’s flames even higher, for the album “Location: COLD” reached a whole new level in Catamenia's history. Many reviewers and fans have named the album as very variable with ultra-fast riffing and amazing melodies, but also few mid-tempo songs as well. Their famous cover on this album is W.A.S.P.'s I Wanna Be Somebody.
After working together for the last three albums and friendship band mates’ common thinking evolved, Kari Vähäkuopus was invited to join the band as a clean vocalist.
At Catamenia’s visit to Warsaw, Poland, their first DVD, “Bringing The Cold To Poland”, was recorded (produced by Metal Mind Productions).
Catamenia’s story also has dramatic romantic twists. During the touring in Russia and Europe, their keyboard-player Tero decided to leave the band after Russian part of the tour - he fell in love with the promoter and followed her back to Moscow. Not all twists were this romantic. Drummer Veikko Jumisko departed from Catamenia in Spring 2007 because he was not capable to join the touring anymore. However, it wasn’t long before Catamenia stroke gold with another drummer, perfect, yet still enough crazy: Mikko Nevanlahti joins the band.
Catamenia is again a 5-piece band by the final departure of vocalist Olli Mustonen, after his problems with vocal chords and loss of voice. The lead vocal – stand was taken by Ari Nissilä, Kari Vähäkuopus and Toni Kansanoja.
The “The Time Unchained” is the long-expected 8th album, recorded at the SoundMix Studio, with the mixing and mastering taking place at Mastervox Studios, Oulu, Finland and completely produced by Kakke & Catamenia. As the band represented the album, so the reviews and fans concur: it is very variable and includes aggressive, fast guitar riffling with blasting drums, screaming vocals and low grunts but still having the traditional Catamenia melodies and clean vocals. This is also the first time, that Catamenia album is not including any keyboards.
After a very succesful Heidenfest Tour with Finntroll, Primordial, Eluveitie, Equilibrium and Månegarm, Riku starts to compose new songs and the band starts to prepare for the next studio album.
The next studio album is now ready and was released in February 2010 by the name “Cavalcade” via Massacre Records. Again it proves that the band has a lot more to tell and show, and just keeps on creating and growing - this time with major changes in their music. Few curiosities on the album are that the song 'Blood Trails' is featuring also Ville Laihiala from Poisonblack and it also includes a tribute song for Sentenced, 'Farewell'. Also minor changes took place inside the band - all the rhythm guitars are played from now on by clean vocalist Kari while Ari is concentrating only on screaming vocals.
After a successful Brutal Assault Festival 2010, band faces some serious line-up changes, but Riku's still determined to keep the band on going and gathers a new army around including ex-bassist Mikko Hepo-oja, and two new guys as guitarist Sauli Jauhiainen and drummer Toni Qvick. Later on, between three singers, ex-Catamenia Olli-Jukka Mustonen, Ash from Agathodaimon and Juha-Matti Perttunen from All Against, band signs the last mentioned for the place of the singer.