Revulsion are an enigma. They may be pure Arctic Circle Death Metal from northernmost Finland, but instead of jumping full-on onto the Finnish Death Metal wagon, they choose to sound more brutal and clever than most. Fans of Aeon and Defaced Creation should pay special attention. They have been around for quite a while, but their debut LP is coming out later this year via Transcending Obscurity Records.
What has happened in between this release and what these guys are up to now should be of interest to many, as their self-titled album is definitely going to create some waves in the pit of gore-drenched Death Metal. We at The Metal Wanderlust sure wanted to know, and therefore got in contact with the band. It turned out that this was the first ever interview they have ever publicly done, so hey… when Revulsion begins to storm the “best of” lists at the end of 2021, you should remember – you read it here first!
All answers by Revulsion, the whole band, in collective form.
ProgCaveOgier (PCO): Hi guys! What’s up? How cold is it now where you are at?
Revulsion: Hey! We’re good, excited for the upcoming album release to finally happen. We’re spread around the country a bit, but it’s about -10 centigrade here in Oulu. Not too bad yet.
PCO: Revulsion have been around since 2005, but your debut album is coming out in 2021. What took you guys so long??
Revulsion: The first few years went by with changes in the line-up, and just spending time playing for fun. Not all of us wanted to play live shows, so there was no clear direction for what we wanted to achieve anyway. We also spent quite a long time looking for a permanent vocalist, until Aleksi got onboard in 2012. We’ve been doing small releases since 2010 and playing gigs around Finland ever since, but there was a period of a few years kind of finding our own direction and solidifying what we wanted to achieve in terms of the music. This album took its time as well, due to it being very much a DIY project for the recording process and now even further delayed because of COVID. So, it’s a sum of multiple things, but shouldn’t take as long for future releases.
PCO: Your previous release, the “Defiled” EP, came out in 2011. What has changed since? What are the differences and similarities between it and the upcoming full album?
Revulsion: The basic sonic structure of the band has stayed the same. Bass has always been a very prominent part of our sound, and continues as such. It’s always been very much Death Metal, but we’ve found more of our own direction rather than one song being influenced by a certain band and the next song by a different band. Over the years it’s become a more “serious” effort, and refining our songwriting beyond coming up with a couple of cool riffs and putting them together. The genre is still the same, but we’ve headed down a different path within that genre and discovered a more singular approach as a band.
PCO: Was a self-titled debut album the only logical option this time around, or did you have other titles in mind as well for the release?
Revulsion: There were some ideas thrown around, but since it’s the debut full-length, “Revulsion” just seemed the most appropriate in the end.
PCO: Who are your greatest heroes in the field of Death Metal?
Revulsion: I guess we all appreciate the forefathers of the genre, like Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, but there aren’t that many bands or artists that I think we would all call our “heroes” in any sense. We each draw our influences from quite different directions.
PCO: Do you listen to other types of music as well? Can you give some examples?
Revulsion: Very much so. Name a genre and at least one of us can probably name a favorite within that genre. On the whole, we probably spend more time listening to other types of music than Death Metal. Ranging from classics like The Beatles, Queen, and Black Sabbath, all the way up to modern mainstream artists as well as some pretty obscure underground acts. Not that we listen to absolutely anything and everything, but our musical tastes and influences go far beyond Death Metal.
PCO: On your upcoming album there are three songs written in Finnish. Was it very different to write in your own language, when compared to, say, universal English? What was the hardest part about writing in Finnish?
Revulsion: It is a different process, but not necessarily any more difficult or easy than in English. Some things and ideas just flow better in one language. Obviously, with Finnish being our native language, we are much more aware of how to express things without them being cliché or feeling awkward, but that’s also part of the challenge. It took a bit of a conscious effort to be able to write lyrics in Finnish that suited our style of music and have it deliver the feel that we want to achieve.
PCO: What kind of topics can be found within the lyrics of “Revulsion”? Are there certain topics you would never sing about?
Revulsion: When we first started, the lyrics were mostly in line with the Cannibal Corpse side of Death Metal. While you can still find some elements of that in our lyrics, now there are themes and ideas beyond blunt force trauma behind them. There is an overarching horror element to the lyrics, different kinds of nightmare scenarios and such. Never say never, there could always be a way to approach a topic in a way that can suit the music and aforementioned themes in some way.
PCO: What are the pros and cons to a life just below the Arctic Circle?
Revulsion: It’s a fairly unique place to be at. Only a very small portion of the population on the planet live in these kinds of conditions, and that might give us a slightly different perspective on things. Nature is always close, and we’ve got long periods of cold and dark during the winter, but then you get very much the opposite in the summer. Your mileage will vary on what effect that has on you as an individual. In more practical terms, it does have its downsides regarding playing live shows. Non-local shows are always at least a few hours’ drive away, so there is that flipside to the somewhat isolated existence.
PCO: What can we expect from Revulsion in near future?
Revulsion: We have songs lined up for a follow-up release to the album and this time around it should not take as long for us to get it released. We’ve got a great label, Transcending Obscurity Records, to support us with getting our stuff out there, so you’ll be sure to hear from us.
PCO: How would rate the state of Finnish Death Metal right now?
Revulsion: Finnish Death Metal is doing absolutely fantastic at the moment. We’ve got a lot of really awesome bands active right now and more seem to be coming up constantly. Gorephilia, Sepulchral Curse, Corpsessed, God Disease, Sadistik Forest, Refusal, Kruor, Desolate Shrine, Spiritual Holocaust, Lie in Ruins, Oksennus, and so on and so on.
Finland’s got its own Death Metal festival, Helsinki Death Fest, that has been growing steadily every year. Our very own Jari (guitarist) arranges Pohjola Death Fest events in Northern Finland. If you’re a fan of Death Metal, you’re missing out if you’re not taking a deep dive into what Finland has to offer.
PCO: Do you think it is easier to smile or frown?
Revulsion: Smile. We spend our time exploring the aspects of life worth frowning about in our music, so we can spend more time smiling in our day-to-day lives.
PCO: Last but not least, what are your biggest hopes for the new decade? What do we need more of, and what do we need less of?
Revulsion: More live shows and less viruses.
PCO: Thank you for your time! Cheers!