Spiritual Holocaust's Janne Satokangas Talks Of A New Kingdom

Old school death metal act, Spiritual Holocaust was formed in the winter of 2010 in Raahe, Finland. The line-up was: Tomi Vähäkangas - vocals, Jaakko Ulanto - guitars, Janne Satokangas - guitars, Marko Launen - bass and Jarkko Ahola - drums. Spiritual Holocaust released it's first demo called "Salute the Death" in December 2012.

Later on our original drummer Jarkko Ahola was replaced by Ville Yypäanaho. Now that some years have passed the band has gone on to write and record for their debut EP "Kingdom of Cadavers" and have a whole lot more to do including writing and recording for the follow-up release which would likely be their debut full-length album. Guitarist Janne Satokangas discusses the band's debut EP and future plans.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Spiritual Holocaust.

Janne: Hi! This is Janne from SH squad and I play guitar in our group.

2. Can I get a backstory on the band/band biography and how long has the band been together?

Janne: Spiritual Holocaust formed in 2010 from the ruins of POINT BLANK which was our death/thrash metal band. We felt like it is time to chance our musical direction little bit and this is the result of it. Also we didn't want to continue with the old name. So it was like a fresh start. New songs, new line-up and a new name.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Janne: Well, I just moved to Oulu and here the music scene is much more bigger than in my hometown Raahe. Here we have cool death metal bands like Sadistik, Forest, and Napoleon Skullfukk. Also here in Oulu there are many great bands in the cellars so to speak. In Raahe the music scene is pretty much dead if we talk about metal music. I know that there is some metal bands and that's cool. Well at least we have Feastem and Bloodhammer so there is still hope. Three of our five members are living in Raahe and our rehearsal place is still there. So Raahe is still our main base.

4. Why did you want to go yourselves Spiritual Holocaust, does the name have a story or meaning behind it?

Janne: It is just a name that we took from Hate Eternal's (great band!) debut album. It was very hard to find the right name. I think it was Jaakko's idea. Then we googled it and we didn't find any other bands with that name. So that was it. I think it is "old schoolish and brutal" name so it is perfect for us.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Janne: Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, Cannibal Corpse and death metal in general. Especially old school bands. Nowadays I have been listen a lot of Grave and Morpheus Descends. I have known those bands for years but I haven't listen them. Cool stuff.

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Janne: There is a lot of apocalyptic stuff, war themes and even some gore lyrics. Religions are mentioned too in their own way. Don't get me wrong I am not a religious person. Anyway we use themes that are very common in this kind of music. This time I wrote all the lyrics and I can say that there is no any kind of specific message. I just felt that the text's that I wrote fit with the atmosphere of these songs. Next time there will be some lyrics from the others too and that is good because I am not bestseller author.

7. Is there any story or concept behind the Kingdom of Cadavers title?

Janne: No. I remember that we were on the way to rehearsals and I said to the guys that "I have been thinking the title of our next release. How does the Kingdom of Cadavers sound?" After that we just laughed about it and now it is the title of our new EP. So there is nothing big behind that title but I think it is perfect for our release.

8. Who produced Kingdom of Cadavers and what was it like working with them?

Janne: The guy was Heikki Isokoski. He is a great dude and everything went fine with him. He also has a weird sense of humor, so that always helped when you have to work with us.

9. Who did the cover art for Kingdom of Cadavers and how much input did you have on it?

Janne: It was created by Cesar Valladares Fernandez who also created the logo for us. He is a very talented artist. I just gave him some ideas on what I had in mind and what we wanted as a band. Afterwards I saw the first version of the illustration, and knew for sure that the cover was gonna be awesome. We were so satisfied with the result. Also I want to thank Manuel Rainer for the layout.

10. Select two songs from Kingdom of Cadavers and what inspired the lyrics.

Janne: "Born of Hatred" (also known as a Porn of Hatred) is something that is differed than compared to the another songs. It is about twisted human mind, obsession, hatred and uncontrolled lust. There is a lot of "air" on that text. So it is up to listener how to take it. The rest of the songs are apocalyptic in the way of another. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies and books so that is what has inspired me a lot. For example "Kingdom of Cadavers" is a war themed song but it also have an apocalyptic aspect.

11. Do you plan to write and record for another EP or have works to do a full-length release?

Janne: We have composed a lot of material so hopefully our next release will be a full-length album. We have over 40 minutes of material already. Now we just have to go to the rehearsal room and pick the best songs and do some arrangements and lyrics.

12. When did you start writing for this EP?

Janne: I think it was 2011. Maybe the first ideas came in 2010 right after we finished our debut demo called "Salute the Death". It is so hard to remember. Anyway the songs are quite old for us but hopefully fresh for the listeners.

13. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Janne: No. We did everything the old school way.

14. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this EP?

Janne: Well, our main goal was to compose killer songs to ourselves and after that to record them as good we could. It still goes that way and next time we are going to try to do it better. Now we are satisfied but we also know that we can do things even better. Ambition helps to keep the quality of the music high. Hopefully. Maybe we did something right because Grindhouse Music offered us a deal. We are very happy in our current situation. Grindhouse Music seems to be a great label.

15. How would you describe the overall sound of the new EP?

Janne: I think it is raw, brutal and not over polished or over produced. We are not a technical band at all, so the songs are more based on evil atmosphere than in technical riffs. Of course there is room for some cool or even technical riffs too, but we like to keep things heavy, groovy and simple.

16. Has Spiritual Holocaust ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?

Janne: No we haven't. If we have an opportunity someday that would be great.

17. What could one expect from Spiritual Holocaust show?

Janne: Heavy tones, headbanging, blast beats and insanity. Of course some mistakes and poor playing and after that the decision to do only playback shows.

18. What are the upcoming plans for touring and shows?

Janne: Right now we don't have plans for touring but we will see what the future has to offer. We all are quite busy nowadays, so it is easier to play single gigs in our current situation.

19. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Janne: Well, at first we try to promote "Kingdom of Cadavers" as much we can. We also plans to do some live shows and keep working on our next release, which is hopefully a full-length album.

20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Janne: Pre-orders are available right now on http://www.metalmusic.at/shop. You can also listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/metalmusicaustria.

21. Why should a metalhead buy your stuff?

Janne: I have to pay my bill's somehow. No.... honestly, if you like death metal (Grave, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel etc.) with an old school touch you may like our stuff too. The whole EP can be listened on the Soundcloud website so everything is made easy for the metalheads. If they like it maybe they buy it.

22. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Janne: They should know that this is just the beginning of our journey. This EP was an important step for us but now we are better as a musicians and as song writers - so we have still something to offer in the future. Something wicked and brutal.

23. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Janne: That's a hard one. People hear different things when they hear music in general and most of the people can't stand our music. It would be cool if someone starts to whistle or hum some of our songs or evil melodies in a super market after hearing it for the first time. I also hope that listeners (at least metalheads) can sense or hear the dark atmosphere. I think that is a very important element in metal music. I grew up listening to that kind of music so it grows on you after a while.

24. Any final words of wisdom?

Janne: Support the underground! And last but not least, thank you for this interview.

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