Finnugor - Biography



As told by Gabriel Wolf himself:

The band was formed in 2001 (September). My good friend Tomi Kalliola (in Finnugor band formerly he was using the name "Nikolai Stalhammar", and "Godslayer N. Vassago") was telling me about his plans. He already had a lot of bands in those times (he's the leader of Azaghal, Hin Onde, Wyrd, Vultyr, Oath of Cirion, Decay's Delight, Valar, With Hate I Burn, etc....), but he was planning to create one more new black metal band. Most of his bands were true black metal bands or viking metal bands and he wanted to create a symphonic black metal project with gothic influences. In those times I spent most of my time on my industrial band (Infra Black). I told him I would be really glad if I could be a member of his new black metal band, because I really liked black metal and I wanted to be involved in something different than electro-industrial music. At first he asked me to be the singer of the band (at the very beginning). Later I started to write lyrics and also started to compose gothic songs and intros for the songs. I became the cover designer of the CDs too, and I found out the band name and the album titles as well. At the very beginning I was invited almost as a guest singer, but later I became the leader of Finnugor. I organize almost everything alone around the productions (the CDs, videos, etc...).

A short story behind our first album (Black Flames):
John Caldwell is the most famous fantasy writer here in Hungary. He's a friend of mine, and he's also a big black metal fan. When we finished our first album with Tomi, I sent it to John as a present. He liked the album that much, he started to write a dark fantasy book, based on our Finnugor album. The story of the book was based on the lyrics of "Behind the Mirror" song (which was the only song on the album with Hungarian lyrics). The whole book was written in the same mood: it's very dark, and the story is exactly about our song lyrics. Every chapter begins with quotations from Finnugor "Black Flames" album. The book was released about 2 months after we sent the Finnugor CD to John. This book is one of his darkest and most special books that he has ever written, also maybe his best book ever. It became a popular, best-selling fantasy book in Hungary at the very beginning. I think all the copies were sold out not much later than the release date... which were about 20000 copies (that's a BIG number here for a book in Hungary!). The book made us (me and Tomi) some kind of legendary black metal group (in the army of the John Caldwell fans). In the next year, (2002) Adipocere Records signed the band and they released the first album in September.

Later in 2003, when we started to work on the second album (Death Before Dawn), I started to write different stories (song lyrics). This second album was not about only one conception. The album was telling about a lot of scary horror stories (or sometimes about my own visions). This time there wasn't a main topic for the whole album. All the songs were different stories, like short horror/fantasy novels. I wrote the majority of the song lyrics in English, except one song. At the middle of the work, I invited Attila Csihar to be a guest on the album, for the song called "Cosmic Nest of Decay." Some months later, Attila came home to Hungary and we recorded a video for "Cosmic Nest of Decay," and when the video was ready, I sent it to the biggest music TV channel in Hungary (VIVA+). They liked its eerie atmosphere and Attila's scary performance very much. They played our video for about 2 years almost every week (in their metal show, called "Megawatt")! Later, when we were working on the album, I also invited Domina Mystico for being a female narrator on the album. I think her angelic voice made the album very interesting and individual. Adipocere Records released this album in the same year, 2003.

In 2004, we recorded the third album (Darkness Needs Us):
I wanted to come up with something new...something interesting what has never existed or happened before. So I invited my friends, who I respect the most, from all over the world, to be featuring on this album.
- Attila Csihar (Tormentor, Aborym, Mayhem...)
- Ville Sorvali (from Finland - Moonsorrow band)
- AOD (from Belgium - Dagorlad band)
- Peter Meynckens (from Belgium - Axamenta band)
- Sture Dingsoyr (from Norway - Windir and Ulcus bands)
- Marcus Ehlin (from Sweden - Siebenbürgen band)
- Christopher B. Wildman (from Spain - Asgaroth band)
- RMS Hreidmarr (from France - Anorexia Nervosa band)
- Morfeus (from Norway - ex-Limbonic Art and Dimension F3H bands)
Some people thought, (when they had a look at the CD cover), that this album was a kind of compilation album, but they were wrong. It's "just" the 3rd Finnugor album, but a really varied and interesting one, also monumental so to say. All the lyrics were written in English this time. I think these lyrics are very special and they are the best ones of all three albums. Karmageddon Media released this album in 2004.

After two years of hard work, many personal problems and a marriage, we finally finished our 4th album, called "Voitettuani Kuoleman" (meaning "Once I conquered death" in English). The album concept is some kind of "back to the roots" thing. We returned to our original concept of "FINNUGOR" (Finnugor was a Finnish-Hungarian language family a long time ago). Earlier our song lyrics were written mostly in English, but on this new album I sing only in Finnish and Hungarian languages. We returned to our roots, to the one that makes our band a one-and-only band: Finnugor is the only Finnish-Hungarian black metal band. So the main idea is returning to our ancestors, to the language which have mostly been forgotten for a very long time.

But, of course, this album isn't only for the Finnish and Hungarian people. This album is stronger in melodies and dynamic rhythms than ever. Some of them are monumental and melodious as a hymn and some of them remind the listener of the mood of the ancient folklore of our nations. This time I placed an even higher premium on the vocals. I'm singing & speaking in about 10 different voices, from the scariest black metal scream and death growl to even opera stylish clean vocals. I noticed in black metal music, that if the singer can scream very well, he doesn't usually to sing in the "clean vocals" style. Also, if somebody sings in a clean style very well, he doesn't usually scream in the "black metal" style too much, and it's usually the job of another band member. So I thought somebody should finally break all the limits and possible monotonities of the vocal styles of this music genre and finally sing in all the kinds of voices that make black metal music so excellent. Because of the diversity of vocal styles and many moods, the album is never boring and always keeps the listener's attention. But this is only one of the many reasons why I think this album is our best work ever, as it's also a bit different than the earlier 3 albums. So I wouldn't be surprised if someone who didn't like the earlier albums, would like this album very much. I don't feel sorry about spending two years recording this album, I always try to present a higher quality production that is better and more interesting than the previous one. I hope the listeners will appreciate my work, as much time was spent working on the album. Ville Sorvali (Moonsorrow) is featured on the album again, as a lyric writer this time. The other guest appearance is Agathon (from Gloomy Grim and Thy Serpent), as a singer on the album.

Later (in 2007) I asked 3 friends (actually they were Finnugor fans) from Finland to join the band. All of them were great musicians but they didn't have any serious bands before. They had the necessary professional musical skills but they didn't have enough ideas to start a band on their own. So actually I wrote the next Finnugor album completely (Fame et Morte), and gave them the musical notes on paper to record the music as if I would have hired some session musicians. I think it turned out extremely good. This new album (Fame et Morte) is my all-time favourite. More monumental and more professional than ever before. So Finnugor has 4 members right now. Me on vocals and music composing, Ville Mustanen - guitars, Janne Lahtisaari - bass, Aatto Koskinen - drums. I didn't want this as a final Finnugor line-up, but "Fame et Morte" turned out so good, now it's quite sure we will continue the work together.