For a good decade from around 2000 - 2010, Finland boasted one of my absolute favorite metallic hardcore scenes. In all honesty, that should still be the case, I just listen to so much music that sometimes shit gets lost in the shuffle and it becomes challenging to keep up with everything that's going on everywhere. So, when Markus from the sadly defunct Killing the Legacy website recently hit me up about his new band, Misericorde (out of Turku, Finland), I was intrigued. Even more so upon receiving an early listen to the group's ripping debut, Beyond Lost and Betrayed, and its excellent balance of energetic and fast-paced heavy hardcore with just the right dose of dark metallic undercurrents to keep things interesting—most notably in highlights such as "Reign" and "Unveil."
Hear for yourself below, followed by a quick chat with Markus that's well worth the read for the top-shelf Finnish metalcore recommendations alone!
Alright, so, the lineup has been involved with a bunch of other bands such as Get Stitches!, Ill Omen, Reckless Crew, Vile Fate, etc. How did you all join forces for Misericorde?
[Guitarists] Juuso (vocalist of Reckless Crew and Get Stitches!) and Hannu had been jamming together for a while already when we happened to meet and got talking about doing a band. We had been throwing ideas [around] before about this kind of project, and Juuso knew I'd be interested if someone would need a singer. This was at a time when Vile Fate had already gone into sort of a hiatus, and I didn't have any bands going on. Immediately, I knew who we could ask for a drummer, as Veikko (who has a guitar-playing background in doom/rock/noise, etc.) had talked about an interest in playing drums in a hardcore band. After the first few rehearsals of jamming covers like [the Cro-Mags'] "Life of My Own" and [Integrity's] "Hollow," we started to write stuff—Juuso and Hannu being mainly responsible. Quickly after this, we added Mikko from Vile Fate on bass, and after that the lineup was pretty much done.
After the first few spins, the material strikes me as having an early Cleveland hardcore type of influence to it, so there's a little bit of a dark metallic edge, but everything remains very much rooted in hardcore. How—if at all—did you approach Misericorde to set itself apart from some of the members' past efforts?
I think we had some kind of idea to just go with metallic hardcore (Integrity, Iron Age), but we ended up blending it with Japanese metal-punk (G.I.S.M., Parasite) and some classic metal (old Slayer and Metallica). None of these elements that came together were planned, Juuso and Hannu just wrote the base for a song, and if we then thought that it's good, we would just finish it with the whole band. So, we didn't try to sound exactly like any Cleveland bands, but you can probably hear some Integrity and Ringworm at least in there. Someone said we sound like Poison Idea playing Integrity or something like that, I guess that's cool.
I haven't seen any of the lyrics, but in "Darkness Between" I can hear some phrases that seem to nod toward Integrity's masterpiece, "Jagged Visions of My True Destiny." Overall, where would you say you're coming from with the general concepts of the lyrics?
That is correct, it is my absolute favorite track from them, and weirdly that quote fit well to the theme of "Darkness Between." I love Integrity, they were—and are—such an amazing and influential band for me personally, and I know other Misericorde members can back this, too. On Beyond Lost and Betrayed, the subjects of the lyrics touch many things on a pretty wide scope: a damned comic book magician, hate for nazis (and racists in general), a certain famous FBI agent, the At the Mountains of Madness novel, and themes of generally losing faith in people and humanity. Something along those lines.
I also don't really know any details about your planned eight-song release at the moment!
The album is called Beyond Lost and Betrayed and the digital version is out now on Bandcamp! Other digital services are as well in the works—Spotify, Apple Music, etc. We are planning on a vinyl version at least—at the moment we're trying to get hold of any labels that could be interested in helping to put it out. I mean, we're open if anyone wants to help out with any possible format, all help is appreciated and we dig tapes and CDs, too.
Do you have any idea of what's next to come? Shows, etc.?
We were so excited to finally get the mastered album, so we thought to [put] it up online right away. We've only played one show and now that the album is out there, I'd say that we are very interested in playing the shit out of it live as well. Hopefully someone likes the stuff and we get to play shows anywhere possible!
Finally, you already know that I've been a huge fan of the Finnish metallic hardcore scene in the past, but I think you also know that I've rather shamefully lost track quite a bit over the years, and have even had trouble finding the time to keep up with the mighty Full House Records. So, who are some current Finnish bands that I should get off my ass and start checking in on?
I know, man, and it's really cool, you have been quite a Finnish hardcore ambassador during running Aversionline! [The last few] years have been really cool here, there has been lots of activity with newer kids—shows they book and bands they've put together. What I will say is that Circuit Breaker Bookings has been one of the best things happening the last few years. They've put on some real good shows and with bigger bands, too, like Harm's Way, Full of Hell, King Nine, etc.
- Two Finnish bands that you should easily check out right now are Gray State and Cleansing. Both of these two worship vegan chugga edgemetal pretty perfectly.
- Corrosion is a pretty damn impressive band as well, like black metal/punk Kickback with all kinds of sludge-ish hardcore/punk/crust tricks in there. Dark and violent!
- Dredged as well is a band you should definitely hear. They have been around for a while—a heavy churning assault of metallic pounding. Vocally it sounds like Death From Above. They did an Ironside cover, too, on their second tape, it's pretty sick!
- Full House has been a little quiet, but I think there's new stuff coming! Krisse from Down My Throat has a new band with kind of an all-star lineup called Black Soil. They just put their debut album online and it's really nice—a mix of Crowbar, Only Living Witness, and Down My Throat?
Of course, there are so many older bands that are still on top of their game:
- Become a Threat put out their second album called The Abyss, and it's a truly ruthless record!
- St. Hood also released their third album, The Age of Unreason, delivering very trademark groovy, heavy hardcore.
- Foreseen has been pretty much all over the world, delivering the sickest crossover hardcore/thrash around with every new release.
Go check them all out, if you haven't! You'll get a pretty good picture with these bands of what's happening over here. Lots of new bands coming up that I'm very interested to hear about myself, too!