HEDONIHIL is a relatively new band from Finland whose album, “I” was released by Inverse Records in April 2019. Even though, when it comes to the lineup, HEDONIHIL can be summarized as some kind of a “SWALLOW THE SUN side project,” it has its own personality and, to some extent, its own purpose. In that sense, a quick insight into the band members could be useful.
HEDONIHIL is Juuso Raatikainen’s creature: his eclectic approach as a songwriter feels like a breath of fresh air, as we can clearly hear some influences by MARDUK and MORBID ANGEL, but with a new and interesting twist, which may be due to the band having a drummer as the main composer. The guitar player, Juho Räihä, recently joined SWALLOW THE SUN as a permanent member but proves to be extremely flexible in terms of style and attitude.
His furious riffing and thrashy vibes provide the right amount of non-compromising violence to the whole sound. Last but not least, singer Mikko Kotamäki, who’s not new to extreme metal (he used to sing in a bunch of black metal bands such as ALGHAZANTH, FUNERIS NOCTURNUM, and VERIVALA), proves to be one of the most versatile and gifted vocalists in the Finnish metal scene.
As mentioned, the main influences seem to be Swedish death/black metal and American death metal of the 90s, so HEDONIHIL can be considered to be a hybrid of death and black metal, but it’s definitely more on the death metal side when it comes to the general structure of the songs, the high-speed riffs, the drumming, and the whole atmosphere.
Music and lyrics combine to create a flood of negativity, where there’s no room for any hope nor any light at the end of the tunnel – humans are the garbage of the world and the main purpose is to get rid of them at any cost. There are a few philosophical references here and there and it’s quite clear that the lyricist, Juuso Raatikainen, feels the need to have a deeper insight into humanity’s fears and hopes about extinction, the loss of God, and the awareness of humankind’s own end as inevitable and necessary.
It’s also pretty clear how GG Allin – legendary punk musician and undisputed icon of self-destruction and nihilism – could be considered to be the main inspiration for the whole concept on a philosophical level – the band also pays him a tribute with the cover version of “You Hate Me and I Hate You” as a bonus track, where we find featured guests such as Florida Man, and Samy Elbana.
I would personally suggest HEDONIHIL’s first album to anyone who likes aggressive vibes, fast-paced riffs, and a traditional yet unique approach to the vocal style.
Written by Licia Mapelli
- Otherworldly Embrace
- Run You Scum
- The Hedonist Anthem
- Temple of Venus
- Anti-Human Agenda (Misanthropy part I)
- The Whole Human Species Systematically Murdered (Misanthropy part II)
- Better Tomorrow
- Pessimism is the New Realism
- You Hate Me and I Hate You (GG Allin cover)
Juuso Raatikainen – Drums, songwriting
Juho Räihä – Guitars
Mikko Kotamäki – Vocals