The Forgotten Horror is a band black/death metal born in Kuopio, Finland, in 2004 and today celebrates its 11th anniversary with a new album called "AEON SHADOW OF THE GODDESS", released June the 5th, for WOODCUT RECORDS.
Les Fleurs du Mal has the opportunity to have a chat with the founder, Tuomas Karhunen, of the band to find out more about the band and all that is behind the creative process of "AEON SHADOW OF THE GODDESS".
Enjoy the reading.
Les Fleurs du Mal: Hi Tuomas and thank you for this interview. I’ll start asking when and how do Forgotten Horror were born? You are a band that has existed for eleven years, there will be a lot to tell and we like stories...
Tuomas: Hello and thank you! Forgotten Horror was born in January 2004. I had just left my previous band, a great Finnish underground black death act called Flame. There was nothing else behind that decision except that I just wanted to start doing my very own thing, you know? I met my old friend Mr. Blackvenom from Flame at the FH album release gig in May… good times with good friends!
So 2004 I was making the first FH songs and as the year changed to 2005, I named this monster as FORGOTTEN HORROR. Soon after I moved to Spain (Madrid) and while there, I finished the demo material and Kassara from Deathchain joined the band as the drummer.
Later I joined Deathchain and because of that, I moved back to Finland in January 2008… But now I live in Sweden, hahah!
LFdM: Eleven years, a demo in 2007, the first album in 2011 - "The Serpent Creation" - which has received very positive feedbacks and now "Aeon of the Shadow Goddess”, about to go out on June 5 Why this lag between the albums?
T.: Phew, that’s a longer story. I began working with new material right after the “Serpent…” album. I was also working with my Qliphothic initiation - I moved to Sweden to be more active in a dark magic order Dragon Rouge - and kind of correspondingly with those energies (Lilith / Gamaliel) my life turned upside down and I had two years of “bad luck” (I do not believe in luck or coincidences); obstacles, serious sudden illness within my closest ones etc… there was a lot of difficulties with the album, some people I chose to work with turned out to just cost me a lot of time and money. But eventually I managed to triumph over all that shit.
Also, I was been busy with my other bands. We made a full-length with Deathchain, entitled “Ritual Death Metal”, then we recorded a new full-length with True Black Dawn where I play the bass guitar…we made the debut album with Jess and the Ancient Ones and toured one month in North America with none other than KING DIAMOND… a lot of things have been going on!
LFdM: Finland is a land of music and every city can boast a key group that is a bit its symbol. What are the bands that the Forgotten Horror listen to and from which draw more inspiration?
T.: I listen to all kinds of music from all genres. I used to be an underground true metal fanatic with all these scene rules what you can listen to, but nowadays I just like broadening my perspective and taking influences from wherever I find them… Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas are my all-time favorite music, I listen to a lot of soundtrack stuff such as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone etc., a lot of ethnic music, pop, psychedelic rock, dark electric stuff… Good music is good music, period.
The other band members probably are a bit more traditional with their musical taste… they listen to a lot of underground/occult black metal and mostly metal stuff, you know?
LFdM: And now we come to "Aeon of the Shadow Goddess": how would you describe the creative process behind this album to those who are about to hear it for the first time?
T.: It is an album made out of devotion, love and dedication to the Dark Goddess. She is the light at the end of the tunnel for me, I have been blessed with her presence and I just want to express and channel my devotion to her by making this music. I think if you read the lyrics or not, you’ll get it that this is made with a lot of passion. The album is a good mixture of technical playing and raw emotion.
Forgotten Horror walks hand in hand with my own spiritual growth and as I mentioned, the past years were extremely difficult for me. I feel like the dynamic Energy of the universe wanted to test my dedication, you know? I triumphed over those obstacles, I’m more than happy with my current direction in life and I’m very satisfied with “Aeon of the Shadow Goddess”.
LFdM: We had the great pleasure of a listen preview and we have enjoyed a sound: very hard, dark, made from a scratchy voice that seems to scream like a demon from hell. This was the effect you wanted to achieve?
T.: I’m glad to hear you enjoyed listening to the album! Sound-wise, making a new full-length is always a kind of a question mark for me, I just try to do everything to bring the original idea out as pure as possible. There’s a lot of very personal stuff in the lyrics and I try to transmit my thoughts and feelings about things through FH as well as I can.
LFdM: What can you tell us, however, about the process of songwriting? What comes before: music or words?
T.: It can be either music or lyrics, it depends. Usually I write music and lyrics separately and after a preliminary idea I see which lyrics correspond with which riffs. A lot of lyrics pop into my head after magical workings, as the fruits of those workings often times you make discoveries about you as a person and your purpose in this life. Many times I feel like something else is bringing these lyrics and melodies to my consciousness and I just sit down and channel what’s coming out.
LFdM: Listening to the album is like to walk deep inside a dark path made of music, very intimate, faceted, truly and deeply felt. Is it really that or is it just an impression?
T.: It’s definitely that, FOR REAL. Funny that you mention it, for that’s exactly how I see FH as a tool to walk the Left-Hand Path. During the dark alchemical creation of this album I have gone through such inner realms which no physical manifestation can describe properly, but I tried my best to do just to my experiences by pouring everything I got into it. This process really changed my life, so it’s very natural that the whole thing shines with a lot of energy.
LFdM: It is said that music is an expression of the soul. Even "Aeon of the Shadow Goddess" can somehow be counted in this classification?
T.: If you listen to the abovementioned Beethoven stuff and consider that the composer was deaf… yeah, music truly is an expression of the soul! And the same is true with “Aeon…”. It is a certain inner impulse, with the volume cranked up in a sonic form. Hopefully it is like “the sound of razors through flesh”, if you know what I mean heheh.
LFdM: On May 2, you played at Henry's Pub, a famous club in Kuopio already the scene of numerous concerts of famous bands in Finland, I’m thinking about Tarot, from Kuopio, too. How was it to play there?
T.: Hahah it’s like a second home for me as I’ve played there countless times with several bands over the years. Kuopio is my hometown so naturally I know the Tarot guys, there’s a lot of metal bands coming from Kuopio, actually.
It was a great moment, a kind of a rite de passage I’d been waiting for a long time. When I moved away from Kuopio in 2005 with only Forgotten Horror to take with me, I swore I’d return there someday with that band and that I wouldn’t play to an empty crowd hahah! I arranged the album release gig for Walpurgisnacht weekend and the place was almost packed. It was a great evening and a big personal victory for me. A death of an era, and a birth to a new one.
LFdM: Will you repeat early the live experience maybe in some summer festival now that the warm weather approaches?
T.: Let’s hope so, I’m dying to play live with FH! Finally we have proper concert booking via Incantation Agency and we’re very optimistic about the future.
LFdM: Is there any chance to see you on a tour outside Finland?
T.: I’d love that and Forgotten Horror is at the moment the only one of my bands that hasn’t performed outside Finland. It’s about time to change that.
LFdM: On behalf of the entire staff of Les Fleurs du Mal thank you very much for this interview.
Good luck for the future
T.: Thank you very much for this interview and all the best for you and Les Fleurs du Mal magazine! Let the sonic wings of darkness tear your souls apart!
Interview by Dora, edit by Alessandra and Alessia
HERE for album review.