Copyright Sarcofagus 2013

Sarcofagus Introduction

by Devamitra Volksfaust

You know how every metal media guru is trying to push a Finnish band on you nowadays? Finnish metal is on top of the charts around the world and the quality of Finnish metal is well known to fans. Finland also wins by sheer number of bands even with a meager population of five million inhabitants.

Believe it or not, the widespread attribution of metal to Finland is fairly recent and mostly the responsibility of a few industrious labels in the vein of Spinefarm Records promoting these bands like it was a matter of national pride.

The local heavy metal cultists, however, had a reason to be proud long before even the first virtuosic STRATOVARIUS guitar solo was committed to tape. Back when men dressing in black leather, wearing makeup and wielding occult regalia were most likely to be targets for bottle throwing competitions at the rock clubs, one man by the name of Kimmo Kuusniemi hit the scene with the heavy sounds of the damned, shooting fire from his guitar and developing his stage shows around the mysteries of ancient Egypt and black magic.

The "Go to Hell" single release from his brainchild SARCOFAGUS in 1979 went down in history as the first pure Finnish Heavy Metal ever committed to tortured vinyl.

It's tempting to think that 1980 is when the shit really hit the fan, for at least three obvious reasons: 1) The birth of this reviewer, 2) the release of the first SARCOFAGUS album "Cycle of Life" and 3) the release of the second SARCOFAGUS album "Envoy of Death" all during the same year!

Anyone who heard those albums knows that the band didn't just think of a couple of cool title tracks and indulge in filler for the rest. Instead, the albums together work out existential aspects of life and death (such an easily manageable and humble concept) into a narration that aims to teach us to take responsibility for our decisions and stay true to our hearts. Whoa. We are getting at what was truly great about this band: they weren't afraid to cross borders and go for what is dramatic, exciting and worth our time still 30 years later.

The albums didn't hit the charts, but created enough media interest for a few prominent TV appearances and ultimately brought heavy metal in all its mysticism and dark power to Finnish ground.

The third album "Moottorilinnut/Motorbirds" engaged popular Finnish musicians into Kuusniemi's abyss of melodic, multidimensional heavy metal but legal screwups forced them to release it as KIMMO KUUSNIEMI BAND. Without doubt, this was the most ambitious of the projects as a video movie for the full album was shot but didn’t spread far as around that time only a few metalheads even had video cassette players.

Consecutively, the hyperactive main man moved on to TV and music video business, from where he has emerged again in the recent years to stage sporadic SARCOFAGUS comebacks in the form of a new even more experimental album “Core Values” and some gigs around Finland.

SARCOFAGUS continues breaking new technological ground with each new project and supporting the phenomenon they were elemental in creating: Finnish Heavy Metal.