Profetus stands as one the finest examples of Finnish funeral doom you’re likely to encounter these days. Their third album, called ‘As all Seasons is a conceptuial release around the turn of the seasons and the eternal cycle of life and death as main man Anssi Mäkinen will explain.
Why write a record about the changing of the seasons?
I just wanted to do a simple small release with a much simpler framework to gather my thoughts on Profetus. It also has a small continuity from the earlier work, ”...to Open the Passages in Dusk” which was a concept album based on afterlife. ”As all Seasons Die” stands as a last sight the character witnesses before the moment of death.
One cycle closes, another opens...
You could also see it as a metaphor for the cycle of life itself with spring being birth
until death comes with winter to be reborn again in the next spring. Every season in
itself also being a micro cycle of birth and death as the title also suggests?
Yes. I have always found myself pondering with effect of different seasons of year in these northern surroundings : they offer the whole scale of life and death in the constantly changing fashion, which I have always been hooked on as artist as well as in my personal life, as well as being part of nature in higher and lower terms. Seeing this cycle repeating itself from year to a year, seeing your own figure in the mirror, aging and growing... that`s a beautiful union of life and death which needs no religious explanations.
Do you feel any affinity to a particular season?
I feel great resemblance especially for the late Autumn, October, the chill steaming air and leaves against the sky, bursting their life energy away as various colours.
The winters in Finland are notoriously long and dark. In analogy the last song , which
reflects winter, is also the longest and bleakest. What effect does such a long period
with hardly any sunlight have on people?
Most of the Finns, including myself, have been suffering about the lack of sunlight during winters and it can cause strong medical conditions of depression if not treated right.
Apart from that, I see it nowadays more as an certain mind-set, a part of who I am in person,
and most of all, a part of Finnish mentality.
I really enjoy proper winters, with lots of snow, it`s almost only time of year I feel somehow spiritual and calm.
Your new record is based on the four seasons, which inevitable makes me think as
well of Vivaldi’s opus.
I`m a big fan of classical music myself, including Mr. Vivaldi`s, so it`s not a coinsidence to mention him in this context. Let`s say I wanted to do an modern concept album in a really old fashion, and weight his Italian lightness of thought against the heaviness of my Scandinavian one, many ruined decades later, hahaha!
We actually met briefly at Roadburn a few months back where you were very
enthusiastic about the upcoming new record. Having listened to record now, I would
tend to agree with you that especially the riffs are much stronger and memorable this
Yeah. I wrote all everything in more open-minded sense letting some new kinds of riffs through the filter, and also composed lot of stuff with the keyboards too.
They are much more traditional, nodding towards the old Finnish Funeral Doom scene, the classic bands that we`ve got here and the old feeling in the production too...
I was kind of returning everything on right track after few line-up changes within the band,
and giving the whole thing a fresh spin musically, glad to hear that it worked for you!
Just a bit further on your appearance at Roadburn. You were there of course to play
a very rare gig with Tyranny. How was your experience of that performance or of
performing with Tyranny in general?
Playing keys with them is of course an magnificent experience :
Apart from being my favorite band and like-minded guys in general.
The compositions are done in that sort of classic approach that even the basic build of the songs comes up interesting, and it can be challenging at times. The Roadburn show was also intense and great, also some extra chants were heard from the audience side!
Where do you think the biggest difference lies between both bands? Personally, I find
Profetus to be majestic, open and beautiful in its melancholic reverence of her natural
surroundings while Tyranny is dense, claustrophobic and smothering, in a good sense
if you know what I mean. Is that something you could agree with or do you see it
Well put. If Profetus has this dream-like quality of solemnity, beauty and nature,
Tyranny is more made from nightmares, horror and fear turned into music.
We are really good friends nowadays, and share a lot of ideologies in writing and performing music,and even when making Funeral Doom we represent a lot of common but also different grounds...
How did the collaboration with Justin Hartwig from Mournful Congregation go?
I met Justin again in after their show in Heavy Days in Doomtown festival in Denmark, after many years, and we agreed to do a collaboration on this new work! They did it in Australia, and it really reflects the qualitys and varietys of both bands, it`s like a hand-shake from other corner of the world, hah. It was basically already a second to visit on the albums, Felipe from Procession was featuring on the earlier one. There`s always room in the campfire for a friend if the settings are right, hah.
Any chance you’ll take Profetus anywhere near Belgium soon?
Yeah, many kind of plans concerning gigs at Europe, everything targeted at spring 2015.