Ranka Kustannus / Soulfood
Defying all odds, KYPCK – a Finnish band – have carved for themselves a four album career playing what they’ve coined “doomsday metal”, and singing their gloomy anthems in Russian language to boot.
Put together by Sami Lopakka (of ex -Sentenced fame) and metal producer extraordinaire, Hiili Hiilesmaa in January of 2007, KYCPK (Kursk) in rapid succession found a great singer in E. Seppänen who mastered Russian; got signed to Finnish label UHO Production (without the label having heard one single note) and recorded their debut album Черно (Cherno) during May–July of the same year.
At the time Lopakka commented: “We all were so thrilled about the new band and the whole idea that in less than 4 months we had material for one and a half albums already. It was like a dam being cracked open – a massive load just poured out”.
Черно was released in March 2008 entering the Finnish charts at #11 and soon after, got licensed by metal behemoth Century Media Records for a worldwide release. The unexpected success paved way for the band to live stages. KYPCK played several shows, a couple of Finnish festivals and, to cap a triumphant year, acted as the support for HIM’s annual New Year’s tour, Helldone.
The somewhat exotic language choice paid off handsomely when KYPCK boarded the train to Moscow and St. Petersburg for their first Russian shows in 2009. The band played to a phenomenal reception, as KYPCK was the 1st ever Western band there to perform in Russian. Now it was evident that KYPCK was no more a gimmick worth testing just for the hell of it, but a force to be reckoned with, and destined to write more albums.
After the shows in Russia, KYPCK took a hiatus from live shows. Concentrating on completing their new material the band chose to perform only on special occasions, thus turning down a slew of shows. The work on the next KYPCK album took priority. Instead of the 1st album's almost frantic outpouring of songs now there was a focus. Now that the band actually had a real audience, especially vocalist Seppänen had a lot to say and explore with his lyrics: “I wanted to dig deeper into history and broaden the band’s horizons that way. Also, after the shows we did and the people we met, there was a more obvious personal angle to it.”
And that is how it has been ever since. KYPCK expands their sound and horizons with each successive release, delving ever deeper into Slavonic melancholy and the murkier side of human mind.
Aptly named, Ниже (Nizhe) – “lower” in English –was already an anxiously anticipated successor to a revered album. Written and recorded during 2009–2010, Ниже was released February 2011 to critical acclaim, #16 chart entry in Finland and soon after landed them a four show Russian tour. Their 3rd album Имена На Стене (Imena Na Stene) dropped on March 21st, 2014 through Ranka Kustannus, took the operation even further, debuting at #9 on Finnish charts and resulted to an 11-show Russian tour that expanded to the furthest reaches of Siberia.
Two years on, it’s not like the world has suddenly become a happy place, and it’s not a happy place where the subject matter of KYPCK comes from now either. Dealing with e.g. backstabbers, liars, freezing to death in the snow, the last walk to a firing squad and the ever gloomier adventures of their protagonist persona Yegor Kuznetsov, KYPCK’s 4th effort 3epo (Zero) is not going to cheer you up. It’s another finely crafted slab of gloomy grey Soviet realism that weighs on your shoulders like a ton of concrete, but not without a healthy if somewhat morbid dash of dark humour the way only these Finns so well master.
01. Я свободен (I Am Free)
03. Мне отмщение (Vengeance Is Mine)
04. Прогулка по Неве (Stroll by the Banks of Neva)
05. На небе вижу я лицо (I See a Face in the Sky)
06. Моя жизнь (My Life)
07. Последний тур (The Last Tour)
08. Русофоб (Russophobe)
09. Байкал (Baikal)
10. Белая смерть (White Death)
E. Seppänen - vocals
S.S. Lopakka - guitars
S. Kukkohovi - guitars
J.T. Ylä-Rautio - bass
A.K. Karihtala - drums
Черно (Cherno) 2008
Ниже (Nizhe) 2011
Имена На Стене (Imena Na Stene) 2014
3epo (Zero) 2016