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Darkwoods My Betrothed

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Tuomas hasn't been idle either during the pandemic, on top of his work for the next Auri album he's also part of the Darkwoods My Betrothed revival (yes, that band from the nineties!) according to this loosely translated Finnish report.


Metal pioneer Darkwoods My Betrothed returns from a long recording break - Tuomas Holopainen is now a regular member

Timo Isoaho 12/25/2020

The epic black metal band Darkwoods My Betrothed released their debut demo Dark Aureoles Gathering in the spring of 1994. The first long-playing Heirs Of The Northstar followed in 1995, and two more albums were released in the coming years: Autumn Roars Thunder arrived in 1996 and Witch-Hunts in 1998.

After these recordings, the release channels for Darkwoods My Betrothed’s original material fell silent, and hardly many have dared to long for the brand new Darkwoods material in recent years. However, one will be promised next year - 23 years after the previous long play.

- For years, the making of a new record was at the stage of discussion, and there were also some preliminary raw songs in the songs. However, no time seemed appropriate when work, family life and other hustle and bustle swallowed all the time, and the making of the record was postponed time and time again, says guitarist Jouni “Halgrim” Mikkonen.

- Yes, this Corona situation is largely to be thanked for the fact that the band has finally become really active. The best thing about this, though, is that the line-up for the new studio album is practically the same as the band’s early membership.

What kind of story can be found in the background of DMB activation in particular?

- Last summer we had the annual “Kitee Boys Weekend” and with Tuomas (Holopainen, keyboards) we started talking again about the return of DMB. At that time, it became preliminarily clear that Tuomas would find time until the beginning of 2021 for Nightwish's activities. After all, it quickly occurred to me that now or never… Towards the end of the summer, I updated my instrumentation a bit and started asking other gentlemen (singer Pasi “Emperor Nattasett” Kankkunen and bassist Teemu “Hexenmeister” Kautonen) that it was “that time”. Together, it was said that yes, it is otherwise. At the same time, I have to admit that the tight schedule meant sleepless nights, because there were no ready-made songs in the late summer, says Mikkonen.

- Well, we immediately started spinning the riffs and it quickly became clear that our current musical interests are largely moving somewhere between Autumn Roars Thunder and Witch-Hunts. Of course, this is quite natural, because in those times of records, the responsibility for writing songs was fairly evenly divided between the three of us - me, Pas and Teemu.

At this point, can you describe the songs on the upcoming album in any more detail?

- The material is very versatile, and both raw black metal and more epic stuff are included. The album features some of the fastest and most vicious songs in DMB’s history, and on the other hand, there are also songs featuring the band’s big melodic choirs and acoustic guitars.

- Some of the songs that have now been completed have been tentatively composed as early as the late 1990s after the preparation of Witch-Hunts, but the actual final writing work was not done until this fall. And even though I say it myself, we’re a little surprised - and certainly very happy - that the new blanks don’t come to mind any kind of “old warm-up” but the fresh material feels even the best of the band’s career.

What has the preparation of the record been like so far?

- The process of making the upcoming album has been completely different than before: the material of the old records was rehearsed together, while this time everyone has made their own demo songs themselves, after which they have been edited and worked together using remote connections. Fortunately, the current studio technology enables efficient and sensible teleworking, and things have gone very well.

- At the same time, it should be underlined that Tuomas' share in the arrangement of songs has now been clearly more significant than in the old days. And after all, today he is also a full member of the band, and not just a session performer, as he once was.

Let us then move the floor to Teemu Kautonen.

- We have all clearly had a really strong latent need to make the new Darkwoods My Betrothed. Jouni received the first text message in August, and the dams opened immediately. I myself did a couple of new songs right away. From some subconscious, those ideas that had been brewing for twenty years began to pop out, almost as if by themselves.

- Let me also say that we will go to the studio in February and continue the sessions during the spring. Kai Hahto will play the drum parts for the upcoming album, as the band's original drummer (Tero Leinonen) could not participate in the record project on such a fast schedule. The producer of the album is Tero Kinnunen, who has worked with us since the beginning!

Soundi will return to Darkwoods next year. At the same time, we wish Tuomas Holopainen a very happy birthday!



DMB also have what appears to be a new (or at least updated) web site, including a short biography: https://darkwoodsmybetrothed.com


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More details about the upcoming album, from Finnish media:



Darkwoods My Betrothed's return is progressing – the band released a status update from the studio and revealed the title of the upcoming album
News Vesa Siltanen 5.2.2021

The drums of eight songs are now in the jar.

Darkwoods My Betrothed, a black metal veteran who has been lying dormant for a long time, began to show signs of life in the camp at the end of last year when bassist Teemu "Hexenmeister" Kautonen revealed to Inferno during an interview with Welkins Boreal that the band was working on a new album with Nightwish skipper Tuomas Holopainen, who was installed as a permanent member. A little later, guitarist Jouni "Hallgrim" Mikkonen confirmed the information to Sound, open up the background to the surprising comeback a little more closely.

"Last summer we had the annual 'Kitte Boys' Weekend' and Tuomas and I started talking about the return of the DMB once again. At that time, it was tentatively revealed that Tuomas would have until early 2021 on behalf of Nightwish's activities. After all, it occurred to me quite quickly that now or never... Towards the end of the summer, I updated my instrument equipment a little and started asking the other gentlemen if it was finally 'time'. One of them said that it was, by the way," Mikkonen told Sound.

Comeback has now reached the point where Kai Hahto, who has been hired as a drummer for the album, has completed his own work. The band posted a photo on their Instagram page showing Hahto and other DMB men posing in front of a drum kiosk in the Petrax studio. The accompanying text of the image also revealed the name of the upcoming long-play: Angel of Carnage Unleashed. The band also released a video clip that makes you feel a little angry about the music the band is working on.

"Wednesday night started and now the drums of eight songs are in the jar. Thank you to the boys for this opportunity. The new album is very brutal!" Hahto commented on the photo he shared on his own social media channels.

The band's previous long-play witch-hunts was released in 1998, so we have been waiting 23 years for a new album. Angel of Carnage Unleashed is scheduled to be released this year.


And here's the Instagram picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/CK6NTjjJWC2/

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From Napalm Records' Facebook page:

"Finnish Black/Epic Metal Pioneers Darkwoods My Betrothed, Featuring Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish), Sign Record Deal with Napalm Records!
After more than two decades of silence, Finnish cult black/epic metallers and pioneers of the scene DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED carve their long-awaited comeback in stone by signing a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records!
In 2020, the old horde from the original line-up rejoined forces, now augmented by former session keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen as a full member of the band, bringing a significant contribution to the creative process, and Kai Hahto (both Nightwish) as session drummer.
Founded in 1993 in Kitee, Finland, DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED quickly gained a cult status in the black metal underground. In 1995, they released their debut album, Heirs of the Northstar, followed by sophomore album, Autumn Roars Thunder (1996), and Witch-Hunts (1998). Shortly after, the pagan flame of DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED became but a fleeting glimpse in the nocturnal darkness of Eastern Finland. But it never faded away completely.
Be prepared for an onslaught of melodic black metal and epic majesty!"
Also from DMB's Facebook page:
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A new release from the Darkwoods upcoming album. "Murktide and Midnight Sun" is more accessible than the previous single but why do I keep thinking I'm listening to Crewish? I think the vocals are the weak spot here, and they're kind of buried in the mix too.


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For what it's worth, Darkwoods has published this on their FB page:



Our band is now complete! Former session drummer Kai Hahto ( Nightwish , Auri etc.) joined Darkwoods My Betrothed as a full member!

Darkwoods My Betrothed is (from left to right):

  • Pasi Kankkunen: vocals, guitar
  • Kai Hahto: drums
  • Jouni Mikkonen: guitars
  • Teemu Kautonen: bass
  • Tuomas Holopainen: keyboards

So Kai has officially joined the band, are they planning a tour, more albums or something? 👀

In any case, Kai has replied under that post to a fan speculating about Nightwish winding down:


[...] there hasn’t been any talk ”closing” anything. In the meantime it gives space to other things to do. Kids don’t have anything to do with this touring break…

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