WRESTLING is an old school heavy metal band from Oulu, Finland and their debut album RIDE ON FREAKS is released via Inverse Records on September 14th 2018. The album pays homage to the classic heavy metal style of the 80’s, and you can clearly hear the influence of bands like Accept or Ozzy Osbourne in Wrestling’s music. But Wrestling is not just a tribute band. On the contrary they are spicing up their soup with various different styles. You can find clues of punk at one end and even some pure pop melodies at the other. The album is quite diverse in style and it’s also been recorded in a traditional fashion that leaves lots of room for the musicians to create the atmosphere they are after. So Wrestling is definitely not math metal. Or well… perhaps short term math metal at most.
The band released a new single from the upcoming album “Surreal Killer”.
“SURREAL KILLER shows us Wrestling at its most vicious mood. This speed metal influenced tune tells us a story of a serial killer artist, whose simple mission is… well, to make art out of death.”
01. Let’s Get Born
02. Surreal Killer
03. Venom Makes Me Stronger
04. Kitsch In America
05. Drunk And Alone
06. Wrestlemania VI
07. Beyond The Limits
08. Feels Like Midnight
09. Driving All Night
10. The Solution To All Your Problems
11. See Delight
The album was recorded on Anvil Road Studio and it is mixed and mastered by Harri Eksymä (Earmore Studios)
Tommi Saha (voc)
Risto Nyman (gtr)
Janne Kela (d.)
Pekka Moilanen (gtr)
Riku Rousu (b, voc)
What would be a good name for a traditional heavy metal band?
Not a particularly easy question to answer. The name needs to be striking but original. It must describe the band’s music without being too underlining. And of course some indefinite WTF-dimension must be included as well.
This was the question that was under a serious conversation when some local musicians and cronies were sipping their beers and trying to kill a Saturday afternoon in their local pub about three years ago. The pub was, and still is, placed on the outskirts of Oulu, which is an industrial seaport city in northern Finland. Under normal circumstances the city of Oulu would make you feel welcome with some freezing rain and storm wind in your face. Much rather than some nice sunshine and friendly natives, that is. A great part of the population is cursed with a fundamental religious mindset and the local paper mill is filling the air with a delicate aroma that irresistibly grabs the visitor in its rotten embrace. What a lovely place!
The reason why these three fellows were trying to come up with an applicable band name was because they all were, and still are, committed old school metal heads. Guitarist Risto Nyman, vocalist Tommi Saha and drummer Janne Kela were getting absolutely bored with the state of modern heavy metal music and had decided to put up a band that would bring back the groovy and breathing feeling of the 80’s era groups like Accept, Loudness or Ozzy Osbourne’s early solo work.
All of the three guys were already experienced musicians, and their history included playing in bands of various styles. Janne Kela had been giving birth to the Finnish death metal scene in the 90’s with his band Sacred Crucifix, while Tommi Saha on the other hand was diving head first in the punk and hipster scene of Finland with Tuomas Henrikin Jeesuksen Kristuksen Bändi and numerous other groups. So the musical perspective was wider than a three lane highway. But the thing that bound them all together was that each of them had started their career with true heavy metal. And now was the time to get back to it!
So the guys got to work, writing and rehearsing songs while checking out musicians who would complete the group. Several people went in and out of the band but all of them seemed to lack that certain “something”. Finally , however, bassist Riku Rousu and guitarist Pekka Moilanen stepped in and everything fell into place. It was more than obvious that these guys were eating heavy metal for breakfast and had just the right attitude for the job. Not to mention their extraordinary musical skills of course.
The band had finally found its final line up. Even though all of the guys had been playing in groups for years and years, this time they felt like they were getting back all the energy and excitement they felt at the time of their very first attempts. The rehearsals were intensive and a song after another was put together on a fast schedule. So almost right away the band booked some studio time and started recording their stuff. From the start it was quite clear that the recording was to be done in an old fashioned way, so that the music would maintain its character. No click tracks, no loudness war, no polishing or laboratory-like editing. Let’s leave the math to the mathematicians, musicians are notoriously bad in it. This stuff needs to be dirty and dangerous!
And now, as the groundwork has finally been dealt with, it’s time to check out the results. The band has just completed their first album which provides us an original and fresh insight into a very traditional genre. The aforementioned influences are all there, bold and bare, but on top of that the band members have colored the canvas with their wide musical spectrum and experience. What we hear is some great old school heavy metal music spiced up with elements of speed metal, punk rock, glam rock and even pop. The rhythm section is mean and sleazy. Aggressive snarling takes turns with beautiful vocal harmonies and ultra-fast solos. The ominous and mean lyrics take the listeners to a world where it’s impossible to tell where the murkiness ends and the black humor starts. But the most important thing is that you can really hear that the band is getting a great kick out of playing their stuff.
So here we are now. Everything is looking really good. The band goes on gigging here and there and everywhere. New songs are on their way to the next album. Co-operation with Inverse records is fruitful. The overall atmosphere is rip-roaring. That leaves us with just one unanswered question: What would be a good name for a traditional heavy metal band?
The three local musicians and cronies have come up with numerous ideas in the pub, but nothing really seems to be good enough. A couple of pints have turned into dozens and they’re getting quite drunk. Right then the TV set in the pub corner starts to spit out footage of some old wrestling match and the atmosphere is immediately electrified. This is it! This is fun, exciting, adequately ridiculous and dangerous at the same time. And it’s heavy as hell. The WTF-dimension is definitely included! The goddamn best name there is! WRESTLING!