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Interview: ARRIVAL
Title: Acherontia Atropos – messenger of Satan

Finnish dark-hearts Arrival are a true revelation inside the melodic up-to-date-Black Metal-genre to my mind.

Arrival started as an one-man project in 1999 by Sinkkonen who also recorded the very first promotional tape later same year. The contained first songs were quiet simple and the sound was quite harsh, but on the other hand they were impressing epic and extremely majestic. Arrival had grown to a real band and new members were Ventola on guitars, Isv. Kran on drums and Wraith from Flauros joined to another guitar. Who is knowing bombastic Black Metal-wizards Flauros, surely can imagine, what happened in the guitar-front of Arrival from this point on.

During the last month of Millennium the second promo was recorded: „Icon Of Worthless”, which was sent to numerous labels and ´zines. Reviews were great and actually none of the ´zines that received the CDR disliked these effort. After that a few labels got interested in Arrival – but only Norwegian label Edgerunner Records presented them a deal that was accepted. The superb debut album „An Abstract Of Inertia” is out now. It offers top-quality and immense catchy, Melodic Black Metal with a very good sound and precise production. Thundering songs like the mighty opener „Spacepenetrator”, „From Behind The Black Rainbow”, „Under The Cloak Of Darkness”, „Ardor For Euphoria”, „6th Day”, „Intermezzo: Channel 352” or the sheer mind-attacking powerful and high melodic title-track „An Abstract Of Inertia” are more than only top examples for this music: they are time-less hymns of the dark.

The album has got also a unique artful and outstanding excellent booklet-layout by Rune Tyvold, which was never before in this way too be seen on a Melodic Black Metal release. As expected, Arrival got excellent critics so far for this masterpiece, also through me. So no time was to loose for me to speak a few words with vocalist Sin. K and furious axeman Inzomniac.

At first: what has your (for music like yours) unusual name of the band to mean? Perhaps the „arrival” of a new great Melodic Black Metal quality from Finland after Catamenia, Count de Nocte, Flauros, Throes Of Dawn, Funeris Nocturnum, Horna, Alghazanth, Faerghail, Thyrane, Thy Serpent and Omnium Gathering?

Sin. K: „Actually there isn´t anything `mystical` behind it. It is a word that all imagine a bit differently so it´s listener to decide what it means to him. The name comes from very first song I have ever made. The track itself wasn´t anything worth to mention but the name sounded good even back then and because of that I wanted to start to use it. When I started this band as a project of mine, it was clear that the name would be `Arrival`.”

The tasteful frontcover of the album is also very unusual in this dark genre – white, with an butterfly on it (?) and inside the booklet those rotten apple... What stands behind that all? An interesting and intellectual concept?

Sin. K: „We like the artwork very much. It´s a bit different than what people are used to see on this kind of recordings. We wanted it to be very unusual, something that creates opinions, both positive and negative. It´s meant to irritate and provoke. Rotten apple on a solid white background creates very conflicting feeling. At the same time the image is very pure and still filthy. The graphic Ryne Tyvold did an amazing job for us. He is also familiar from work on the Susperia-albums. We gave him freedom to try out his ideas and I must say I am more than pleased with the final result. It´s absolutely what we were looking for.”

Inzomniac: „The butterfly is called hawkeye-moth (Acherontia atropos). It’s a big and noisy one. In the 1800th century it was associated to the plague an for some reason it was considered as a messenger of Satan. So the butterfly can be also seen as a symbol of evil.”

From which city in Finland are you guys, and exists a good Metal scene in your area?

Sin. K: „We all are from city of Joensuu. It´s quite small place in eastern Finland. I can´t say whether the scene is good or bad, not even does it exist at all. Here´s only about 50 thousand people, so Metal music is generally quite marginal. However here´s always been good Metal bands. Some may know or remember older ones like Phlegothon, Mordicus and Sarnath. The first one gained a `cult status` back in early nineties with their material and last two have also made many good albums during the years.”

Inzomniac: „There’s also band called Insomnium in which I happen to play guitar too. We may don’t have that many bands but still the ones that exists are rather good ones.”

Please give me a little more out of your band history!

Sin. K: „Arrival started as a one-man project of mine during the year 1999 I suppose. I started to write material just for my own pleasure. At some point a friend of mine said that he could record few of my songs in his home-studio as a practice and so we did. I sent few tapes to my close friends and gained lots of positive feedback. Material was very epic and it borne lots of honest feeling. Soon after I started to look for real players and Isv. Kran came on drums and Icrs2K for guitar. We had few other members too, but not until Inzomniac came along the line-up was ready.”

Which were your early idols out of the Black Metal scene?

Sin. K: „Deicide and Rotting Christ were the first bands I got interested in. Back then none knew what CD even meant. We had shitty tapes that crackled like hell but the music sounded even better than today. In my town there weren’t any record stores from where to order/buy albums and I suppose the whole thing was so underground that it was actually very hard to get hold of the original releases. All the tapes were copied from a copy that was a copy of the original, eh. The whole thing felt more real somehow. I can´t say which bands have influenced us directly because we try to avoid of sounding like others. Of course there must be some similarities in our music but they are not intentional. We have a clear goal to create fresh music, but at the end it’s in listeners ears whether the music sounds original or not.”

Which were the inspirations for your new music?

Sin. K: „Hard to say, really. Inspiration comes from so many sources that it´s impossible to point your finger on a single thing. Many times the inspiration of a song comes just from a good riff and as it grows on and on the previous idea feeds the next one. I think the key to it is sort of urge to try different kinds of things together and need to create something that is at least a bit new. There´s many things we could have done differently on our debut but on another hand it left us hungry to do better on next one. I feel like we just sketched the contours for the future material and the next album will take a step forwards for sure. I have said many times that if we could record `An Abstract Of Inertia` today, the result would be quite different. But it´s a good start I think and like I said it left us hungry.”

Which is the current line-up in Arrival?

Sin. K: „The current line-up is me, Sin. K as vocalist, keyboarder TwentynineA, drummer Isv. Kran, Inzomniac and Icrs2K on the guitars. There has been some difficulties in the past with line-up and actually Inzomniac joined just few months before the albums recordings. He has taken more responsibility with songwriting and most of the new material is done by him. We have a new member for bass now, but it is still too early to announce his name. With next album we will have finally a full line-up and possibly start to promote it by live performances.”

Which one of you guys creates all those marvelous melodies?

Sin. K: „We all participate on songwriting and use each others ideas. So rather than having a one `composer` in the band we all take part to it. Last changes and melodies are composed even far as in studio. I guess I did four of the songs on `An Abstract Of Inertia`-album and Inzomniac composed the last three.”

I´ve rarely heard more professional done and well-dosed mixed electronic-elements in this style of music – from where came the ideas to you for it?

Sin. K: „We were recording keys on the album an had some problems with synth on that part. Computer had lost some tracks or something. We had talked before recording that we could try out some `electronics` and so we started to work with an idea. The part is very spontaneous but it suits perfectly on that part. The production became also very good and I must say it´s still a part that awakes me every time I hear `Under The Cloak Of Darkness` from the album.”

How you have found to the deal with Edgerunner Records and were much labels interested in your music?

Sin. K: „After our promo we started to look for a deal of course. I sent few tapes around and Edgerunner offered us a deal for two albums. When I look back I know we did the right choice. They are very serious label with good connections. So far everything has gone perfectly and I believe this continues in future too. We didn´t actually get many deals but then again I didn´t send the promo to that many labels. Edgerunner doesn’t have many same kind of bands so they are able to promote us as `the band` of their label rather that `a band`, you know. There´s no hurry really. I believe that it´s very important that a band doesn´t grow their roots with lots of money.”

Please be so kind and explain the meaning-contents of a few important songs out of your new album for the readers! What is the meaning behind them?

Sin. K: „`An Abstract Of Inertia` is a concept album written in a form of a diary. Basically it´s an introspective and schizophrenic story about the human mind. The main concept behind it is the balance between all personalities within one man. How to explain him self the acts that another side of him does.”

How much do you like it to play live?

Sin. K: „We haven´t played live with Arrival yet because of the problems with the line-up. There´s been some difficulties with keyboards and bass but it seems we are able to overcome those problems. Like I mentioned we are planned to play live after the second album. I do like to perform live if everything goes as planned.”

And which way do you plan to go on stage – with normal and daily clothes? Or with some additional show-gimmicks?

Sin. K: „I don´t know yet. It feels still so distant. I´ve planned to wear some kind of gas mask and straitjacket on the stage, but let´s see. As the other members are concentrated on their instruments it gives me more attention. I promise we´ll make up something strange and confusing, eh!”

Any important plans to name for the future?

Sin. K: „The first thing is to get the new album out. It´s useless to make further plans for future. `An Abstract Of Inertia` has given us lots of attention and with the second album we have to be able to create something that stands up from the mass of thousands of other bands that are right now in same situation as we are.”

Some last words to the fans?

Sin. K: „Greetings to all who enjoys the album. Hope to see you someday on a gig. Visit http://www.arrival.cjb.net !”

© Markus Eck, 30.09.2002

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