Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we're here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we lie down on the cool earth and watch the aeons unfurl with Finland’s Burial Choir.
Burial Choir, the new band from Mikko Lehto (of October Falls) and Mika Havumäki, don’t have a proper album cover, or any shadowy, promotional pictures, but they have got nearly fifty minutes of colossal funeral doom done the Finnish way—that is, hopelessly, exquisitely. And, because we’re absolute suckers for that sort of thing, their music is more than enough to clinch Burial Choir for this week’s Demo:listen feature. Says Lehto: “I kind of like it that we have [only] the music available . . . instead of the huge amount of bands that have everything, except the actual music and lyrics.” Anyway, with tunes like these they could’ve presented the album as a CD-r with Sharpie’d-on information in a Ziploc baggie, and we’d still be all about it.
“Guitar is my main instrument, and I . . . write most of the material with acoustic or electric guitar, but I also like to write new material with keyboards, as that way I can get rid of some mannerisms you . . . gather after a long period of writing music with just one instrument,” says Lehto. “You get a certain style and that will always follow you, no matter how hard you try to avoid it . . . However, I still must state, that although I do write the music and lyrics, Burial Choir is not a solo-project, but a band.” It’s comforting to know that Lehto and Havumäki work on Burial Choir together, as Iconoclast, without being insanely technical or necessarily difficult to play, seems like the kind of music that would very much challenge its players. Something about those leaden melodies and their slow crawl bodes ill for anyone, Finnish or not, who would endeavor to harness them. Says Lehto: “Still, I can't say that I would enjoy the playing itself, for me the finished recording is the part that I mostly enjoy. I don't play live with any of my bands, I don't really enjoy performing music, I enjoy the finished compositions and recordings, but not making them.”
For now, the future is unwritten for Burial Choir. “We're currently seeking a suitable label for our debut album, Iconoclast,” says Lehto. “After that I'll slowly start to write new material.” But you won’t need a physical copy of Iconoclast for Burial Choir to leave an impression on you. Stuff this heavy will bury you regardless of what format you’ve got it on. So head over to Burial Choir’s Bandcamp and throw some coins in their coffer. But keep on the lookout for news regarding Iconoclast’s inevitable materialization. Something tells me this is a debut you’ll want to be able to say that you got when it first came out.
Check this space next and every Friday for promising new metal.