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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Reverend Bizarre’s twelve year existence was both a triumph and an excruciating experience for all of those who lived through it. They may have given the classic doom scene an essential kick up the arse but it was already a miracle in itself that they survived that long in the first place considering how different each of their three members were.

Out of the bunch, their guitarist Kimi Kärki (aka ‘Peter Vicar’) was probably the only one you could call ‘normal’. A proud husband and father, he’s also a renowned Turku university teacher and officially a doctor in philosophy. He immediately formed Lord Vicar after Reverend Bizarre’s demise in 2007 with Chritus (former Count Raven and Saint Vitus frontman) and Garreth Millsted (former Centurions Ghost and End of Level Boss drummer) and over the course of nine years, they’ve released three albums (including the brand-new ‘Gates Of Flesh’), three splits and one EP despite being spread over three different countries. But to some, they have yet to step out of the towering shadow of his former venture and it’s something Kimi has learnt to live with. And besides, Reverend’s own Sami Albert “Witchfinder” Hynninen played bass on their last European trek, as if they were acknowledging it themselves…

“Playing in Reverend Bizarre was like falling into a cement mixer,” Kimi smiles. “It was a very fucked up thing and with a step back, I realized that all those aliases we were using, we had set up our own little theater, a theater of cruelty! Plus Sami was so productive that he would usually come up with 80% of the material. So I had some songs left when we fell apart and I loved that music so much that I knew I wanted to carry on playing it. I was lucky enough to find the right musicians to do so and the resulting vibe was so different, from day one it’s always been very laidback and easy going. The first time I met Chritus, we spent a whole evening just drinking, listening to our favourite records and talking about what mattered the most to us in music. So we really took the time to mature together and with the years, our arrangements became a bit more complex and slowly but surely, we ended up with a sound based on classic doom metal with progressive and classic rock elements. That’s why on the new album the first two songs feel like one long epic or why there’s also an instrumental with acoustic guitar and mellotron or some pure doom jackhammer. It’s all there, even if we made a shorter album on purpose this time around. These days, anybody seems to fill discs just for the sake of it whereas we planned ‘Gates Of Flesh’ like a ’70s vinyl record, with a distinctive personality on each side. The trickiest part is that we have to organize our schedule at least one year ahead due to everybody’s life being a bit more complex but we’ve managed so far. For instance I know already that I’ll spend the first half of next year for my research so we really want to hit the road in Europe next fall and even hope to have quite a special EP ready by then too, to make do as 2017 will most likely be a quiet year for us.”

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I know I am not alone when I say I’m a sucker for being nostalgic. The thing about loving music is that because it plays such a massive part in my life, when I listen to things, it invokes so many memories. I always find myself taking myself back to when I first heard said record, who I was with, what I was doing and so on. Right now as I write this, I’m listening to Prong’s ‘Force Fed’ album, recounting all the shows I saw Tommy and co in at the now defunct Birmingham Edwards No.8 club during my teens. Those shows were immense, even if the number of punters wasn’t! I’ve seen them in more recent years and still enjoy their musical output, but those early days to me, personally, were special. What has this got to do with anything, I hear you say? Well really, it’s the same reason as why I wanted to put Mastodon on the cover of this month’s issue ahead of their headline performance at Bloodstock. You see, Mastodon are one of those seriously special bands, who have not only etched themselves in my own nostalgia bank (hey, anyone who witnessed their debut capital gig at London’s Underworld supporting High On Fire will always remember that show) but more importantly, into the wider scheme of metal’s rich history. Never once have they repeated themselves musically and consequently they have successfully created a stunning discography that continues to remain vital as the years go by. Mastodon were a game changer and their Bloodstock show allows us a chance to remind ourselves just why we love them so much. In their own words, our cover feature allows the quartet look back at their career to date and look forward to the future too. Crack open a bottle, stick any of their albums on the stereo, flip to the interview and enjoy some nostalgia yourselves! Darren Sadler, Editor