Infirmum - The Great Unknown...
Updated: Aug 2
Infirmum began as the sole creation of Timo Solonen and from 2019 it has continually evolved and pursued the heaviest froms of music and emotiomal expression. The Great Unkown is three tracks of pure doom ,melanchioly, classical and pure death metal where the music has grown and evolved into epic orchestrations.
Timo; “From death doom to more like doom death in a nutshell. In first Infirmum album I was only member, so it was quite simple to make. Just guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. After Anna joined, we were thinking about having new instruments to make songs more powerful and emotional. Strings and keyboards played big role in our EP “The Great Unknown” and now we have found balance between guitars and keyboards and strings. Anna’s vocals are excellent, and she gives us much different options to tell the story in our songs. But story wouldn’t be very interesting if there isn’t “other side” also in present. Eliel is the man with the deep growls, and you will notice sometime in the future, deep growls are not the only thing he can do.
We would like to tell stories and walk with the listener in these emotional journeys.
Your darkest moment on many levels? Also, the inclusion of more classical instruments. Was this intentional with the theme of the album or just pure inspiration?
Timo: ‘’ Life. On every level.’’
Anna: "I could go the easy route here and talk about a period when I dealt with some pretty bad health issues, which then led to an extended period of unemployment and all the joys that come along with that. However, as crappy as that time was, I feel like a more important moment was when I came to realise that I spent so much time living for others' happiness and approval that I had lost myself really badly. I think the disappointment and disgust I felt towards myself cut deeper than anything before and I felt a lot of anger and, in a way, grief. I can't say yet that I am fully over that and I think I might never be, but it was a great wake-up call at the time and it continues to serve as a reminder to not let myself get to that point again.
Also the inclusion of more classical instruments. Was this intentional with the theme of the album or just pure inspiration?
Anna: I grew up listening to bands such as Tristania, The Sins of Thy Beloved, Draconian etc. so I would say that the idea of bringing in classical instruments, mainly cello and violin, was heavily influenced by these bands. That being said, the addition of these felt very natural along the themes of the 3 songs on the EP. So I would say it's a combination of several factors: the influence of music I admired growing, which then spurred the inspiration to use these elements.
Vocally you have taken a step back. How did you find Anna Rose and elements she brings to your music?
Timo: Well, Anna contacted me and asked if I have considered to have female vocals in the band too. In fact, I was thinking about it, so it was excellent timing :) She brings.... how I could put it... the fragile part of life (haavoittuvaisuus in Finnish) and torch to light the journey in the songs. Eliel is the opposite for it, violent and aggressive. This beauty and beast idea as you know.
Most likely I do back growls on stage, but I am happy to let Eliel handle growls.
ELIEL: “"Vocally you have taken a step back..."- that's correct, contrary to popular belief Timo doesn't do any vocals on the ep. I found anna but not asking for her to join but for me to join. I was looking for a project to go with and i just texted her and sent some demos. The rest is history. As for what she brings is invaluable, our sound wouldn’t be what it is without her.
The juxtaposition of vocal styles? The darkness and light?
ELIEL: "The juxtaposition of vocal styles..."- yeah, it’s nice that she sounds the way she does, right? My vocals can be harsh to listen to and that break I think adds an awesome contrast. Also, her song writing is much more melodic and poetic than mine, maybe it'll be obvious who's writing what song/ parts on the full length.
Anna: Musically speaking, I have always enjoyed the combination of clean and distorted vocals. It just makes sense to me, somehow. In the context of our own music and lyrics, I am not sure that we're talking about light and darkness, if I'm being honest. The parts with clean vocals sound like they're bringing some relief at first, but, if you listen carefully, the lyrics are often not that soothing, quite the contrary. This is becoming even more prominent on new material that we're currently working on.
What is the great Unknown?
Anna: Whatever happens when you decide what road you want to walk on. It can all go to hell or it can be everything you've ever dreamed of, but the point is to have the courage to give into it.
ELIEL: "What is the great unknown?"- I thought it was obvious...don’t you?
Can Infirmum get any heavier?
Anna: Keep an eye out for future releases. ;)
ELIEL: "Can infirmum get heavier..."- hell yeah, we've got some cool stuff coming that’ll bash your head in. Will anna start screaming too? Who knows? As far as musical freedom I don’t think anyone feels pigeonholed into the genre but we all like it this way so why change stuff drastically.
Should extreme music by defined only by those who make it? What does it mean to you in terms of musical freedom?
Anna: I am not entirely sure if I'm understanding your question correctly or not, but I will do my best to answer. Personally, I hate having to define the music we make by what genre/subgenre/etc it fits in. There are 6 of us at the moment in the band and, while Timo usually comes up with the main skeletons of our songs, we each leave our marks on each song. And we all have our own musical histories and influences, so a lot of that ends up in our music. In general, when we're working on our music, we don't really think about what style or genre it should fit in. We mainly just throw all of our ideas at it and see what works. The main point is to end up with songs that we enjoy playing, as well as listen to, songs that just feel right. For example, among the new songs that we're working on, we have some that are fast and heavy and others that are leaning pretty heavily into Funeral Doom. I think that not worrying about what label our music should fit really does grant us the freedom to do pretty much whatever we want and experiment with elements outside the box.
Timo “Well, we must define music first. If bird sings one note, is it music? If raven “sings,” is it music or is it too extreme? Do we need melody so we could call it music? How about drums? Of course it is easier to put bands to a small box and call that box something. There are always new sub-genres, and I don’t know any more what is what. Christian black metal. What is that? Unblack Metal? So, this unblack metal is as extreme as black metal. If someone wants to call some music extreme metal and someone else would never call it extreme metal, so what. Music is more important than the name in the box.
Anyway, I believe most important is to let artists decide what kind of music they want to make. If their music is not all the time in the same genre, maybe it would be easiest to say it is their kind of music.
The intensity of Mask? Do we all wear one and why?
Anna: I think all of us wear a mask, to some extent, for different reasons. Probably the reason I've encountered most often is vulnerability, in various forms. For example, my personal mask developed from a feeling of never being enough, one way or another. Creating a false self and building a life that could be deemed acceptable acted as a shield for many years, until it became a too heavy to carry.
ELIEL: "Intensity of mask..."- masks are hot, especially in the summer, very sweaty but I guess if you're a wrestler or dominatrix that’s cool, oh you meant the song? Yeah, idk dude.
Is ignorance our biggest failure?
ELIEL: "Is ignorance our biggest failure?"- what does ignorance mean?
Anna: ‘’Intentional ignorance, yes, absolutely. You can't blame someone for not knowing something, but it's a different thing when you point that out to them and they choose to stay ignorant. So many things in our society would be heaps better if only people opened their eyes and their minds and were willing to seek out knowledge and understand why some things are the way they are. People, by their nature, fear and hate what they don't understand, but when they're also not willing to learn and to understand, that pretty much turns them into willing villains in my eyes.
Timo: “I don’t think so. If someone knows something important which will affect us all and don’t act, that is much worse in my mind. So, I agree with Anna.
Where does your creative inspiration come from and what comes next?
Anna: “I only need to read the news for 10 minutes nowadays and I already get enough inspiration to write a full album worth of lyrics. :D Jokes aside, I generally work a lot with feelings. When Timo sends me the raw guitar lines of news songs, I tend to listen to them on repeat until I am able to pinpoint the feeling that works best with that specific melody. I then start building the songs and stories around that. It's a pretty straightforward process for me, though it can be quite harrowing at times.
“As I mentioned before, we are currently working on new material, a full-length album to be exact. It's a slow process, but it's starting to take shape. The songs we have so far sound amazing, and we are really excited to share them with the world.
Timo: “From this happy life and beautiful world.”
ELIEL: "Creative inspiration..."- don’t look too closely at the things I've written, you'll find it's derivative of my favourite music but then again who’s original music isn’t?
Plans for the future?
Anna: We are currently looking to start doing some live gigs, while also working on new music. All in all, we just want to make as much music with Infirmum as possible.
ELIEL: “don’t get caught looking too far in the future, you'll miss what's happening now
11. Top 6 albums of all time?
1. Kiss - Kiss or Destroyer
2. Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys part II
3. W.A.S.P. - W.A.S.P.
4. Wardruna - Yggdrasil or Kvitravn
Too hard to pick.
1. Children of Bodom: Hatebreeder
2. Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli
3. Septicflesh: The Great Mass
4. Septicflesh: Codex Omega
5. Children of Bodom: Follow the Reaper
6. Dimmu Borgir: Abrahadabra
6 albums? All time? Sheeeeesh
In no order
Cynic- traced in air
Agalloch- the mantle
Lordi- get heavy
Deafheaven-Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
In no particular order:
Tristania's "Beyond the Veil",
Tiamat's "A Deeper Kind of Slumber",
Draconian's "Arcane Rain Fell",
Saturnus's "Veronica Decides to Die",
Dead Can Dance's "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun"
HIM's "Love Metal".
Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Metallica: Master of Puppets or ...And Justice For All
Pantera: Vulgar Display of Power
Type O Negative: Bloody Kisses
Slayer: South of Heaven
As you can see, it isn’t easy to just pick six. If you ask tomorrow my list could be different. Sepultura’s Arise should be on my list too. Or album from CMX or Sielun Veljet. Sting, Tiamat, WASP, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Wolves in the Throne Room, Behemoth, Bathory, Beatles, Rolling Stones and list goes on and on...