Villieläin Origin Tampere, Finland Genres Symphonic / Power metal Years active 2006-2011 Labels Universal Music Group Associated acts Soulrelic, Snakegod, Two Witches, Elias Viljanen & Evil Spirit, Athriel, Mystic Opera, Cosmic Spell, X-TACY Members Emilia Rantasalo
Past members Janne Juutinen
Kirsi Hannele Sirén
Villieläin were a symphonic / power metal band from Tampere, Finland. They formed in 2006 and released a demo the same year. Three years later, on August 19, 2009 they released their first studio album named Julma Satu, which means Cruel Fairytale.
The band was formed in 2006 by Emilia Rantasalo, Jani Hölli, Timo Niemistö, Janne Juutinen and Dimitri Martinov. The name of the band means Wild Animal. The group's lyrics centre around the idea of ”He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man” . Their music is inspired by the original gloomy fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and their lyrics also contain references to these stories. They incorporate female coloratura vocals, heavy metal riffs and industrial sounding keyboards into their songs and are progressively gaining more fame through internet forums and promotional videos. They toured regularly but were not signed to a record label until 2008, when they were swept up by Universal Music. Another change was made in 2008. Janne Juutinen was replaced by Mikael Hakamies as the band's drummer.
Their first single Kaiverrettu Hiekkaan has been widely played on Finnish mainstream radio stations and is a download only release. It featured on the Soundi 2009 compilation album. Their second single, Voittamatton was released on May 12, 2009 and entered the Finnish top 20 singles charts at position 12, on the week beginning at August 2, 2009 . The third single Kuoleman Suudelma, was released in August 2009. They sound similar to bands like Nightwish, Elis, Lunatica and Visions of Atlantis.
The band's debut album, Julma Satu is a mixture of heavy power metal, industrial sounds and acoustic influences. It was released on August 19, 2009 and reached position 27 on the Finnish top 40 album charts, where it stayed for one week. Many Finnish musicians have been involved in the songwriting and production of the album, including Manzana vocalist Piritta "Lumous" Vartola, Entwine drummer Aksu Hanttu and former Soulrelic vocalist Raymond Pohjola.
The album Julma Satu can be described as a concept album. The lyrics of the tracks on the album are epic stories which are a part of the main tale. The plot tells of missing humanity, love, revenge, anger and death. In the sleevenotes the story of the characters that the band members portray is described. They appear in their own fairy tale. A mystic shaman has gathered outcasts to avenge the evils that humanity did to them when they had the feelings of a human beings. It tells of a time, where people only find feelings and emotions of the past, it as though there is no future and that the world is standing still.
Villieläin was one of the 30 entries taking part in SMS voting which ran from 1st till 15 October 2009. Only three performers proceeded to the live selection phase. The band were entry 30 and entered the song Ei Minua (Not Me) for selection as a song choice for Finland in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Oslo, Norway. The song received a large number of votes and thus finished in the top 10 of the web voting. However, since it did not finish in the top three, the band were knocked out of the running and so will not progress to the live semi-finals of Euroviisut 2010. The band have no plans to release Ei Minua as a single or to include it on any future album releases at the moment.
Villieläin have been criticised for creating music that doesn't take itself seriously. They have been described as a cheap Nightwish copy and a "low cost version of Spinal Tap". Petri Klemetti remarked that although putting fairy tale style lyrics to the sounds of metal is an original idea, it doesn't work because the music is too terrifying for children, but yet too childish for adults, therefore it does not appeal to any specific target audience. The overall mixing of "Julma Satu" has been criticised as being "bland, dull, tasteless and colourless", although Aksu Hanttu has been commended for his involvement.
However others are of the view that the overall production of the album is "a fresh extract of sounds previously demonstrated by Poisonblack" and an example of "fantastic modern heavy rock."
- Emilia "Nemilia" Rantasalo - Vocals (Mystic Opera)
- Jani "Jay" Hölli - Keyboards, (Snakegod, Soulrelic)
- Timo "Tinke" Niemistö - Guitar (Anthriel)
- Dimitri "Dimmu" Martinov - Bass (Two Witches)
- Mikael "Miguel" Hakamies - Drums (Snakegod) (since 2008)
- Janne Juutinen (2006–2008) - Drums.
- Kirsi Hanelle Siren (2007–2008)- Backing Vocals.
- Capri - Backing Vocals
- Aksu Hanttu (Entwine) - Backing Vocals
- Jaakko Teittinen - Growls on Voittamaton
- Mika Tauriainen(Entwine, ShamRain) - Male Vocals on Kuoleman Suudelma
- Janne Juutinen (Masterstroke) - Drums
- Petri Alanko - Flute
- Piritta "Lumous" Vartola (Manzana)
- Aksu Hanttu (Entwine)
- Tommy Suomala (Soulrelic)
- Raymond Pohjola (Soulrelic)
- Anna-Eerika Guzejev (Dean)
- Petri Alanko.
- Julma Satu (Cruel Fairytale) - 2009.
Demos and Singles
- Demo (2006)
- Kaiverrettu Hiekkaan (Engraved in Sand) (2008) - single
- Voittamaton (2009) - single
- Kuoleman Suudelma (2009) - single
- Ei Minua (2009) - unreleased commercially.
- EMILIA RANTASALO (Nemilia) is the vocalist in Villieläin. She is a coloratura soprano and can sing both classical and more traditional metal styles. She is very versatile. She was a founding member of the band Mystic Opera, but left shortly after joining. Before venturing into the Finnish Power Metal scene, she took part in amateur operatic productions and still performs solo, videos of which can be seen on video streaming site Youtube.
- DIMITRI MARTINOV (Dimmu) (born on December 20, 1977) is the bassist in the Finnish band Villieläin. He is a big fan of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. He spends a lot of his free time playing various games on the internet. Martinov currently lives in Tampere, Finland. He played in many bands, a couple to mention are Downfall until 2007 and before that Two Witches. He was also a session member in Negative. He uses the aliases: Don Cantarelli, Mr. Black and Dimmu.
- MIKAEL HAKAMIES (Miguel) (born on October 29, 1983) is the drummer in Villieläin. He lives in Tampere, Finland. His hobbies include listening to music and playing Football Manager. His favourite music and influences are: Pantera, Judas Priest, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bill Laswell and Black Label Society. His favourite films are Smoke, This Is Spinal Tap and American History X. He is greatly interested in World War II history. He is largely involved with promoting the band online and keeping the fans informed of the latest news and events concerning Villieläin. He regularly posts on the band's international forum and various online based fan-clubs.
- TIMO NIEMISTÖ (Tinke) currently plays guitar in Villieläin and Elias Viljanen & Evil Spirit. He was the guitarist in Soulrelic from 2006 to 2007. In addition to this he is also the Brainchild and Guitarist/Vocalist of the progressive metal band Anthriel and features in the Hard Rock covers band X-Tacy. He has also been a guest musician for Dreamtale and Cosmic Spell. He came from a musical family and began to play the piano at an early age. In 1984 he started to learn the guitar. He also played drums for a while and experiemented with classical music. However, he found rock music more satisfying and so now only plays the classical genre in his spare time. He is a big fan of italian food and the Star Wars films. His favourite Actors are Nicolas Cage and Susan Sarandon and songs Through the Looking Glass by Symphony X and High Hopes by Pink Floyd. Timo uses: Ibanez guitars, A Digitech preamp/effect processor, Marshall power amps and Marshall cabinets. His influences are Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Tony Macalpine and Michael Romeo.
- JANI HÖLLI (born on July 16) plays keyboards in Villieläin and Snakegod and was a member of Soulrelic from 2003 to 2007. He is featured on a tribute album to Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant called "Plant Waves: A Robert Plant Tribute" where he covered the song "Anniversary" as a part of the group 'Arto Laine and Snakegod'. Jani began to play the piano and studied under the Finnish musician Timo Kahilainen. This inspired him to play keyboards. He has been active for around fifteen years in which he has gathered an extensive list of musical accomplishment and prominence. He has also played in many cover bands and tribute acts. He often features on the releases of popular Finnish artists of which the most well known is the drummer of the rock band Hanoi Rocks, Lacu Lahtinen. Jani is a member of his solo effort, Technical Justice. Other artists include: Timo Rautiainen, Timo Koltipelto, Olli Lindholm, Ville Leinonen and Pelle Miljoona. His influences are rock artists from the 1980s, in particular Deep Purple, Europe and Whitesnake, but also by the artists such as HIM, Elton John and Jerry Lee Lewis. He has used the following keyboards during live performances: Korg Triton Pro, Roland VK-7, Roland A-33, Yamaha DX-7.
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