- E. Seppänen - vocals
- S.S. Lopakka - guitars
- S. Kukkohovi - guitars
- J.T. Ylä-Rautio - bass
- A.K. Karihtala - drums
KYPCK, “Kursk” in the western alphabet, is a Russian-singing Finnish doomsday metal band.
KYPCK’s crew features vocalist E. Seppänen, guitarists S.S. Lopakka and S. Kukkohovi, bassist J.T. Ylä-Rautio and drummer A.K. Karihtala. The band’s studio sound production lies on the shoulders of Hiili Hiilesmaa, who is also a renowned producer for HIM, Sentenced, Moonspell, Apocalyptica and many others. Hiilesmaa was also the band’s drummer on the first two albums.
The dry dock for KYPCK was built in 1999 while Lopakka and Hiilesmaa were working on Sentenced’s “Crimson”. They talked about making music that would be very desolate and dark, with a raw yet massive sound incorporating some elements of doom-metal while still having a very unique and modern character. Something that hits you like a massive, endless wave, something that is crushing yet calm. Something that is melancholic and agonizing at the same time
Building the Basics
It took a while until the first parts of KYPCK could be assembled, but the blueprints for it were taken out of the vault every time Lopakka and Hiilesmaa met. Mainly due to the two engineers’ tight schedules, it took until January 2007 when words were put into action. This was also the time when they decided that the language of KYPCK would be Russian to set them further apart from most metal bands.
All this was even before the singer Seppänen came into the picture, and it seemed quite a quest to find a person who could both sing and be a frontman and do it all in fluent Russian. Despite the challenge it didn’t take longer than a week in the end. Seppänen is a singer who has lived in Russia for over 2 years, studied in St. Petersburg and worked at the embassy in Moscow. He holds a degree in Russian literature from Oxford and also teaches Russian part-time in Tampere, Finland. All things considered, he is more than a legitimate choice as the singer and lyric-writer of KYPCK. Finally, a long time friend of Hiilesmaa, Ylä-Rautio (who now plays the 1-stringed bass called “Kypcklop”) completed the crew. The Finnish label UHO Production was so excited by the sole idea that they signed KYPCK without even hearing a single note.
Loading the Torpedoes
Back in the early days of the band, Lopakka commented: “We all were so thrilled about the new band and the whole idea that in less than four months we had material for one and a half albums already. It was like a dam being cracked open – a massive load just poured out”. The guitarist Lopakka plays an AK-47-shaped custom baritone guitar, “Lopashnikov”, made by Amfisound Guitars.
In January 2007 the band was ready. In May Hiilesmaa was already recording the first drums. The rest of Cherno was recorded together in July. “At that point we noticed that we have something truly original in our hands”, remembers Seppänen. “And although it was clear that this band was a big step away from mainstream metal, I knew that material this strong would find a select audience…” Upon the album’s release on March 12th 2008 it went straight to #11 in the Finnish charts. Later on Century Media released the debut worldwide.
Cherno was followed by a few shows in Finnish clubs, as well as a number of festival appearances, including the main metal event of the Finnish Summer, Tuska Festival in Helsinki. The shows fine-tuned the band both on and off stage and proved that there was a strong live act here. Later that year, KYPCK was also invited on a small New Year’s tour with HIM. The inevitable and long-awaited first shows in Russia took place in 2009, in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There the reception was phenomenal and the atmosphere something quite unprecedented. KYPCK was the first foreign band to perform in Russian. It had long been clear to the guys in the band that KYPCK would make more albums. After those visits, it was clear to everyone.
After the shows in Russia, KYPCK took a clean break from doing shows. Despite wanting to focus on writing and recording some new material, the band insisted on keeping the concerts as special occasions, and turned down many offers for shows. Instead, work began on the next KYPCK album.
With the debut done the band now had more experience and a focused mind on what they wanted to do. Especially Seppänen felt that there was a lot more to be said and explored in terms of the lyrics. “I had a feeling I wanted to dig deeper into history and broaden the band’s horizons that way. Also, after the shows we did and the people we met, there was a more obvious personal angle to it. With the first album, I wrote for a projected audience. Now there was an actual audience,” Seppänen describes.
Musically, too, the band had grown richer and everybody had their place inside the steel-beast cylinder. The result is called Nizhe, which in English means “lower” and, as such, is a perfect description of the sound and atmosphere of KYPCK’s 2nd album. Written and recorded during 2009-2010, the album was released February 9th, 2011. A promotional, pre-release listening party for the media is held January 12th in Helsinki, in the main stage of prestigious Finnish National Theather, of all places. Where else could the only foreign Russian-singing metal band hold this event, except in a theatre built in a time when Finland was a part of Russia?
The booklets of KYPCK’s all albums feature the original lyrics in Cyrillic Russian with English translations on the side. The lyrics contain numerous literary and historical references, some songs being directly inspired by famous Russian literary works. Although written by a non-native speaker of Russian, the lyrics have been proof-read by Russian native professionals and contain no unintended mistakes.
text adapted from: http://www.kypck-doom.com/biography.htm
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