- Jarkko Ahola
- Arto Järvinen
- Viljo Rantanen
- Jari Kuokkanen
Teräsbetoni is an epic heavy metal band which has undertaken a steadfast quest for truth, honour and brotherhood. The dynamic, straightforward style of the band‘s music is visually enhanced by the look of the band: Jarkko Ahola (lead vocals & bass), Arto Järvinen (guitar & vocals), Jari Kuokkanen (drums) and Viljo Rantanen (guitar) take to the stage chests bare, garbed in black leather adorned with steel.
As lyrics evoke images of epic times, the audience is taken descriptively into the mythical land of “Metallivaltio” (The Metal Republic). This is a place where majestic stallions, nostrils flaring and eyes ablaze are mounted by righteous warriors who ride off valiantly and fight victoriously on the battlefields of medieval times. Song lyrics include references to swords, axes, war, battlefields, treachery, death, mental and physical trials, evil and the enemy. A noteworthy point and one which should be taken into account with respect to the band’s lyrics is that their code of ethics, is relevant in today’s modern world. Their “warrior’s creed”, their message, transcends through the centuries as it encompasses valiant and immortal themes such as faith, honesty, loyalty, trust, the importance of friends and loved ones, humanity, dignity and brotherhood.
A distinguishing quality which comes through in the band’s performances and lyrics is their overall message is straightforward and upbeat. They urge one to celebrate life to its fullest, encourage one to fearlessly remain true to one’s beliefs and bring forth a confidence everyone possesses the inner strength to triumph.
Teräsbetoni ‘s accomplishments include three full length albums: Metallitotuus (Platinum – 2005), Vaadimme Metallia (Gold – 2006) and Myrskyntuoja (Gold – 2008). The band’s debut album was presented with the prestigious Emma Award which is Finland’s equivalent to the Grammy Award. Also, Teräsbetoni had the honour of representing Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest Final of 2008.
With origins in Pirkanmaa region, the band was formed in 2002 by Ahola, Järvinen and Rantanen when they realized a shared common interest in old school heavy metal. Once Kuokkanen was recruited and a suitable name was conceived, the band’s format was set. In the Finnish language “teräs” means steel and “betoni”, concrete. Teräsbetoni: the combination of the two can be thought of as a pillar of strength, i.e. something which is unyielding, solid and strong. The description is appropriate for various reasons including, the powerful sound of the band’s music and also, the band’s unwavering resolve to retain their linguistic choice of Finnish.
When Teräsbetoni’s first demo songs, Teräsbetoni, Teräksen Varjo (The Shadow Of Steel) and Maljanne Nostakaa (Raise Your Chalice), were published on their internet homepages, word of this amazing new band spread rapidly and the demo songs were downloaded in astounding numbers by enthusiastic fans. Warner Music Finland signed Teräsbetoni to a recording contract in 2004 and the band’s first single, Taivas Lyö Tulta (Fire Stricken Skies), was released early in 2005 hitting the top of the Finnish Singles Chart.
Metallitotuus (Metallic Truth), Teräsbetoni’s outstanding debut album, was produced by Anssi Kippo (Children of Bodom, Norther and Entwine). Upon its release in the spring of 2005, the album entered the Finnish Album Chart at the #2 spot and stayed on the list for 29 weeks. The success of the album demanded an extensive tour and so, the band spent a large portion of the next year touring, putting on over 200 performances for crazed audiences. The album Metallitotuus was certified platinum and presented “The Metal Album of the Year Award” at the annual Emma Awards (Finland’s equivalent to the Grammy).
Vaadimme Metallia (We Demand Metal), Teräsbetoni’s sophomore album, was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Lordi, Sentenced and Apocalyptica). Soon after the album’s release in the summer of 2006, it broke the gold level of albums sold and was well received by audiences and critics. A special edition of the album was released containing bonus tracks and a DVD including, among other material, Teräsbetoni’s first two music videos, Orjatar (Slave Mistress) and Vaadimme Metallia.
Myrskyntuoja (Stormbringer), Teräsbetoni’s third album, was reflective of the band’s original sound, but included some fresh, new elements as well. The album was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, hit the Finnish Album Chart at the #1 spot in its first week of release during the spring of 2008 and exceeded the gold level of album sales, soon after.
Teräsbetoni was asked to participate in the Finnish Eurovision Qualification of 2008. The band won the public’s vote with the song Missä Miehet Ratsastaa (Where All The Men Ride Forth), from their then newly released Myrskyntuoja album and proceeded to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Serbia. Teräsbetoni went through to the ESC Final and had the prestigious experience of performing for over 100 million viewers.
Teräsbetoni’s epic saga continues with a new album titled Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita, released on November 24, 2010.
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