Review 2172 : Bloody Falls – Amartia – English

Bloody Falls sign their third album.

A year after their last EP, the band comprising Antero Hakala (vocals), Stavros Mathios (guitar), Marko Mäkinen (guitar), Mika Lehtinen (bass) and Rami Vartiainen (drums) unveil Amartia, released by Art Gates Records.

The band opens with Sorrow Is My Name, an energetic first track developing groovy riffs and aggressive vocal parts, immediately creating a catchy mix that encourages us to shake our skulls. The track is fairly short, and quickly gives way to I Will Be Your End, a livelier composition that also incorporates some more majestic passages thanks to ominous keyboards, but which remains on its sharp roots thanks to Thrash influences. Dark melodies return on The Way Of Sin in the company of impressive vocal parts and some clean backing vocals, but the jerky approach still anchors it in raw violence, eventually letting it disappear to make way for Man Undying, which begins with a mysterious introduction before exploding. The composition is rather slow, with a few heavy leads to kick-start the acceleration towards the final chorus which finally takes us to Evil Incarnate and its quite melodic but rather eerie introduction. Screams appear, signaling the end of gentleness, but the track remains fairly calm before the rhythmic takes over again, blending the two worlds before Curse Of The Mark is tinged with threatening Black/Death elements to create a heavier atmosphere. Harmonics still make their way to the surface to add their piercing touch, then the sound gets heavier again with I Didn’t Meet My Death and its melancholy tones, which become more dissonant as the track moves further into the darkness, before becoming more epic again for I Met My Death, a direct and logical follow-up to the previous track, which proves much more accessible and unifying, welcoming us with motivating backing vocals before kicking the machine back into full gear.

Barely a year after their last production, Bloody Falls show their progress with a solid rhythmic album that draws its influences from both melodic Death and groovy Thrash. Amartia promises to break necks at every turn!


Version Française ?

A few questions to Stavros Mathios (guitar) and the band Bloody Falls, for the release of their new album Amartia.

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Bloody Falls without using the usual musical labels?
Stavros Mathios (guitar): Hello and thank you for this interview! Bloody Falls is a Melodic Death, Black, Groove Metal band formed in Valkeakoski, Finland at 2017 by myself (Stavros Mathios) and Marko Mäkinen. Before Bloody Falls we had a band called Exiled Genesis which had to die for Bloody Falls to be born. It took a long road of around 7 years to find all the right people to form an amazing lineup that literally everything clicks between each other, so it was worth the wait. From the second single release as Bloody Falls we attracted the attention of record labels and that was a great sign that whatever we are doing this time around we are doing it right in comparison with Exiled Genesis. Our first album release Thanatos was really experimental and we were still trying to pinpoint exactly what we wanted to sound like, in other words find a unique identity and not be an extension of anything directly. The year is 2024 and Bloody Falls has fully established an identity as an entity of its own and we are really proud of this! Go listen to our latest album Amartia to fully understand what we mean!

What does the name Bloody Falls mean to you, and how is the link with the music you create now?
Stavros: I came up with the name Bloody Falls while searching famous historical massacres. The moment I saw it I checked if there was any band that had the name and as it turns out no one was using it, so immediately I suggested it to the band members and everyone agreed that it was an amazing name for a metal band. At first we agreed on going with a post apocalyptic type of look for the band and also created a logo with two axes made out of metal pieces, like I said above, still looking for an identity. After a couple of years we decided to change the entire look of the band and I came up with the idea of going more literal to the title, so we decided to add the running tears of blood as in Bloody Falls. As the main song writer I can say that the title of the band is not affecting the writing process in any way since the meaning of the band name is literal nowadays and not historically connected to the massacre anymore in any way besides the actual words. 

The band’s new album, Amartia, will come out in a few weeks. How do you feel about it? Do you already have any feedback?
Stavros: We are excited to say the least! We have worked really hard with this album to make it something special for everyone that listens to it. Amartia is like a journey through the darkest corners of the human soul and brings out all kinds of emotions. We have gotten amazing feedback from every place and person that has listened to the album already, with many calling it the best work of Bloody Falls to date, which is amazing knowing how well Burn The Witch has been doing worldwide in comparison. The future is bright and we hope Amartia will take our journey to the next level what ever that is! 

How would you sum Amartia’s identity up in only three words?
Stavros: Groovy, Melodic & Dark. 

How did the creation process happen for Amartia? Did you notice some changes compared to the previous records?
Stavros: There was major changes compared to the past in some ways and in other ways we kept things rooted. For example this time around we decided to go darker than ever before, which of course doesn’t mean we will do it with the next record. We always try to keep the songs sounding like Bloody Falls, we never wanna stray too far away from what we are. The idea of Amartia came from the ending of the previous album Burn The Witch, the album was ending with the song Father Of Sin and we wanted to continue the story from where we left off. The EP Dying Is Easy is serving like a bridge between the two albums. Once we had the game plan set all we had to do was execute. It didn’t take a long time after the idea that we had a ton of ready material for recording. The recording process took around 2 to 3 weeks, we are highly efficient as a band when it comes to recording and learning new material. After that all we had to do was wait for the mixing & mastering from Max Morton and then start scheduling the release dates with Art Gates Records.

Is there a concept behind Amartia? How did you work on music and lyrics?
Stavros: Amartia as a whole is not a concept album. The album has a trilogy of songs that tell the story of Cain, like Burn The Witch before had a trilogy telling the story of a witch. I don’t like the idea of confining my lyric writing into a bubble of a certain topic, I like to have freedom to do as I please, but I have a tendency of not straying too far away from the actual topic of the album. Lets say Amartia focuses on the sins of mankind and the origin of sins. The creation of the songs tends to happen by me. I write music all the time and then I demo record all instruments and take them to our studio so everyone in the band can listen to the songs and add ideas. Many times other band members will bring riffs or lyrics that we can work together and create something. The process goes as follows: music & lyric writing, members contributing, me home demoing the song, doing pre production as a band for everyone to properly learn the songs and also us to hear it with everyone playing their parts and then go for the actual recordings once all songs have been through the process. That’s the way we work and it’s extremely efficient for us at least. 

What about the artwork, what were the guidelines you gave Lhysta and how does it fit with the music you created? I noticed the mask is a recurrent element, what is its meaning?
Stavros: The guidelines are literally stick drawings from me, notes and a description. We first come up with a plan by discussing what we want with the whole band via brainstorming either up close or via group chat and then I proceed by making the rough drawing, notes etc. Jesus gets all of the above and creates those amazing cover arts for us, which is amazing that he literally takes our thoughts and makes them a reality. The album cover always represents the album, for example Amartia since it’s about Cain and the first mortal sin the cover shows Cain holding Abel in his arms while he has just killed him using a bone. About the mask. That’s a weird one to be honest. We don’t remember exactly who came up with the idea on Burn The Witch to add masks to the priests, it was either Rami or Antero I think. We actually didn’t intend it at the time to become a constant but somehow it became and actually became a theme for us ironically. But sometimes the nicest things happen randomly kinda like this one. The original idea for the masks was that in that post-apocalyptic world that the witch was being burned people weren’t allowed to have facial expressions, they had to wear a mask representing how they felt and there are only two options, happy or sad. According to the music video of Burn The Witch we try to pass the idea that the witch was defying those rules and was the only one refusing to wear a mask and thus she is condemned to burn as a witch and a lawbreaker. We always have a deeper meaning behind everything we do and wish that some day people will get those meanings either by reading it here for example or on their own. We also like to do small cameos and add hidden little things in videos for example, like the ending of Burn The Witch video, there is Death (from Thanatos video) and the Reaper (from My Halo Of Flame video) in the trees with the witch after she burns. We believe it’s really fun to add things like that in videos and cover arts that maybe don’t mean much now or then, but will bring fruit in the future as fun facts and secrets to find. Keep always an extra eye open or look twice in many things to connect the dots cause we won’t stop doing that.

The band’s sound is inspired by Death Metal, Groove Metal and Thrash Metal, how do you manage to create your own touch? Where do you find your inspiration to create music?
Stavros: Inspiration can come from literally anything, like other bands, movies, games, life situations, psychology and many other factors. What makes Bloody Falls music be what it is is the fact that we have a lot of different genre likes as individuals. From Black Metal, to Groove metal, to Death Metal and many more. So to make everyone happy in playing the songs we have to create songs with multiple elements from all those genres into one. That took time to happen, at the start it was mostly what I was creating and there wasn’t much input from others besides Marko, but as the years progressed so did the chemistry between band members. I started understanding better what the others liked and wanted, so I started adding those influences into my writing by either using just my brain or directly asking the guys to come for a listening session to add ideas. Like everything in life it was a learning process and it took time, but the end result is what you hear from us since 2021. To be honest this is just the beginning, Bloody Falls will never stop evolving and becoming better, our goal is to always make better material than the previous releases, if we think that something isn’t better than the previous release then we go back to the drawing board, no mediocre or rushed work will ever come out by us. Perfection will never be truly reached, it will only be surpassed every single time, that’s the goal with what we do.

How did you decide on the singles to reveal to introduce the album and why did you pick those ones precisely?
Stavros: The singles were selected by the likeness of songs per say. The band was unanimous with the order of the single releases. Also we planned the releases according to what the album was about and those three songs painted a real well rounded picture for what to expect from Amartia. First we wanted to introduce the people to a more Melodic Black Metal side of Bloody Falls with I Met My Death, then we went to the dark side of the album with The Way Of Sin and lastly the groovy explosive side with I Will Be Your End. That exact order in our heads was the perfect way to warm up the listeners and build hype for the album.

Do you have a favorite song on this album? Or maybe the hardest one to achieve for the album.
Stavros: My favorite song is I Met My Death, since the day I created that song I fell in love with it and nothing has changed on how I feel about it. The most difficult song recording wise for me personally was The Way Of Sin, that song took way too much out of my picking hand to get super tight with those cursed triplets that I wrote, I have only myself to blame tho, who told me to write something like that.
Marko Mäkinen (guitar): The Curse Of The Mark. It has such a catchy groove, goes forward like a steam train and it has some of the best riffs I’ve ever written. Also, it is so damn fun to play live. The most difficult part recording wise was probably the aforementioned song’s solo, since I finalized it like a night before. My solo writing methods are a combination of working the best under pressure and self-inflicted pressure due to procrastination, haha.
Antero Hakala (vocals): For me before the final recordings, The Curse Of The Mark was my absolute favorite but when we started recording I really started to feel the power and raw darkness of The Way Of Sin. I really think that The Way Of Sin is the best song of the album cause of the overall feeling it gives you, it really mesmerizes.
Mika Lehtinen (bass): Sorrow Is my Name was my favorite for a long time, but recently Curse Of The Mark is catching up fast after we’ve been rehearsing it. Hardest to record was Sorrow Is My Name probably. Quite a few runs on the fretboard hand and some string skipping on top.
Rami Vartiainen (batterie): My favourite song of the album is Curse Of The Mark. Catchy, really fun to play and one of the fastest songs. The most difficult song to record and still to play is The Way of Sin. That kick drum pattern is a huge pain in the ass. And at the same time in a good sense challenging.

The band teams up again with record label ArtGates Records, how is the collaboration with them?
Stavros: Pretty good and efficient working collaboration, we have worked with them since 2020 so we have learned really well how to collaborate perfectly without too much hustle. We do our part and they do theirs, it’s as simple as that. We are happy overall with their part of the work. Really good record label for any band that is interested and is reading this.

Do you think you improved yourself as a singer and songwriter with this new record?
Stavros: As a songwriter, yes, I have evolved way past what I used to be a couple of years ago and I have my band members to thank for that, I would’ve never been writing these amazing songs without them. There is no limit to how much I will keep evolving with these amazing guys I am working with. I am excited for the future to say the least!
Antero: I think I really didn’t improve so much on this album but I think we found out more how the whole band should sound like and the songs really gave me a feeling how those should be sung. I think you get better every time you sing an album if you are really feeling those songs but also you cannot really take giant leaps if you already know how to sing and have a tone you want to use. There’s always some minor things that you do better but also there are always things to improve.

How do you work on live shows as a band?
Stavros: Prepare well as a group, prepare well individually and be ready to give hell to one or a million people! We always go to play live with the mentality of giving the best show we can every single time, no matter the amount of people or size of venue. People pay money to be entertained, so it’s our job and pleasure to make their night a night to remember! The most important thing is to have fun and make sure the people see that you are having fun, it’s as simple as that really. You can headbang the entire show, you can dress weird, you can play like a god, but no one is gonna like your show if you aren’t having fun, so that is the most important thing. Don’t mind any mistakes, we are human, shit happens and if you play 1 or 30 shows mistakes are bound to happen, all you have to do is be professional about it, don’t get all cringe and disappointed, move on and make up for it with a badass attitude and visible enjoyment! We love playing live and we hope in the near future we get to do it a lot more often and also abroad. Whatever the situation we are always ready for action and to bring hell to any venue!

Are there any musicians or artists you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, or maybe more.
Stavros: Any symphonic orchestra would be fantastic actually, imagine playing live I Met My Death with an orchestra, simply wow. If I had to name per say artists I would choose the following: Randy Blythe, Sakis Tolis, Lindsey Stirling and Tatiana Shmayluk. Any of the mentioned would easily fit with what we do and have in store for the future. You never know, maybe someday you will see someone of the above featuring in a Bloody Falls song.

What do you know about the French Metal scene? Are there any bands you know and like?
Stavros:  Me personally not that much to be honest, I haven’t been that familiar with the Metal scene in France per say. BUT of course I know and like Gojira, those guys are simply fantastic and definitely unique! Would be amazing if we got to perform with them some day! Besides that, I am clueless as to what else is going on there. I focus more on Finland to be honest since it’s where we originated and have to conquer music wise. One step at a time.

If you had to organize a concert for Amartia’s release show, which bands would you love to play with? I let you create a poster with Bloody Falls and three other bands!
Stavros: I am gonna take this as a hypothetical « any band » I would choose from the world, doesn’t matter how big or unrealistic. Also they would be opening for us to make this even more unrealistic, hehe.
Opener: Rotting Christ. Support: Amon Amarth. Support: Lamb Of God. Main Act: Bloody Falls. And that’s how dreams look, difficult to achieve, but hey, skies the limit right? 

Last and funny question: which dish would you compare Bloody Falls’ music with?
Stavros: Any spicy dish. Tasty upon consumption, with a nasty kick for an after taste surprise and an explosive evacuation as a result.

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Stavros: Thank you Acta Infernalis for this interview, it was really fun to write! Big thank you to everyone that took the time to read it and an even bigger thank you for your love and support towards what we do! Keep listening to Bloody Falls and we promise you even more amazing music in the future and a lot more live shows even abroad! We will see you all down the road eventually so we can all headbang together to the sound of Bloody Falls! Until then embrace the way of Amartia!

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