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Sapattivuosi (Sabbatical Year) is a band that plays Black Sabbath songs in Finnish. The band started out as a spare time activity between a few old-time mates, who thought that playing Black Sabbath purifies one’s soul, clarifies one’s thoughts and eases one’s body. Initially, the idea of forming a band took place in a backseat of a car shared by guitarist Janne Halmkrona (member of the prominent Finnish rock band, CMX), singer Hannu Paloniemi (prominent for his eloquence) and drummer Simo Vehmas (prominent for no reason whatsoever). And like some many other things bred in a backseat of a car, Sapattivuosi came into existence with excitement, noise and very little thought.
At some point, someone (nobody knows who, and nobody wants to know who) came up with an idea to translate the original lyrics into Finnish. After some pondering, and few pints, it was agreed that the idea was worth exploring. The singer of the band, Hannu Paloniemi, produced some apt, and even beautiful Finnish translations. It was decided that the band should do some gigs, and make a demo. At this point, the original bass player, Mara Salminen, got himself a job, and was replaced by Antero Aunesluoma (well-known from the Finnish bands Blake, Kivireki and Pohjannaula).
So the band went to Inkfish studio in Helsinki to make a demo. After hearing two songs, the engineer and producer Gabi Hakanen screamed: “We’re not making a demo, we’re making a f**king album!” And so we did.
The eponymous album got glorifying reviews, and went to number 7 on the official Finnish charts. The single “Hautuumaan lapset” (Children of the Grave) went to number 4! This all goes to show that Finns are surprisingly tolerant people. There are a lot of die-hard Sabbath fans in Finland and only few of them threatened to break our fingers for ravishing the sacred music.
In the case of the album Sapattivuosi one can talk about moderate success. However, when it comes to gigs, they have been a huge success! This was especially the case in northern Finland where Sapattivuosi turned towns like Oulu and Kemi into big happy-clappy clubs (this could have been partly due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages).
The band was not supposed make another album. And quite frankly, there were not too many requests from the fans to do it. We just did it. Why? There are no rational reasons for this endeavour. This band is based on one criterion only: pleasure. Thus, this band is a hedonistic project which is based on the aim of maximising our own pleasure and minimising our own suffering. Some twisted utilitarianism, as it were.
So, the second album entitled Vol. 2 was released in March 2005. The single “Kännin piikkiin” (Sweet Leaf) was another #4 for the band. The following gigs, as always, were carried out with dedication, piety and good humour. The singer Hannu Paloniemi had at this point moved to Rovaniemi, a Lapp town that refuses to cease to exist despite the cunning use of matches in 1940s (by the Germans), inhumane climate and lots of inbreeding with reindeer.
This would have been a highly appropriate ending for the biography of Sapattivuosi, as it was originally agreed. But music (and some people) just will not comply with the dramatic demands of narrative (i.e., tragedy). Hence, Halmkrona, Aunesluoma and Vehmas started to cherish the idea of making an album of Dio-era Sabbath songs. Now all that was needed was a singer with superhuman vocal capabilities, and someone to translate the lyrics into Finnish. The latter was solved by some very unlikely types: Tuija Takala and Matti Häyry, Finnish philosophers and fans of traditional heavy rock, got to work, and in the end managed to capture the mystical, heroic humanism of Ronnie James Dio.
The singer issue was a hard nut to crack. To our great surprise, Marco Hietala accepted the offer with enthusiasm.
After endless timetable hassle, and a long waiting period, the album “Ihmisen merkki” (The Sign of Man) was finally finished in the early 2009, and will be released in April 1.
The band members and the producer whole-heartedly believe that this project can contribute to your well-being, and to your pursuit of a good life. In other words, buy the album “Ihmisen merkki” (and the two previous albums), to yourself, to your friends, to your enemies and to just about everybody. This would surely enhance tolerance regarding bad taste, and thus make the world a better place to live in.
News related to Sapattivuosi
- SAPATTIVUOSI Cancel Polish Shows, Postpone Finnish Dates / 14.10.2009 (2 comments)
- MARCO HIETALA's BLACK SABBATH Tribute Band To Play In Poland / 26.06.2009 (5 comments)
- MARCO HIETALA's BLACK SABBATH Tribute Band Performs In Helsinki; Video Available / 23.04.2009 (1 comment)
- MARCO HIETALA's BLACK SABBATH Tribute Band SAPATTIVUOSI Lands On Finnish Chart / 09.04.2009 (3 comments)
- NIGHTWISH's HIETALA Talks About Singing BLACK SABBATH Covers In Finnish / 16.03.2009 (6 comments)
- SAPATTIVUOSI: Announced Marco Hietala as their new vocalist / 04.03.2009 (7 comments)
- Label: Emi Finland
- Released: 2003
- 1. Hautuumaan lapset (Children Of The Grave)
- 2. Elävinä kuolleisiin (Killing Yourself To Live)
- 3. Parantaja (The Wizard)
- 4. Hankikanto (Snowblind)
- 5. Yksinään (Solitude)
- 6. Rautamies (Iron Man)
- 7. Keijujen kengät (Fairies Wear Boots)
- 8. S.Ä.N.K.I. (N.I.B.)
- Label: Emi Finland
- Released: 2005
- 1. Ei saa luovuttaa (Never Say Die)
- 2. Kännin piikkiin (Sweet Leaf)
- 3. Sotasiat (War Pigs)
- 4. Kierteen arkkitehti (Spiral Architect)
- 5. Planeettakaravaani (Planet Caravan)
- 6. Ikuisuuden jälkeen (After Forever)
- 7. Sähköhauta (Electric Funeral)
- 8. Matka universumiin (Symptom Of The Universe)
- 9. Tarvin pimuu (Dirty Women)
- Label: Emi Finland
- Released: 2009
- 1. Pelon lait
- 2. Maalaistyttö
- 3. Uneen hukkuneet
- 4. Taivas ja maa
- 5. Laki 666
- 6. Valtaa
- 7. Yö saa
- 8. Ihmisen merkki