|Genres||Black metal, extreme metal|
|Finntroll, Children of Bodom, Diabolos Rising|
Tomi "UG" Ullgren
Kimmo "Sir" Luttinen|
Tuomo "Tuomio" Louhio
Impaled Nazarene is a Finnish extreme metal band that started as black metal but have incorporated grindcore elements, and have grown more towards hardcore punk. The band is currently signed to Osmose Productions of France.
The band formed in November 1990, with founding members Mika Luttinen, Kimmo Luttinen, Mika Pääkkö, Ari Holappa and Antti Pihkala. The band gained national success when their demo album, Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz, entered the Finnish charts.
The band was infamous for their apparent hatred of the Norwegian black metal scene back the early 1990s; however, the band now seems to have disassociated itself from that dislike. Luttinen later affirmed that "We have absolutely nothing against Norwegians. I even made up with Euronymous before he was killed so just forget this thing, it is ancient history".
Impaled Nazarene stopped wearing corpse paint in the mid-1990s when black metal exploded, with Luttinen explaining that "we felt it was time distance ourselves a bit from the ridiculous ideas and statements that were circulating around the whole scene back then. And look around, we are not alone who have done this. Even Norwegian bands have dropped paint and other shit and are concentrating on the music instead of childish statements".
With the release of Suomi Finland Perkele, Impaled Nazarene dropped some of their aggression and made a stylistic shift, but this direction ended with the removal of Kimmo Luttinen from the line-up. Mika Luttinen explained his dissatisfaction with Kimmo and how the band changed under his guidance:
The bottom line is that Kimmo [Luttinen - Mika's brother and the band's former drummer] changed our style pretty much after the release of Ugra-Karma. It was his vision of how we should sound, and the rest of us weren't happy at all. It is useless for a band like us to try to be a copy of Danzig or fucking Paradise Lost. So, after Kimmo was replaced, it was normal for us to go back to what we do best, i.e. play aggressive and fast metal [...] It was one guy who wanted to go a different way, and the rest did not agree. Nobody expected such a release as Latex Cult from us anymore, but we fucking proved that we are still here, doing our thing our way. We can get only nastier.
After growing increasingly unpolished in delivery, the band made a shift, beginning with Nihil (2000) and the accession of Children of Bodom guitarist Alexi Laiho, towards a sound that has been described as "a benzedrine-fueled combination of thrash metal and Iron Maiden". Luttinen explained that Laiho's role was critical: "it was clear that now that we had finally two guitar players that we kind of like wanted to get away from that punky kind of writing style and started just wanting to get more back to the metal feeling".
Their ninth studio album, Pro Patria Finlandia, was a popular import album for Japan. Impaled Nazarene have toured with bands including Cannibal Corpse, Mayhem and Dark Tranquility, traversing four continents and over thirty countries.
On 16 March 2003, guitarist Teemu Raimoranta died falling off a bridge onto the ice below, in what was described as "an alcohol-related accidental fall".
For most of their history, Impaled Nazarene has focused on Finnish nationalism (for instance in their song "Total War - Winter War" about the Soviet-Finnish war in 1939 and 1940), and have demonstrated a strong anti-communist bent, as exemplified in their song "Healers of the Red Plague" on Rapture. Other lyrics revolve around war and Satanism. When asked about the hints of humour previously manifest in the lyrics, Luttinen affirmed that this was limited to Suomi Finland Perkele: "There will be no humour, we are not some fucking joke. If people find my lyrics funny, then, well, something is most certainly wrong in their heads". The band has also maintained a tradition of including at least one song on every album which has the word "goat" in the title, which Luttinen considers a "trademark" of the band:
Our very first EP was called Goat Perversion. And then it continued [...] actually on our website, I asked the question, "Do you want us to continue having the goat songs, yes or no?" and everybody else except one guy said "Yes, continue with the goat song. We want goat songs". So I said "Okay, you want goat songs, and so goat songs you shall get!" The thing is that when you are doing a goat song, the song is called "Goat Sodomy", you can be sure that it's not going to be deep social commentary of our problems. The goat songs will have Satan, the goat songs with have goats, the goat songs will have bleeding rectums, they will have blood, shit, all things that we all love and like.
Impaled Nazarene's Nihil (2000) is the only album that has been subject to a ban. However, this has caused additional problems for the band as, according to Luttinen, "Somebody seem to have really something against us and unfortunately that somebody has power enough to get our shows cancelled". Luttinen has been critical of the performance bans that the band has suffered in Germany and Poland, which he made explicit in the lyrics for Manifest (2007). In response to a question about the lack of sexual themes on Manifest, Luttinen responded:
There was no need to write about pussies or fucking. There was a need to point out certain things to braindead Germans. History repeats itself in Germany right now and where shall all this end? We are supposed to have same common laws inside [the] European Union but at the same time countries like Germany or Poland can do whatever they want to. It makes no sense to us.
In June 2017 the hardcore festival Ieperfest in Ieper, Belgium, removed Impaled Nazarene from the line up after threats of violence from protesters. The reason for the protest was the band's lyrics condoning homophobia and rape. The festival organizers issued the following statement:
" Dear music lover,
After a firm debate - that's what you do in a democracy - the organization decided to cancel Finnish band IMPALED NAZARENE (in mutual consent). Otherwise we can no longer guarantee everyone's safety at our beloved festival.[...]Ieperfest consists entirely out of volunteers. People with boundless love for music, but also full-time jobs, families and children. Threatening the personal integrity of our volunteers and visitors in today's context of attacks and raging violence... some of you should think twice!"