It was year 1988 when three 14-15 years old kids in Joensuu eastern Finland, decided that they should start their first serious band after developing their skills by playing Heavy Metal, Punk, Hardcore/Crossover and Grindcore. They wanted to go further in exploring heavier and darker forms of music, so they chose Death and Thrash Metal. Or may you say: Deathrash chose them...
With Teemu Hannonen on vocals and guitar, Juha Tykkyläinen on lead guitar and Lasse Pyykkö on drums, PHLEGETHON recorded their first demo ”Visio Dei Beatifica” on a four-track recorder by themselves in the house of Juha’s parents (where they also rehearsed) in ’89. The influence of Slayer and Sepultura is pretty obvious there on the tape. Lyric-wise the group drew most of their inspiration from surrealistic paintings and their odd dreams. The demo was sold about 100 copies and the doors of the underground Metal scene opened for the young Deathrashers.
The following year the band eventually found the right man, Jussi Nyblom, for the bass guitar. Soon they started to consider recording their second demo which was to be recorded on their friend’s eight-tracker in Juha’s parents’ house again. With this friend behind the desk they recorded and unleashed the very much praised ”Neutral Forest” in ’90. It was sold about 700 copies and put them on the frontline of the Finnish Metal scene.
At the time the band began to be surrounded by funny and weird rumours especially in their hometown as they dressed in black (which wasn’t that fashionable at the time) and weren’t that social persons in general. According to a rumour the guys did’t communicate verbally but by playing their instruments. Another one told that Teemu was sleeping in a casket, with obituary notes painted on his room’s seiling and worshipped Satan in his parents’ garage. Well, his family didn’t have a garage so...
In February ’91 PHLEGETHON played their first gig which took place in their hometown Joensuu. It was a great bill introducing some other early Finnish underground Metal bands like Xysma, Funebre, Amorphis and Disgrace. Everything seemed quite fresh, innovative and underground but that was soon to be changed...
In the same month as the first gig was played the band headed for a studio to record a mini-album for a Swiss label called Witchhunt Records. They weren’t satisfied with the first mix of ”Fresco lungs” with Teemu on vocals so they added new vocals, performed by Jussi, and re-mixed the album. This time the result was better but the band would rather call it ”Fiasco Lungs” than ”Fresco Lungs”.
The band played a few gigs in their homecountry with the likes of Beherit, Sentenced, Demigod, Afflicted, Old Funeral, etc. and the CD version of ”Fresco Lungs” was released in ’92 with two bonus tracks added. As Death Metal became trendy it lost some of its fascination and that surely affected the band but on the other hand the natural development would have driven them far away from Metal anyway. So they called it quits in ’92. You have to remember that the dudes were only 17-18 years old at the time and eager to see how they could handle other styles of music. But that’s another story...
In ’95 they got together to record a three-song promo demo but that wasn’t a serious attempt to come back on the field. The new axeman Saku Hurskainen played lead guitar on that tape instead of Juha. You’d have to wait until 2006 for the fire-stream to start seriously flowing again. With their very homemade demo ”Totems Within” Lasse, Juha and Saku are back on track following their hearts playing the music that they know they do best. Two more demos followed, one in 2007 ”Lava Poetry” and a demo-track in 2008, both entirely recorded by Lasse. In January 2010, a double CD entitled ”Drifting in the Crypt” was released on Xtreem Music including the band’s 6 demos plus their mini LP ”Fresco Lungs”.
Drifting in the Crypt
XM 075 CD
Old School Finnish Death/Thrash
If you run a zine, webzine or you need high quality graphic stuff about the band, you can download here a .ZIP file with: Pictures, Logos and Album cover.