Hot on the heels of archival releases from bands such as Abhorrence, Xysma, and Mordicus, Svart Records is delving deeper into the Finnish death metal scene of yesteryear with the complete works of Festerday. Entitled …The Four Stages of Decomposition…, the double-CD / triple-LP package consists of all Festerday studio material, live and rehearsal rarities, plus new renditions of nine old songs, which the band have re-recorded, renamed, and re-composed. Festerday’s …The Four Stages of Decomposition… is set for international release on May 29th, and can be sampled HERE.
Festerday was formed in Pietarsaari (Jakestown), Finland, approximately 1989 when four 13- to 14-year-old guys (Timo Kontio, Kena Strömsholm, Miikka Timonen, and Jallu Honkaniemi) met at the local youth center and realized that they all shared the same interests within the underground scene. The members had already been involved in some band activities before they got together, but the musical outcome of those bands did not exactly turn out as planned. The underground scene offered something out of the ordinary to the youngsters. Tape-trading and fanzines drove them deeper into the scene, and after a couple of months, the four guys were jamming in the local youth center’s facilities doing covers of punk, thrash, and death metal songs.
At that point, the band had no name, but the name Mortuary played its role for a short time before changing it to Festerday. The name was taken from a Carcass song, and that pretty much underlined the direction where the band was going. Having only one guitarist in the band had its downsides, and therefore, Teemu Saari was asked to join the ranks. Teemu and Timo, back in the day, had been “riffing up” some tunes together, so getting Teemu onboard seemed like an obvious decision.
The first stable lineup of the group consisted of Timo on guitar, Teemu on guitar, Kena on vocals, Miikka on drums, and Jallu on bass, and lasted from 1989 to 1991. During that period, the members also recorded demos and played gigs under different monikers: Headache, Jungle Yuppies, Extreme Disco Terror, and Kaasukammio. After playing some local gigs with Festerday, Jallu and Miikka left the band in 1991 to form their own punk/HC band, Ödeema.
Finding new suitable candidates for Festerday seemed, at that point, impossible. Luckily, the band met the guys from Carnifex and hooked up with the drummer Pentele, who eventually turned out to be more than just a helping hand. After only a few rehearsals and still without a bass player, the band decided to record the first demo. The band was not pleased with the outcome and decided not to release the demo. Pentele had to focus on Carnifex, but recommended Teemu Kilponen from the death/thrash band Masacre. Kilponen, on the other hand, knew a guy with magic fingers and introduced Jakke Mäki (RIP) to the band.
Now, with Kilponen on drums and Jakke on bass, the second stable lineup was set in 1992, and the second demo was recorded as a split release with Carnifex. As the lineup finally seemed stable, the band was still missing an official logo. The right guy for the job was the French artist Christopher Moyen, who already had a name in the underground scene and was well known for his artwork. Moyen came up with the first official logo, the Christ Rotting on the Cross demo cover, and a couple of flyers. However, the split was never officially released, but got some attention in fanzines throughout the underground via tape-trading and small radio shows. The third demo was recorded the same year, but just like the previous demos, it was never officially released. The demos were simply named I, II, and III. Labels like Wild Rags, Peaceville, and Drowned among others showed interest in the band, but somehow the ink just did not stick to the paper.
After the third demo, Festerday started to stretch the musical limits a bit further, and a 25-minute-long song with lyrics in four languages was rehearsed but never studio-recorded. Shortly after, the band entered a period of hiatus from the end of 1993 onwards, and soon after, the members went separate ways to form new bands. The members were active in a bunch of different bands between 1994–2013 before they decided to complete the project that once was left undone – and to pay homage to former bassist Jarkko, who suddenly committed suicide after finalizing the album with Painflow in 1999.
In 2014, the band started to rehearse the 25-year-old songs. At this point, Antti Räisälä from Total Vomit Experience joined in on bass as a full member, and plans for an album started to take form. Later the same year, Finnish label Svart Records showed interest in the band, and this time, the ink did dry on paper. The result is Festerday’s …The Four Stages of Decomposition…. Tracklisting is as follows:
Tracklisting for Festerday’s …The Four Stages of Decomposition…
1. I Breathe Death*
2. Necrolatry (Risen from the Grave)*
3. Mouth-To-Mouth Vomiting*
5. Wonderful Worms*
6. Rotting under Goregeous Autumn Colors*
8. Romantic Regurgitation of Excrements*
9. Maggot Infested Corpse*
10. A Writhing Mass of Flesh-Eating Maggots
11. Necropsy (Buried but Resurrected)
12. Dismembered and Devoured
13. Carunculae under Skin
14. Palpation of the Dissected
15. Life Among Tears and Clouds
16. In Gorgeous Autumn Colors
17. Wonderful Worms
18. Born in a Casket
19. Cadaver’s Vomit
20. Gastrointestinal Haemorrhage
21. Putrified Corpses
22. Ready to Die
23. Snorting Bile
24. Your Bones Around My Neck
25. Entangled in Entrails
26. Stiff Swollen and Blue
28. Ready to die
29. Hacked into Pieces
* = “recomposed” new versions
This album is dedicated to Jarkko “Jakke på jakt” Mäki 26 April 1975 – 4 April 1999.