Contrary to their name, Whispered won’t go quietly. Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese battles and blood-curdling warcries, these Finns love plugging melodic death metal alongside oriental vibes and folk instruments. Lone original member Jouni Valjakka speaks of the trials and tribulations on the Silk Road that have tested this badass band’s novel idea.
“I’m the last man standing on the battlefield; we’ve lost brave warriors along the way!” Jouni laughs. “When I started the band, I wanted to play melodic metal but I had an urge to do something different. I love Japanese culture and its stories of brutal fights, warriors and ghosts… all cool, fucked-up stuff. I was inspired to mix it all with metal and traditional instruments.”
Sporting elaborate facepaint to honour Japanese kabuki theatre, Whispered have lived their Eastern obsession for 15 years, and Jouni survives to tell the tale of a band that’s barely scratched the surface of its unique potential.
“Whispered is an oxymoron – we’re definitely not whispering but we have serene instrumentals occasionally,” he says. “We do whisper sometimes but that doesn’t define us. I’m surprised there aren’t many other bands out there doing what we do…”
Their third album, Metsutan – Songs Of The Void, provides a towering soundtrack to an epic clash of ancient spirits. Racing riffs and colossal lyrics are their forte, but would Jouni make a good samurai?
“Hell, no! I’m terrible with confrontations! I’ve only ever been in one fight and this five-year-old dude beat the shit out of me!” he laughs. “I once cancelled a show because I had really nasty flu… that’s not samurai.”
Having only played one show outside their home country to a rapturous Japanese audience, Whispered are on their way from the sleepy fjords of Finland to spread their monumental carnage across Europe. Don’t miss them when they hit the UK.
SOUNDS LIKE: A wild hybrid of melodic death and folk metal with its heart in 9th-century Japan
FOR FANS OF: Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, Children Of Bodom
LISTEN TO: Strike!