Metal Chick of the Month – Emmi Silvennoinen

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Aina sydämessäin oon… Neito pohjolan…

Brothers of the North, sharpen your swords and axes, grab your war hammers and shields, paint your faces with the colors of your Norse clans and be prepared to bleed in the battlefield fighting side by side with our Metal Chick of the Month, the lionhearted Finnish warrior Emmi Silvennoinen, former keyboardist for Finnish Epic Folk Metal band Ensiferum. If you dig Scandinavian girls and are also crazy for electrifying fighting chants, Emmi will certainly drive you moonstruck.

Born on April 9, 1988 in the city of Vantaa, Finland, the fourth most populated Finnish city and also part of the inner core of the Finnish Capital Region along with Helsinki, Espoo, and Kauniainen, Emmi stepped in as the keyboardist for Ensiferum for their live performances following the departure of Meiju Enho in September 2007, until she finally joined the band as their permanent keyboard player for the recording of the album From Afar, in 2009.

Before becoming part of Ensiferum’s metallic army, our gorgeous Scandinavian shieldmaiden was the keyboardist for a Finnish Melodic Death/Gothic Metal band named Exsecratus, from Helsinki, with whom she recorded the demo Execute, in 2006, and the full-length album Tainted Dreams, in 2007. Although the band doesn’t exist anymore, you can still enjoy Emmi’s impassioned keyboard notes embellishing the band’s sounding in interesting songs such as Under the Winter Moon, My Last Fight and Suicide. As you can see, Emmi used to play a completely different style than her work with Ensiferum, but that doesn’t mean her excellent skills behind the keyboards were less important or less effective for the music by Exsecratus.

As aforementioned, our Finnish “valkyrja” joined Ensiferum back in 2007 as the band’s keyboardist for all their upcoming live performances when in 2009 she finally got the full-time job with them, recording her first single with Ensiferum called From Afar, which is also the name of her first full-length album with the band, from 2009. From that album, one of the most interesting tracks is Twilight Tavern, which official video features live footage from the famous venue Nosturi, located in Helsinki. After that strong start, Emmi also recorded with Ensiferum the singles Stone Cold Metal (2010) and Burning Leaves (2012), the full-length album Unsung Heroes (2012), the fun Suomi Warmetal EP (2014), and more recently the full-length album One Man Army (2015).

Among all Ensiferum songs that could be used to present Emmi’s solid skills as a musician, I believe the title-track of their latest album, One Man Army, is a very good example of what she’s capable of doing. In addition, why not grab a cold beer and enjoy the sound of her keyboards in their cover versions for the all-time classics Wrathchild (Iron Maiden) and Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)? Despite the fact both original songs do not have any keyboard parts at all, she managed to add her own notes to the music, enhancing their uniqueness compared to all other cover versions for those two songs you might find anywhere.

Emmi hasn’t been in many parallel projects apart from her full-time commitment with Ensiferum, except for playing keyboards in the album Hymns of the Mortals – Songs from the North (2014) by Finnish Melodic Death Metal band Thyrien. Again, the musicality crafted by Thyrien is quite different from the Folk Metal by Ensiferum, as you can see in the excellent tune When The Horizon Burns, once again showcasing Emmi’s versatility and ability to adapt to what the music is asking for.

One very important detail about Emmi’s natural aptitude for music is that she doesn’t only play regular keyboards in her life and career, but she can also play the Hammond organ, the pump organ, the regular organ and the piano, not to mention she was also doing the backing vocals in all songs by Ensiferum. If that doesn’t prove to you how dexterous our charming keyboardist is, I honestly have no idea what really would.

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Due to the fact that Emmi was a live musician for a good couple of years with Ensiferum, I thought it would be nice to have some words from our diva regarding her life on the road, her opinion about the importance of live performances to a metal band, or anything similar to that. Fortunately, I was able to find an interview where, when asked about the differences between playing at a big festival and playing at small venues, she gave a short and sweet explanation of the importance of festivals to bands like Ensiferum. “There are usually more people who hasn’t heard of our music, and festivals are a place to show all we got”, she said, and let’s admit she’s absolutely right about that.

Furthermore, if you’re either a fan of Emmi and the music by Ensiferum or if you’re a newcomer to the world of Epic and Folk Metal, you can enjoy Emmi kicking ass on her favorite place on earth, which is on a festival stage together with the other members of the band, playing songs such as Windrider (at With Full Force XV, Germany, 2008), Lai Lai Hei and Token Of Time (both at Wacken Open Air, Germany, 2008), or even Ensiferum’s full performance at the RockHard Festival, in Germany, on May 18, 2013.

However, in the past few years Emmi was unfortunately forced to sit out of some of Ensiferum’s tours around the world for personal reasons (which were not disclosed anywhere), culminating in her definite departure from the band in April this year. In 2013, she missed the band’s South American tour which was scheduled to start on May 28 in Bogota, Colombia, with her parts being replaced by backing tracks as per a statement released by the rest of the group. And in the beginning of 2015 Emmi couldn’t make it to Ensiferum’s European and North American tours, when she was replaced by the digital accordion of Netta Skog (ex-Turisas). “This was a very tough decision for me to make to not be a part of the European and North American tours, but I am so happy that not only an amazing musician will be standing in for me, but also a close friend. I hope you all enjoy the shows and the new songs with Netta – I’m looking forward to returning to play them for you in the summer!”, she stated, showing her relationship with the band was more than perfect at that time. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get back in action due to family reasons, being replaced permanently by Netta.

Lastly, I wish there were more interviews (both written and on YouTube) with Emmi to be shared with all of you, but it looks like she’s either more reserved than the other members of the band, or that interviewers all over the world are wasting some amazing opportunities to ask a few questions to such a unique musician. Anyway, if you speak Finnish you might have a good time with this interview to a Finnish channel called MoonTV (I couldn’t understand almost anything, obviously), and if you’re a fan of radical sports you can check Emmi and the other members of Ensiferum going paragliding in the valleys of Slovenia after their concert at Metaldays, held in Tolmin, Slovenia in 2013. Adrenaline has always been the perfect catalyst for good heavy music, don’t you think?

“It’s nice to see Scandinavian folk metal bands, especially Finnish bands, are doing well all around the world. I’m proud to be part of this, and it’s nice to see people are loving this kind of music, and getting inspirations from Scandinavian bands for their own music and all their lifestyles.” – Emmi Silvennoinen

Metal Chick of the Month – Hella

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I am just a little doll… I live here in your yard!

I don’t know if our Heavy Metal babe this month should be called “Metal Chick of the Month” or “Metal Doll of the Month”, but either way she fuckin’ rocks behind her Korg keyboards. Also known as Plastic Chic, Scarbie, HellToy, Burned´n´burried, Forsaken Doll, Sindie, The Living Doll or Schizo Doll (so many beautiful nicknames, don’t you agree?), but better known as Hella, she’s the crazy keyboard player for Finnish Heavy Metal/Hard Rock monsters Lordi.

Hella was born (or should I say manufactured?) on January 2, 1985, and as you can see her character is a mix of human and doll. Her name is an old Finnish female name, which in her own words is “soft but somehow creepy at the same time”. She has created her character together with lead singer and founder Mr. Lordi, and according to her fictional biography, “Hella is one of the victims of the notorious madman just known as Ruiz, and is the twisted result of his insane experiments. Hella was captured and held in captivity for months by Ruiz, until eventually she was brutally cast in plastic and rubber. Ruiz´s sick compulsion was to try to build a real living life-size doll for his own amusement.”

Although our Scandinavian doll has a background with classical piano, she became famous in the world of heavy music by playing keyboards, which came to picture a couple of years ago when she met a Heavy Metal band that was looking for a keyboard player. Then in 2012 Hella finally joined Lordi, with whom she recorded the keyboards and backing vocals for the thrilling album To Beast or Not to Beast, in 2013. And I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say her favorite song from this album is Schizo Doll, right? Furthermore, she mentioned that Lordi, more specifically the amazing song Would You Love a Monsterman, was already in her playlist in 2002, 10 years before she joined the band, which just shows us how thin the line between coincidence and fate is.

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Besides her career with Lordi, she has recently written and sung in Finnish a vocal part for the song Miksi?, which is about the experience and pain of a person who was bullied as a child, with Finnish band Postikortteja Helvetistä (in English, Postcards from Hell). By the way, this project is part of a charity called Sovatek Säätiö, a specialized psychosocial rehabilitation organization, which focuses on substance abuse and mental harm prevention and treatment. Way to go, Hella!

The Schizo Doll is claimed to be a huge Heavy Metal fan, especially in terms of Melodic Heavy Metal, and her favorite bands include great names such as Amorphis, Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Children of Bodom and Behemoth. Moreover, she also said it’s not difficult to find her listening to other music styles and artists, as for example Amy Winehouse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the Scandinavian Music Group. It all depends on how the heart of this gorgeous plastic babe is beating.

The last fact about Hella is something more than common for any regular person born in the land of ice and snow: her favorite drink is, or course, vodka. Well, I’m not sure how a doll drinks vodka, but it would definitely be a real pleasure for me and many other Lordi fans to have some (or many?) shots of Koskenkorva Vodka or Koskenorva Salmiakki with her while listening to some good old Heavy Metal. Kiippis!

Hella’s Official Facebook page
Hella’s Official Twitter

“My influences come mostly from metal music, melancholic and melodic. I also enjoy punk, hard rock, jazz, folk, love playing classical piano notes…so what can I say, I’m a goth-punk-hippie-rock’n’roll-girl.” – Hella (as stated in Lordi Army)