It was in the year 2006, when those three lunatic musicians from Helsinki prepared for the killing fields and founded the progressive metal trio Steel Jungle. Today in 2016 the band is still completely unknown to the broader audience, but has become a legendary setup.
It all started when the bass player J.J.K. found his old companion from school, Lamminsoila. J.J.K. had become a well-known, very skilled player, considered by some as a martyr. Lamminsoila with his exuberant confidence had developed a lightning fast, athletic approach to guitar playing. They tuned in immediately and spent obscure evenings searching for the delicate profundity of guitar melodies.
Certainly, this would not be enough. It is common sense that making real art has to be painful. A harmony had been created and to demolish it, appeared the graphics and video professional, punk drummer Varis. The mission of the future combo was to find its misunderstood members lean and faithful lovers and on the side produce unforgettable, immortal music.
However, it was impossible to bend the mind of the drummer into those bending, swirling progressive riffs. For endless years the moldy shadows of the training space were filled with fury and sweat. The confidence of the drummer Varis was crushed by the challenge presented by the stretched-out bass lines and the reckless, carefree, shameless guitar solos. Still, a feverish mix of fury, revenge and drunken fidelity kept the band together through the years. Training had formed into a weekly obsession, a pleasant battle against the collective spiritual poverty.
Finally this primitively uncommercial and badly calculated musical construction started to stand on its own shaky feet. A dedicated Christmas present wish, a cheap four-band recorder was carried to the training space tied in clothes like the baby Jesus. The band was taken over by a new wave of inspiration in getting tied into cords and giving birth to noisy, manic demos. Blues, metalfunk and burned-up love ballads were ringing in the ears of the trio day and night. Those hundreds of recordings draw the image of the European city in the 2010s – urban, angry, proud, agonized, in search for love. In those voices also flourish the love of the guitarist for the maiden he captured from Mozambique – the first room of the holy trinity of the combo was fulfilled.
In the midst of the paranoid reflections of the drummer, those new recordings shone a light of hope and faith. Recording and mixing gave wings to dreams, and the sticks no longer fell from the hands of the angry young man during the chorus line.
It was springtime when a dying night club in the neighborhood of the bass player happened to organize a competition of bands. Steel Jungle trained with discipline in order to conquer at least a small slice from the middle class heart of the local population. The compositions were a search for a balance between heartrending rock ballads and pearly guitar solos. On stage the trio awoke from its earthly stupor and trusting its animal instincts built a tight, flirty, 70s-ish show. Though it was a fantastic performance, the winner of the competition was never announced and the entire race was a commercial plot by the hardened innkeeper.
Never mind – the winds of change were blowing. Steel Jungle published a self-financed recording of that very gig. Two foxy hippie girls joined in as singers and the band performed for the second time in a big wedding. Reaching drunken in six directions it combined jazz, trash, pop and hippie metal. A new hysterical demo was born, soon also a third one and in the midst of its exaggerated diva attitude the band split up, rested, got together, started its solo career and thus finally found itself as a trio – fully faithful to its own electrified and masculine roots. Also the drummer found his love, a Finnish-Hungarian teacher and dancer. The mission was almost accomplished!
As the result of eight years of training, the trio recorded the full length album Soidinmenot in the second oldest small studio of the country, the famous Studio 303. The project was especially dear to the owner of the studio and its sound is an accurate image of the freedom of its time. The album is predominantly instrumental and it could be called some kind of artisan heavy. The only song of the record, The Light, is the sensitive and broad hearted mating song of the bass player, who in the moment of publication is still wandering free.
The reception of this debut album will define the position of the band in the present reactionary fall of rock music.
Where does it sow its seed, to whose roots does it tangle, with what charge does it ignite? Waiting eagerly feedback from professionals, the band is training its new material acoustically. The direction is toward technically more complex and thematically more epic pieces, and more lyrics.
Translation of this introduction by Frank Pushkin (real jungle, no apps).
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - E-Zine