RASKASTA JOULUA, the Christmas project featuring several well-known Finnish hard rock and heavy metal musicians, has released a new EP called “Jouluksi Kotiin”. It includes one new studio recording, of the EP’s title track, with Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA, NORTHERN KINGS) on vocals and four live versions of previously released songs from the group.
“Jouluksi Kotiin” track listing:
01. Jouluksi Kotiin (feat. Tony Kakko)
02. Ensimmäinen Joulu (feat. Marco Hietala) (live)
03. Tähti Tähdistä Kirkkain (feat. Antony Parviainen) (live)
04. Ilouutinen (feat. J. Ahola) (live)
05. Sylvian Joululaulu (feat. Ari Koivunen) (live)
RASKASTA JOULUA began with the album “Raskasta Joulua” (“Heavy Christmas”) in 2004 and released a follow-up effort, “Raskaampaa Joulua” (“Heavier Christmas”), in 2006. The project has toured every year since 2005, having started with just three gigs and since expanded into a 17-show tour.
Inspired by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, RASKASTA JOULUA has really worked hard on its song arrangements, which is not always the case when it comes to holiday music. A lot of rock artists and bands release “novelty” Christmas albums which are nothing more than the same songs with distorted guitars. This is not the case here. You can find elements of several metal subgenres in the songs, from fast power metal through NIGHTWISH-style epics to slow doom. Sometimes it may even be difficult to recognize the original song.
RASKASTA JOULUA vocalists on this year’s tour were as follows:
* Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT, NORTHERN KINGS)
* Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA, NORTHERN KINGS)
* Jarkko Ahola (TERÄSBETONI, AHOLA, NORTHERN KINGS)
* Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto (CHARON, HARMAJA NORTHERN KINGS)
* Tommi “Tuple” Salmela (TAROT)
* Ari Koivunen (AMORAL)
* Pasi Rantanen (THUNDERSTONE)
* Ilja Jalkanen (ex-KIUAS)
* Antony Parviainen (MACHINE MEN)
* Antti Railio (ex-CELESTY)
The backing band for the 2011 tour consisted of the following musicians:
* Erkka Korhonen – Guitar
* Tuomas Wäinölä – Guitar
* Vili Ollila – Keyboards
* Erkki Silvennoinen – Bass
* Mirka Rantanen – Drums
Video footage of RASKASTA JOULUA performing the song “Jouluksi Kotiin” on December 3, 2011 at Teatria in Oulu, Finland can be seen below.