Best known as the driving force behind Finnish metal icons Amorphis, guitarist Tomi Koivusaari steps into his own spotlight with Bjørkø, his long-awaited solo project. A journey 15 years in the making, “Heartrot”, the project’s debut album, will be released this December through Svart Records.
The second single off the album is also the track that kicked off the entire Bjørkø project. The track is called “Magenta” and features the lovely singer and lyricist, Mariska, one of Finland’s most respected musical artists. One of the two songs on the album that are in the Finnish language. It is the softest song on the record in terms of sound but not content – it is a raw, feral love song.
Tomi Koivusaari on the track, “Originally the piece was a floating ten-minute instrumental with a slowly building crescendo towards the end. When Mariska agreed to join and perform vocals, I had to rearrange the song into a more traditional form. I let Mariska freely write the lyrics and the vocal melody.”
Performing in her native Finnish language, Mariska is also known as a successful lyric writer for other domestic artists. “Her attitude is genuine and she has style. She fits the atmosphere of the song perfectly, and she’s also one of the best lyricists in the country”, says Koivusaari.
For years, Koivusaari has been one of the creative backbones of Amorphis, a band synonymous with innovation in heavy music. Now, with Bjørkø (“Birch Island” in English), Koivusaari ventures beyond band dynamics to showcase his distinct artistic vision.
Unfettered by the structural limitations of a traditional band, “Heartrot” stands as a testament to Koivusaari‘s versatility and depth. “It’s a collection of various songs and points of view,” he says. “I didn’t want a traditional approach to limit my artistic expression.”
“Heartrot” serves as an emotional panorama, each track capturing a unique sentiment. Koivusaari describes it as “a soundtrack to an imaginary film” replete with a “strong visual connection to nature and an ever-present sense of melancholy.”
Bjørkø is far from a solo endeavor in the traditional sense. It features an all-star lineup of vocalists in multiple languages, contributing to an atmosphere that’s rich and multi-layered. The talent of Waltteri Väyrynen (Opeth, ex-Paradise Lost), Lauri Porra (Stratovarius) and Janne Lounatvuori (Hidria Spacefolk) adds a rock-solid foundation to Koivusaari‘s artistry.
Pre-order the album HERE.
- The Heartroot Rots (feat. Jeff Walker)
- Vaka Loka (feat. Addi Tryggvason)
- Whitebone Wind (feat. Marko Hietala & Petronella Nettermalm)
- Va?rinvaihtaja (feat. Ismo Alanko)
- World as Fire and Hallucination (feat. Stian Thoresen)
- The Trickster (feat. Jessi Frey)
- Hooks in the Sky (feat. Tomi Joutsen)
- Magenta (feat. Mariska)