By Jesse Heikkinen (The Abbey)
It was the year of lockdown in 2021. I was laying on the floor in my messy apartment, hungover and depressed, trying to figure out what to do with my rotten life. Everything felt pointless and bland when suddenly a friend texted me and asked if I wanted to do guest vocals for their upcoming doom metal-ish album. My eyes brightened up and I said yes without any hesitation! That started a series of events that led me to form a new band called The Abbey.
Now, one and a half years later, the world has opened up and my rotten life seems a bit clearer. The Abbey is just about to release its first album, Word of Sin, and I’m writing this article for Decibel about five records that inspired our debut. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
5. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis
I was in a hypnagogic state in a tour bus about 10 years ago and hadn’t had a single moment of sleep the previous night. All of a sudden “Children of the Sun” started to play and I sank deeper into this weird liminal state between wakefulness and sleep. The music felt almost too good to be true — it was love at first note! I listened to Dead Can Dance a lot when Word of Sin was in the making. Their chord progressions and harmonies have had a huge influence on my songwriting ever since I heard them the first time. I even wrote a Dead Can Dance tribute song, which eventually ended up on Word of Sin!
4. King Crimson – Red
I love every incarnation of King Crimson, but this album was rotating on my plate the most when I recorded Word of Sin. I can imagine that in ’74 this had to be one of the heaviest records ever released! John Wetton’s bass sound is something out of this world and the fact that it was done as a trio just blows my mind. The production is airy and raw but it still feels full and complete. One of my greatest FOMOs is that I will never see King Crimson live!
3. Opeth – Ghost Reveries
The single most influential band for me is Opeth — no question! In my opinion, Ghost Reveries is one of their strongest records and my songwriting or guitar playing wouldn’t be what it is without this album. Ghost Reveries also has some of the best keyboard tracks in the history of metal music, so you can only imagine how stoked I was when we got Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars) to do the graphic layouts for Word of Sin!
2. Spiritus Mortis – The Year is One
Claimed to be the first Finnish doom metal band, Spiritus Mortis has surely aged well! Since their beginning in 1987 they have published five full-length albums with the latest released only a few months ago. The Year is One is a diverse and ageless record which I’ve been listening to a lot during the last few years. Also, Sami Hynninen’s lyrics on the album are top-notch. I recommend listening to their latest work as well!
1. Fuzzifer – Nidali
Still remember that album my friend asked me to do guest vocals for? Well, here it is! Fuzzifer may not be the most known band on this list, but it definitely is the most important; without this record The Abbey wouldn’t exist! With three bass guitars, synths and drums, all driven through the most obscure and noisiest fuzz pedals, Fuzzifer is a truly unique blend of esoteric noise and sludgy doom metal. If you are looking for a sonic trepanation, look no further!
** The Abbey’s new album, Word of Sin, is out now on Season of Mist. Order LP, CD, t-shirts (HERE).