On 24 February 1999, three men held a meeting at the borders of the Pääsküla bog, in the singer and guitar player Markus’s basement, one of whom could play a little bit of guitar, another who knew how to play a little bit of drums, and a third who had come up with a sufficiently ancient-sounding name that would be just right for a heavy metal band – ’Metsatöll’ (the name "Metsatöll" is an ancient Estonian euphemism for wolf).The thought soon turned into reality and over the next few days four or five songs were composed and a couple of months later there was an entire album-full of them. The demo album Terast mis hangund me hinge was released in the autumn of 1999. Soon afterwards, Lauri joined the band, bringing with him a second guitar, the torupill, kannels and flutes.
In early 2001, the original bass player was replaced by Kuriraivo. A year later, a single and video for the song Hundi loomine were released.
Metsatöll’s current line-up was finalised in 2004, when Atso took up the place behind the kit. At that same year, the album Hiiekoda was released, which multiplied the number of the band’s fans several hundred times, crushed all previous sales records for an Estonian metal artist and won Metsatöll the Best Metal Act 2005 award at the Estonian Music Awards ceremony.
In 2006, the same award was won for the album Terast mis hangund me hinge 10218, a re-recorded and re-arranged version of the band’s demo album. The live DVD See You On The Battlefield! was recorded during the album’s presentation show, and it won the title of Best DVD 2006. At that very same year Metsatöll and the Estonian National Male Choir composed an arrangement of Veljo Tormis’s magnum opus, Raua needmine; a DVD was released in Estonia and Germany of the show that took place in the ruins of the Pirita cloister.
Metsatöll’s third album “Iivakivi”, released in February of 2008, earned the band yet another Estonian Music Award for the Best Metal Artist. In the same year Metsatöll signed a record deal with Universal’s Finnish branch, Spinefarm Records. In November, the band performed at the Heathen Crusade metal fest in Minneapolis, USA.
To celebrate the band’s 10th birthday, a 2DVD/CD Kõva Kont (2009) was released, which will be Metsatöll’s final release published with the band’s own resources. More than five hours of stuff to watch and listen, from between the years 2000-2008, it provides a thorough overview of the band’s history – from rehearsals recorded in a basement and the very first gigs attended by both of their fans, to the show at the Rabarock festival, cheered by a stadium full of people, and the concert Märkamisaeg, which was attended by an audience of more than 100 000.
March of 2010 saw the release of Metsatöll’s fourth full-length album “Äio”. All of the music and lyrics featured on the record found their true form in the seclusion of a remote farmstead in Southern Estonia in the village of Hargla. These surroundings gave the band’s creative output a flow that would simply have been unachievable in a big city, Metsatöll claim. “Äio” was recorded in Finland at the studio Finnvox and in Estonia at the studio Sinusoid; the album was mixed by the legendary producer and sound engineer Mikko Karmila. With over 20 000 copies sold, “Äio” became the best-selling Estonian-language album of the year, also securing the band yet another award for the Best Metal Artist at Estonian Music Awards. Metsatöll went on to support the album with 63 concerts, 40 of those abroad. Among other major events, Metsatöll attended the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany, the Metalcamp in Slovenia, and the Noctic IV Metal Fest in Canada, made a five-gig miniature tour of England and supported Megadeth (USA) at an open air romp in Haapsalu. The true touchstone of the band’s endurance, though, turned out to be the year-end European tour together with Finntroll (FIN), Rotting Christ (GRE) and Samael (SUI) with 24 performances in 11 countries — and not a single day off.
In 2011 Metsatöll were nominated for the direct linguistic action award “Keeletegu 2011” arranged by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science and aimed at finding out the best deeds that have expressed appreciation of the Estonian language. Metsatöll, who came in second, were commended by the republic’s president for their successful touring abroad, as well as for acquainting the world with the nation and region of Estonia through Estonian-language songs.
To this day, Metsatöll have given more than 300 performances in Europe and North America, and have sold more than 50 000 records.
In 2012, Metsatöll gave concerts in Estonia, Finland and Latvia. In autumn, the band toured with Korpiklaani (FIN), Tyr (FRO) and Moonsorrow (FIN) for a month in North-America, where a total of 26 shows were given. The DVD Tuska, which was recorded at the Tuska Open Air 2012 in Helsinki, was released.
The year 2013 took off to a flying start - Metsatöll gave two gigs for the soldiers of Estonia, USA, UK and Denmark in Afghanistan, at the Helman province. Followed by a trip to Southern Asia, the band went on a European tour with Korpiklaani (FIN) - 40 shows were given in 15 countries. From June to October, the band recorded its new album at Roundsound studio, performed at festivals and in November set out on a 35-day tour in North America with Finntroll (FIN) and Blackguard (CAN), during which 32 concerts were given. Back at home, the band presented their new single "Lööme mesti" with a sold out concert. Altogether, the band gave 107 concerts in 2013, 80 of them abroad.
To this day, Metsatöll have given more than 500 performances in Europe and North America, and have sold more than 70 000 records.
Markus – vocals, guitars
Lauri – vocals, torupill, flutes, kannel, ängipill, mouth harp, goathorn, acoustic guitars
Kuriraivo – bass, stump instrument, stink drum, vocals
Atso – drums, vocals
1999/10212 – „Terast mis hangund me hinge“ (demo, CD-R) 20.11
2004/10217 – „Hiiekoda“ (CD/2LP) 11.12
2005/10218 – „Terast mis hangund me hinge 10218“ (CD/LP) 11.11
2008/10221 – „Iivakivi“ (CD/LP/woodpak) 24.02
2010/10223 – „Äio“ (CD/2LP) 03.03
2011/10224 – „Ulg” (CD/LP) 01.11
2014/10227 - „Karjajuht” (CD/moving CD/LP) 07.03
2002/10215 – „Hundi loomine“ (singel/video) 6.02
2004/10217 – „Ussisõnad“ (singel) 8.07
2008/10221 – „Veelind“ (singel) 1.01
2010/10223 – „Vaid vaprust“ (singel/video) 15.01
2011/10224 – „Küü” (singel/video) 15.10
2013/10226 – „Lööme mesti” (singel) 19.11
2014/10227 – „Tõrrede kõhtudes” (singel) 24.01
2014/10227 – „Külmking” (video/singel) 01.03
Live recordings and projects:
2006/10219 – „Sutekskäija“ (mini-CD) 1.07
2006/10219 – „Lahinguväljal näeme, raisk!“ (CD/DVD) 28.08
2006/10219 – „Raua needmine“ (Metsatöll ja RAM, CD/DVD) 6.12
2008/10221 – „Suured koerad, väiksed koerad“ (Metsatöll ja Kukerpillid, mini-CD) 10.10
2009/10222 – „Kõva Kont“ (2DVD/CD) 24.02
2012/10225 – „Tuska“ (DVD/CD/LP) 1.10
* On their homepage, and to date their releases, Metsatöll uses the chronology of the local natural religion. It begins with the Billingen catastrophe of 8213 before Common Era, when the Baltic ice lake broke its way into the ocean and most of the current territory of Estonia appeared from under the water.
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