It is a cold November night in 2014 as winter approaches the northern lands. A young songwriter from Adelaide is trying to sleep high above Russia on a flight to Finland for the fifth and final time. After reuniting with family and friends the events are set in motion to form a new band in the proven home of heavy metal.
The band‘s debut album ‘Blue Eyed Emotion’ was already in progress before the band was completely formed. Benjamin Connelly had survived a hectic night in studio tracking drums for the album while classically-trained opera singer, Hew Wagner had begun to lay down the vocal tracks. Once in Finland Benjamin continued to record guitars, keyboards and began the main production phase.
The songs took on a notorious sound combining wintery power/symphonic metal with a Japanese visual kei and anime influence. The idea to promote the music and upcoming album at anime/manga conventions in Finland came to mind shortly after. Although unsure of whether showcasing metal music at such an event would work, it proved to attract curiosity of anime and metal fans especially at Kitacon in Kemi.
The search for a singing lead guitarist began not long after the rhythm guitar tracking was in progress. This lead to Markus Laito from Lahti, Finland beginning to record solos and vocal parts for the album and then joining the band in the summer of 2015. At this point the trio decided to take the name Everfrost as the band name, the name of the fictitious town from the Blue Eyed Emotion album story.
Mayday brought a very exciting opportunity when professional Japanese mangaka, Michiru Bokido suggested forming a partnership with the band. Everfrost would produce a song for the anime trailer to his upcoming manganoke, Knight of Fae and in return Bokido would illustrate the band‘s album cover and booklet for Blue Eyed Emotion. The song ‘The Glades and the Cradle’ was then written and recorded over the summer and fall, inspired by the old Scottish folk tale ‘Tam Lin’. Benji also began drawing some ugly-looking draft work for the album artwork and discussing the story and concept with Michiru.
Prior to the end of 2014, Benjamin and Hew had both been collaborating with Brisbane-based composer and keyboardist of Awaken Solace, Robert Russell. One particular project featured ex-vocalist of Dark Symphonica, Swan Davies which lead to the idea of Swan featuring some guest vocals on the Blue Eyed Emotion album. The songs Back to the Light, Clockwork Wilderness and Caress the Emptiness gave a nice contrast for female vocals and during the fall of 2015 Swan delivered outstanding performances for each with Robert engineering the sessions.
By November the album’s mix was coming close to being ready with Benji adding the final touches. Two years of hard work was now all coming together. In December the band made contact with Janne Tolsa, the keyboardist of legendary Finnish metal bands Tarot and Turmion Kätilöt. Tolsa agreed to master the album at his studio in Kuopio, Finland.
On December 19th 2015, Blue Eyed Emotion was released to the public. The album quickly began to be shared around on social media, Reddit and Youtube. Channels including Unknown Power Metal Youtube posted favourites from the album thus attracting new listeners.
The band were very grateful for the support and positive reception of the album as well as new fans getting Everfrost into the Encyclopedia Metallum Metal Archives. Shortly after Japanese record shops in Osaka began to order the album, the anime-inspired artwork and wintery power metal brought notorious attention from Japanese metal heads. Surprisingly within a few days the album sold out in Japan and within a month the band‘s stock sold out across Europe and America. Plans to manufacture more were underway.
The album also received some radio airplay online and in local areas such as Finland, France and Belgium. To complement this Hew composed a radio jingle ID for the band.
While the album was still in progress, the idea to welcome a second lead vocalist to the band came to mind. The band saw an appeal in ensuring the grand, choir-like vocal sound on the album would be replicated live. With two lead vocalists working together in front of a whole band of backing vocalists, this definitely seemed possible. Finnish metal vocalist, Mikael Salo from Helsinki-based band, Northern Seer agreed to join the group upon his return from an exchange program in Japan. The mix of theatrical power metal and anime matched his vocal style and interests well. Thus live shows were planned later in 2016 after his return to Finland.
In the ski holiday week of 2016, Markus travelled to Lapland to meet with Benji to take more band photographs and record parts for an upcoming music video for Silver Nights, Golden Dreams. The first day went to getting drunk at the Snow Castle of Kemi but the following days ensured a lot of work accomplished.
In the summer of 2016, a series of meetings put in place the search for a drummer and bassist to join the band, completing the live lineup at the time. Mikael Salo had returned to Finland for the summer so the trio addressed these matters over some beers in Helsinki. The band also began working on an EP to be released the coming winter.
In the fall of 2016 drummer Joonas Salminen and bassist Allan C Hasanen, both from Korso-based alt metal band, GiRA joined Everfrost and the ensemble (minus Hew and Mikael) got together for a series of rehearsal sessions in Espoo. After the band got their musical shit together, a small interview was filmed and the band’s first official video for Silver Nights, Golden Dreams was released. The video featured a modest setting of the band performing the song in darkness with a black and white color scheme. It was edited by Benji and third party published by Unknown Power Metal Youtube.
The band then got to work completing their upcoming EP entitled Appetite for Candlelight which would feature three cover songs by the band and one new original song which would become the title track. The cover criteria was presented as 'something from an anime, something from the past and something from a game'. This became the covers of 'Kishi Koushinkyoku' by angela from the anime Knights of Sidonia, 'Tarot Woman' by Rainbow and 'Megalovania' from the independent RPG Undertale.
The new original track 'Appetite for Candlelight' was also written to act as a missing piece of the story in Blue Eyed Emotion. The EP marked Mikael Salo's debut in Everfrost on lead vocals as well as guitarist Markus Laito's first lead vocal performance on 'Tarot Woman'. Japanese mangaka and visual artist, Michiru Bokido was involved again with the band illustrating and designing the backgrounds of the EPs artwork. Also a new artist, qhostkid joined the project to make the cover's character artwork.
A big purpose for the EP was to experiment and develop the band’s production sound into heavier and more bombastic territory. By early November the band had finished the recording process, leaving the following two months for mixing and mastering. However an interesting opportunity slowed this process a little when the band was invited to enter the semi-finals of the Wacken Metal Battle competition being held across Finland, giving 20 bands from the country a chance to have a spot at first Nummirock in Finland and then the renown Wacken festival in Germany.
Mikael Salo returned in the nick of time to Finland after the band’s competition slot was announced at Katse, Jyväskylä and the band got to rehearsing, partying and going to sauna in his basement rehearsal cave. After the tedious drive from Helsinki to Jyväskylä, the band gave their all playing a selection of favorites from the debut album, Blue Eyed Emotion. Unfortunately Everfrost missed out on winning but interestingly received an honorable mention from the judges. The band decided to drive through the early hours of the morning back to Helsinki and ended up singing and screaming like idiots to stay awake in the car.
Shortly after this the band got back to work on releasing the EP including Benji finishing the mix and Janne Tolsa returning for a second time to master the tracks. Following the release of the EP on January 28th 2016, Everfrost played a launch show at Arabia Music House in Helsinki. The band was interviewed by Musicalypse.net who had sent a representative to check out the show who also published a very pleasing review of the performance.
The summer of 2017 proved unfruitful show-wise for the band with agreements falling through and shows being cancelled, so Benji began planning the second full-length album. A single release for the summer was planned and the band chose the song Cold Night Remedy to be an early single release for the new album. Everfrost entered the studio in June exclusively to record the single, a song paying tribute to the Finnish sauna ritual and traditions, however based in the context of the new album's story. A different approach was taken with the single cover artwork this time. Lapland-based comic artist H. Klint designed a classic Finnish lake cottage landscape featuring a sauna building in pixel graphic style. A strong clue to the upcoming album's story was included in this picture.
In the Fall of 2017 the band planned a small southern Finnish tour that would extend from August 2017 to March 2018. It was dubbed the Cold Nights tour, making reference to the latest single and also hinting at a time in the band when progress was hard to achieve. At this point the band were also looking for a rhtyhm guitarist to join the band in order to replicate the layered guitar parts on the albums. Former Northern Seer guitarist Matias Nieminen joined the band just in time for this tour.
One of the shows in the tour on March 14th 2018 was excitingly for Valurauta 2018 at The Circus, a long time favorite metal stage in Helsinki that had hosted bands such as Ensiferum, Sonata Arctica and Ghost. This was by far the biggest show Everfrost had played at that point so the show was recorded and pro-shot to be released as the bands fist live DVD, 'A Cold Night Out'. An extended setlist was played featuring live debuts of 'Clockwork Wilderness' from the first album (featuring Sami Korpikoski from Blackment handling the screams) and a new cover of 'Die Young' by pop star Kesha. The band's drummer Joonas Salminen also put together a 20 minute 'documentary' showing highlights, backstage footage and crazy moments from the previous summer and tour. This was included with the live DVD.
During this tour Everfrost upgraded their visual appearance in the form of custom winter jackets being made for each member by cosplayer and seamstress Heli Mäensivu, who had previously worked with Finnish samurai metal band Whispered. The jackets adopted signature colors of black, white and blue for the band featuring the notorious tower symbol on the chest of each member.
At the conclusion of this tour guitarist Matias announced his departure from the band in order to focus more on his other musical projects. His send off at Golden Classics, Helsinki was in the band's opinion one of the best shows they had played thus far.
In the beginning of May 2018 the first clips of a music video for Cold Night Remedy were shot, which would include footage featuring Finnish summer and winter. This meant the rest of the shots were planned for the coming winter, however for the summer shots the band grouped at a small lake in Korso, Finland and filmed a series of choruses having Benji and Markus suspended 25 meters above the ground on a cherry picker, filmed playing by a drone camera. The whole band also teamed with mobile sauna company Sauna Rekka to film a series of crazy sauna shots, singing the final chorus together.
By the end of summer 2018 Benji had finished writing the lyrics, music and story for the bands second full-length album titled Winterider, which would be a sequel to the story of Blue Eyed Emotion. By fall Everfrost had entered the studio to begin recording the album, beginning with drums tracked in Vihti, Finland. The band also began releasing a multipart Youtube series called 'Making of Winterider', put together by drummer Joonas detailing each member's contributions during recording. At the conclusion of 2018 Everfrost had been nominated for Musicalypse's 'Best new band/discovery' award. At the beginning of 2019 it was announced that Everfrost had won the award.