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Niklas BromanOlli HakalaChrismHenri Kallio

 

The tale of Simulacrum started in 1999 when a young boy, inspired by bands like Stratovarius and Dream Theater, composed his first tunes. The boy was Christian “Chrism” Pulkkinen and those tunes ended up almost unchanged on the debut album under the names Hammerhead and Battle Within. Chrism had studied classical piano from the age of six, but had never fully found his place with classical music. He learnt the basics of score reading and a polished technique but his love for the piano, keyboards and music in general was set ablaze when his friend copied him a cassette full of Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray, Helloween, Megadeth, Dream Theater etc. Finding music that included keyboards but wasn’t classical music was an ecstatic discovery and re-ignited the flame that motivated him to practice.

Unlike his mates at school, who concentrated on practicing music from the bands they admired for many hours a day, Chrism started almost instantly doodling around with own riffs and small compositions. At the age of 15 he composed Hammerhead and Battle Within which were the founding songs for the band Simulacrum. By this time he had also befriended the also 15 year old, extremely talented bass player, Olli Hakala, who with Chrism's brother Nicholas “Solomon” Pulkkinen on guitar, were the founding members of the band. Within a couple of years Markus Wallasvaara (drums) and Niklas Broman (vocals) joined the band and the long road of practicing and self-improvement led to the creation of The Master and the Simulacrum -debut album, which was released in 2012.

The Master and the Simulacrum was a long process of trial and error for Chrism, who also mixed and produced the album. It was the first album he ever mixed and it took him a whopping five years to refine his skills in sound production and get the album sounding close to perfection. The initial recordings were done in 2007 and the album was finally released in January 2012 to critical acclaim. Even though the eight songs on the album are composed during a decade and all have a different mood, they are bound together by a similar sonic atmosphere and compositional style.

Reviews of the album were mostly positive and the small batch of 500 CD copies was sold out relatively fast. The album is still available on Spotify and can be bought as a digital download from various online stores. Simulacrum was chosen as ”Band of the Month” in INFERNO-metal magazine, the biggest metal magazine in Scandinavia and they gave 4/5 points to the album praising it's originality. Other critics have also flattered the album with excellent reviews and have stated that it is rare to find a young band with such a mature sound. For example, Metal-Temple.com exclaimed “With intriguing themes, dissonant harmonies, complex composed-measures and torturous synchronized rhythm patterns, this platter is more than interesting, it is captivating!”


In 2015 the debute album was followed with 'Sky Divided', a concept album revolving around a classic 'War of the Worlds' type story with an alien race attacking planet earth for it's recourses. As an album, it is a tighter packgage with some songs being pretty straightforward power and thrash metal tunes to the over 10min epics that pay hommage to the prog metal giants of the 70's and 90's. Everything on this album is a little bit more polished compared to 'The Master and the Simulacrum', from how the songs are performed to continuity throughout the album. Again Simulacrum received a lot of praise in the media for it's latest album effort and the physical version of 'Sky Divided' is mostly sold out in the world.


After the release of 'Sky Divided' a lot has happened that has slowed down the creation of a new album. Simulacrum parted ways with drummer Henri Kallio because of personal reasons and enlisted Tatu Turunen as the new man behind the drum kit. The band also started thinking outside of the box. Instead of having one front man they now have two lead singers. After extensive auditions, the only possible candidate was Erik Kraemer who has a tone that varies enough from Niklas' and also has the range required to sing the sometimes very difficult vocal lines. In the studio the two singer model makes it possible to consider whose voice suits which part the best. In live situations it brings more energy and versatility to the stage, also eliminating the need for vocal harmony backing tracks. The band's still untitled third album is in its's final production stages and will see daylight in 2020!

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