The most overworked and undervalued busy bee on the Finnish metal scene, Tuomas Saukkonen shocked everyone in 2012 with his announcement that he will bury all of his metal music projects at the same time to start a new. Before The Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Dawn Of Solace and RoutaSielu received their coup de grâce February 23rd 2013 with one last show. After years of pouring his creative juices to projects too numerous to count, Saukkonen decided to focus mainly on just one labour of love, Wolfheart.
Wolfheart deserved to be a fully operating band so Saukkonen called to arms solo guitarist Mika Lammassaari, drummer Joonas Kauppinen (ex-Before the Dawn, Disease of the Nation) and bassist Lauri Silvonen (Bloodred Hourglass), and since the spring of 2014 Wolfheart has been a fully operating, touring band.
The same year also took the pack on the road to the national stages with Shade Empire and showcased them to metal fans abroad for first time at big European metal festivals (e.g. RockHarz Open Air, Summer Breeze Open Air).
After a rapid ride since the release of the debut album the band cleared their calender in the beginning of 2016, started the pre-production of their 3rd album. The legendary Petrax studios in Finland (CoB, HIM, Nightwish etc.) were booked for the recordings and only a few selected festival shows broke the studio cycle. The album was mastered in fall and the first single, bombastic “Boneyard” saw daylight in December.
The album preparations also marked co-operation with Nikos Stavridakis / Vision Black – a talented Greek artist and graphic designer who has answered from the graphics of the band ever since.
Saukkonen recorded and released the first Wolfheart album “Winterborn” entirely by himself playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals, with Mika Lammassaari (Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, Mors Subita) as his only guest, playing guitar solos. Such confidence Saukkonen showed in his new material that he self-financed the album release.
This bold leap of faith was rewarded with sales placing the album to #7 on the Official Finnish Album Chart and to the Pole Position on the alternative indie chart “Rumban Lista” (which tracks the sales in specialized record stores not eligible for the official chart). Yet, probably even more rewardingly for Saukkonen, “Winterborn” proved a roaring critical success scoring high ratings in reviews left and right. To cap off a great year for his project, “Winterborn” was elected the best debut album of 2013 in the annual Record Store Äx customers’ poll.
Wolfheart started 2015 by touring Finland (with Finntroll) but had already been busy with writing successor for the debut “Winterborn”.
The climax of the year was the release of the 2nd album “Shadow World” which was recorded as a full band and was the first product from the co-operation with the distinguished record label Spinefarm Records. The album commanded critical praises and placed #6 on the Official Finnish Album Chart.
Music video for the first single “Aeon of Cold” was captured from the band’s live performance in front of a full tent at Summer Breeze Open Air festival, and the video for the second single “Zero Gravity” was shot in the breathtaking and mountainous nature of northern Norway.
Another highlight for 2015 was Wolfheart’s first full-scale European tour (with Swallow The Sun) and get to perform in Tokyo, Japan (with Sonata Arctica etc.) also.
Early 2018 took Wolfheart to the international waters when they joined the line-up of the epic 70 000 tons of Metal cruise and performed also at Nordic Metal Cruise.
Wolfheart then took two significant steps forward as they announced they had joined the roster of Hard Impact Music Management and signed a recording deal with the mighty Napalm Records. The pack also once again entered studio, this time to record their 4th album.
During the spring and summer of 2018 Wolfheart did shows in Finland, two weeks tour in Canada, and again performed in multiple summer metal festivals in Europe.
The first single “Breakwater” from the upcoming album “Constellation of the Black Light” was released with a music video that was shot both in Finland and in Iceland. The video depichered the song and DNA of the band perfectly: aggression and beauty, harshness and fragileness combined with a close connection to the nature – a great example of what Wolfheart is about.
“Constellation of the Black Light” was released in fall 2018 and the new album was again received with anticipation and praises from medias and fans all-around. The album again charted not only in Finland but also in North America where it hit #53 in US “Top New Artist Albums”, #89 in US “Top Hard Artist Albums” and #38 in Canada “Top Hard Music Albums”.
All this was followed by intense touring: Wolfheart toured Europe extensively with Omnium Gatherum and right after headed to the United States for the first time (with Carach Angren) for a full tour. The band also covered Finland with several shows before the end of the year.
In January 2020 Wolfheart joined the roster of Decibel Touring booking agency and a month later released “Ashes” – the first single from the upcoming 5th album “Wolves of Karelia”.
Tuomas was inspired to write “Wolves of Karelia” by the personal stories of local veterans, conveying the tales of what they experienced and survived from during the Winter War that waged between Russia and Finland during the winter of November 1939 – March 1940. Hence “Wolves of Karelia” could be described as Wolfheart’s first theme album.
With singles like “Hail of Steel” and “The Hammer”, “Wolves of Karelia” commanded great reviews and charted also in new territories: #8 Finnish Official Chart and #3 Finnish Physical Album Chart, #73 German Official Chart, #45 Switzerland, #48 iTunes Albums Italy, multiple rock album charts in North America (e.g. #16 Current Hard Music Albums in the US and #13 Hard Music Albums in Canada).
Wolfheart had extensive touring plans in support of the album: the band was supposed to return to US as a part of “Devastation of the Nation” package, and also announced their first own full headliner tour in Europe (for 2021) but unfortunately global pandemia put all this on hold.
Despite the uncertain times Wolfheart didn’t hesitate and were among the first bands to deliver an exclusive virtual gig to reach their fans and support the album release in April 2020. Music video for the song “Reaper” was also shot during the virtual gig.
Despite the pandemia, Tuomas’ music gathered over 6 million Spotify plays and 3 million YouTube views during 2020.
Wolfheart returned to Europe immediately in January 2016 for a full tour (with Insomnium and Barren Earth), and thanks to their solid performances, took another significant step forward by singing a booking deal with Continental Concerts & Management in March 2017.
Before the actual album release, Wolfheart showed their calmer side with the release of clean-sung acoustic song “The Black Light” as a standalone single. “The Black Light” immediately hit Finland Viral 50 list in Spotify.
Wolfheart then had a busy spring as they toured Finland as headliner and did their own mini-tour in Spain. The pack also did a short tour in Scandinavia (with Insomnium) before hitting multiple European metal festivals during the summertime.
In November 2017 the band released their 3rd album “Tyhjyys” (“Emptiness”), again via Spinefarm Records. Single/video tracks like the “World on Fire” and “The Flood” alongside “Boneyeard” had cleared the path for the album and it stayed two weeks in the top ten of the official Finnish album charts. “Tyhjyys” also continued the path of critical praises of the previous albums and was well received with the ever-growing fanbase.
Before the end of the year Wolfheart toured Europe again, this time with Ensiferum, and played in Russia as well. It’s safe to say that the band had concreted their place as top-tiers with their winter metal.
Even if 2018 was busy, it proved to be just a warm-up for 2019: The year started with a mini tour in Japan (with Ne Obliviscaris) which was followed by extensive new North American tour (with Children of Bodom and Swallow the Sun). Wolfpack then had a short pitstop at home, visited Russia for a couple of shows and continued to conquered another new continent by touring Latin America (with Fleshgod Apocalypse).
2019 also brought a line-up change: during spring Mika Lammassaari decided to step aside from Wolfheart. Line-up changes could be difficult for bands to tackle but instead the pack found new strength when Vageliss Karzis (ex-Rotting Christ) stepped in to handle the lead guitar duties for the upcoming summer tour.
The six weeks long summer tour “Black Light Constellation over Europe” was the seventh tour within ten months period and the longest tour Wolfheart had ever made. It marked shows all around Europe and UK as well as hitting many festivals such as legendary HellFest and Full Force. After completing the tour Wolfheart had played over 140 shows in less than a year.
2019 took Wolfheart to Dubai for the first time and tied Vageliss to the band as an official member.
Unable to settle down, despite being constantly on the road the pack headed for the studio before the end of the year to deliver another new album.
During 2021 world still suffered from covid, and gigs and tours were announced, rescheduled and cancelled. Wolfheart used the time to finish their first EP “Skull Soldiers”.
Before the release of the EP the pack played another virtual gig, this time playing the debut album “Winterborn” in full.
“Skull Soldiers” was released in March 2021 and the EP contained two completely new songs, an eerie acoustic version of “Aeon of Cold” and a live version of “Reaper”. The EP also marked the first time Wolfheart had guest vocals on a release when Petro Solovey (Wolfanger) delivered his lines in Ukrainian for the title track.
A couple of Finnish shows happened in the later year and a one-off show in Switzerland – which gave a slight light that world might actually be opening up.
Wolfheart also reached over 100.000 followers on Facebook while their official music videos had gathered over 15 million views in YouTube and songs 14 million plays in Spotify before the end of 2021.
TUOMAS SAUKKONEN - guitar / vocals
JOONAS KAUPPINEN - drums
LAURI SILVONEN - bass / vocals
VAGELISS KARZIS - lead guitar / vocals