Raise Hell Biography
Last updated: 02/05/2011 11:00:00 AM
RAISE HELL (Stockholm, Sweden) was formed in 1995 by Jonas Nilsson(guitar/vocals) and Niklas Sjöström (bass). After about one month Torstein Wickberg (guitar) and Johan Lindquist (drums) was tried out, but Johan was soon replaced by another drummer named Henrik Åkerlund.
A year went by and a few songs were made, mainly influenced by DISSECTION. But RAISE HELL's music was always getting more aggressive and fast, so the drummer Henrik didn't cut the chase. A new drummer had to be found, and that drummer was Dennis Ekdahl. Now, finally, RAISE HELL was perfected. But there still was one problem...
The group didn't have a name! In the beginning, RAISE HELL was called such things as FROST, VINTERNATT, FROZEN IN TIME and FORLORN. But no name lasted for very long (FORLORN lasted only for one day, when they realized that another group was called FORLORN).
In the summer of 1997 RAISE HELL had found a name they liked: IN COLD BLOOD, and the first demo, "Nailed", was recorded. The music on the demo was melodic death metal, and it was printed in one hundred copies. The response was very good both from the people who bought it and the labels who got it. RAISE HELL was now lucky enough to choose between several record companies, which they found to be very difficult. But finally the choice landed on Nuclear Blast.
In May 1998 RAISE HELL had enough material to enter the "Abyss studio" and record their first album named "Holy Target". The music was very fast, melodic death metal, mixed with some trash-metal elements. The lyrics was mainly about following your own desires, writing about the Devil as your alter-ego, and much of the lyrics can be (should be) read between the lines.
But just before the release, a new problem occured. The name IN COLD BLOOD was also taken by a hard-core band which had the copyright for it. So finally, the name RAISE HELL was taken to fit the sound of the music.
After "Holy Target" was recorded, RAISE HELL went out to play live for the first time in foreign countries. With not that much of live experience they entered the party stage of Wacken Open Air (Aug of 1998) and managed to deliver a good show.
After that, their first European tour came up (with DISMEMBER, CHILDREN OF BODOM, NIGHT IN GALES and AGATHODAIMON) and RAISE HELL got more and more experienced on the stage. But RAISE HELL noticed that they couldn't fully enjoy their music when playing it live, because of the speed "Holy Target" deliver. So after discussing another direction in their music, they came to the conclusion to slow it down a bit. They wanted to play trash, and they wanted to show the world how they think a good hard rock/trash album should sound like. This change was later to be in favour of the band, as they got rid of the DISSECTION category they had been put in due to "Holy Target".
In August 1999, RAISE HELL had enough material to record their second album "Not Dead Yet". The studio was Studio Fredman with Anders Fridén (IN FLAMES) as producer, and the music style was now trash metal with some death metal elements. Overall, the lyrics is still about doing what you want, and having fun in your life. The only thing that differ "Holy Target" from "Not Dead Yet" is, according to the band, the speed and some of the lyrics. RAISE HELL had now managed to do something they knew would be cool to play live, and couldn't wait for their next gig. And mighty supprised were they going to be...
After "Not Dead Yet" was released, the cult band DESTRUCTION heard the album and wanted RAISE HELL to support them for a mini tour. RAISE HELL gladly accepted, and after a cool mini tour with DESTRUCTION, Wacken Open Air stood at the door again (Aug 2000). The festival gig was a success for the band, and was then followed by an European tour (with DESTRUCTION, HYPOCRISY, CREMATORY and KATAKLYSM), and some club-gigs in Sweden on their own.
Because of all the live gigs and the fact that RAISE HELL rehearsed only old material for the shows, a minimum of new material was created. So one day in the summer of 2001, RAISE HELL decided that they should stop playing live for a while, and concentrate on making a new album. The studio Flat Planet was booked in June 2002, and once again Anders Fridén (IN FLAMES), now with support by Fredrik Reinerdahl, as producers. The album was called "Wicked Is My Game", and followed the vein of trash metal, with very heavy parts and death metal parts as before, sometimes almost punk like. The release was in October 2002, and now the band plans for world domination (or at least a tour)...