1998 – present (19 years)
Force Majeure is a melodic heavy metal band from Finland. Force Majeure’s roots go back to late 1998, when the band’s guitarists Reuhkala and Ojanen met each other in Järvenpää, Finland. The two gentlemen found out they shared a devotion for heavy metal music as well as guitarplaying, and the decision to form a band came about quite naturally. It wasn’t until 2001, however, that the band really became active.
In 2001 the line-up included only the two guitarist, a drummer and a keyboard player. Having by this point already written several songs of their own, the band decided to record a demo with their drummer’s 8-track recorder. During the recordings of the first demo, the prophetically titled Prelude for Invasion, the band’s name became Force Majeure. It was also during this time that Tuomas Väänänen, a bassist from Northern Finland, was added to the band’s ranks. All Force Majeure now needed in order to start playing live gigs was a lead vocalist, and Niko Mattila soon took up the frontman’s duties.
Soon after the new line-up had started rehearsing, the keyboard player and the drummer decided to quit Force Majeure, and the band again found themselves in need of new recruits. Juuso Myllyharju got the drummer’s job in early 2002, but a suitable keyboard player could not be found at the time and the place was left vacant. In October of the same year Force Majeure headed to the renowned Sonic Pump Studio to record their second demo, the quite aptly named Second Strike. Second Strike got somewhat favourable responses from the metal community, and consequently boosted the band’s spirits and their belief in their own abilities. 2002 also saw Force Majeure’s first-ever live gig at Esperance, Järvenpää.
In 2003 Ojanen, Reuhkala, Väänänen, Mattila and Myllyharju continued rehearsing and writing their next demo cd. Force Majeure’s third demo Division Blue was recorded by Mika Haapasalo at Popstudio, Loimaa. Division Blue featured five songs that many saw as a big step forward for the group. Veikko Oittinen was added to the line-up as the keyboard player just before the band started recording, but he didn’t yet play on the Division Blue cd.
By early 2004 Force Majeure had played some 15 gigs across Finland. As the band evolved and the songs got more difficult Niko Mattila could no longer handle the vocals as well as before. Niko was asked to leave the group and the search for a new frontman began. Many people were interested and auditioned, among them Riku Turunen, who ended up getting the gig. Late 2004 saw Force Majeure again in the studio. The resulting three-song promo cd the Gatecrusher, mixed by Thunderstone mastermind Nino Laurenne, is a mix of solid heavy metal songwriting combined with Riku’s razor-sharp, soaring vocals. The Gatecrusher has received a very positive response from the metal audience as well as the media.
Force Majeure's debut album, Division Blue was released in April 2008. At that time, Heikki Saari worked as their drummer, but left band due to time issues at the end of year 2008. In November 2008 Force Majeure announced that their new drummer is Jaakko "Jake" Nylund.
Force Majeure is also an alias of trance music artists Ricky Simmonds and Steve Jones, better known as The Space Brothers. They released two singles under the Force Majeure name, Redemption in 1999 and Out of My Mind in 2000 on Additive.
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