Shape of Despair

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Shape of Despair
Also known as "Raven", from 1995 to 1998
Origin Finland
Genres Funeral doom metal
Gothic metal
Years active 1998–present
Labels Spikefarm (2000-2005)
Season Of Mist (2006)
Solarfall (2010)
Avantgarde Music (2011)
Associated acts Ajattara, Amorphis, Depressed Mode, Finntroll, Impaled Nazarene, The Mist and the Morning Dew, Rapture, Throes of Dawn
Members Natalie Safrosskin
Jarno Salomaa
Tomi Ullgren
Samu Ruotsalainen
Sami Uusitalo
Henri Koivula
Past members Toni Mäensivu
Miika "Azhemin" Niemelä
Pasi Koskinen

Shape of Despair is a funeral doom metal band from Finland that was formed in 1995 as Raven until 1998, when the band decided to change their name to the current one.


The two major founders of this musical entity are Jarno Salomaa and Tomi Ullgren. Jarno is the major force behind the musical direction of the band.[1] They changed their name in September 1998 to its current manifestation. Most of their albums were released by Spikefarm Records, with the exception of the "Written in My Scars" 7´´ EP, which was released on October 31, 2010 by Solarfall Records and the Split Album with "Before the Rain", which was released on June 30, 2011 by Avantgarde Music.

In 1998, they recruited Natalie Koskinen as female lead vocals. She is also an active member of Depressed Mode, serving as their female lead as well. Samu Ruotsalainen joined the next year on drums. Sami Uusitalo is the only current member not to have been part of first two full lengths CDs, joining up in 2004 to play bass for Illusion's Play.

Shape of Despair's first recording under their current name was their 2000 LP album Shades of.... The following year they released their 2nd full-length album entitled Angels of Distress. In 2004, they released Illusion's Play. In 2005, the band released a compilation titled Shape of Despair, featuring rare and unreleased material from the group, including tracks from the band's first demo "Alone in the Mist," and a new song called "Sleeping Murder", recorded over a four-day period at Sundicoop Studios in Savonlinna, Finland. After a 5-year lull the band released an EP "Written in My Scars" and a split EP with Before The Rain. On 15 june 2015 their 4th full length album 'Monotony Fields' was released. Having added the corrosive and grinding vocals of Henri Koivula, which contrast perfectly with Natalie Koskinen's aerial female voice, Shape of Despair returned to reclaim the throne of funeral doom with an album that exceeds each and every high expectation their eagerly waiting fan-base has heaped upon them during their long years of absence.


Current members[edit]

  • Henri Koivula - vocals (2011–present)
  • Natalie Safrosskin (formerly known as Natalie Koskinen) - lyrical vocals (1998–present)
  • Jarno Salomaa - lead guitars & keyboards (1998–present)
  • Tomi Ullgren - rhythm guitars (1998–present), studio bass (1998–2004)
  • Samu Ruotsalainen - drums (1999–2015)
  • Sami Uusitalo - bass (2004–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Pasi Koskinen - vocals (2001–2010)
  • Toni Mäensivu - vocals (1999–2001), drums (1998)
  • Miika "Azhemin" Niemelä - vocals (1998)

Touring musicians[edit]

  • Miika "Azhemin" Niemelä - bass (1998–2004)

Guest musicians[edit]

  • Toni Raehalme - violin (recorded on Angels of Distress and Illusion's Play)
  • Aslak Tolonen - kantele (recorded on Illusion's Play)
  • Johanna Vakkuri - flute (recorded on Shades of...)


  • Shades of... (Full-length - 2000 - Spikefarm Records)
  • Angels of Distress (Full-length - September 25, 2001 - Spikefarm Records)
  • Illusion's Play (Full-length - September 27, 2004 - Spikefarm Records)
  • Shape of Despair (Compilation Album - August 3, 2005 - Spikefarm Records, Reissued in 2006 by Season Of Mist)
  • Written in My Scars (7" EP, vinyl only - October 31, 2010 - Solarfall Records)
  • Shape of Despair / Before the Rain (Split Album - June 30, 2011 - Avantgarde Music)
  • Monotony Fields (Full-length - June 15, 2015 - Season of Mist)


  1. ^ "Shape of Despair". Shape of Despair (profile). Metal from Finland. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 

External links[edit]