Shape of Despair

Shape of Despair is a funeral doom metal band from Finland.

Shape of Despair
Also known as"Raven", from 1995 to 1998
OriginHelsinki, Finland
GenresFuneral doom metal Neoclassical dark wave
Years active1998–present
LabelsSpikefarm (2000-2005)
Season Of Mist (2005-2010, 2012-present)
Solarfall (2010)
Avantgarde Music (2011)
Associated actsAjattara, Amorphis, Depressed Mode, Ea, Finntroll, Impaled Nazarene, The Mist and the Morning Dew, Rapture, Throes of Dawn, Abstract Spirit
MembersJarno Salomaa
Tomi Ullgrén
Natalie Koskinen
Sami Uusitalo
Henri Koivula
Daniel Neagoe
Past membersToni Mäensivu
Pasi Koskinen
Samu Ruotsalainen


The band was founded in 1995 as Raven by Jarno Salomaa (guitars, later also keyboards), Tomi Ullgrén (bass, later also guitars) and Toni "Otso" Mäensivu (drums, later also vocals) as a faster, instrumental black metal-isch band following the footsteps of their contemporaries like Strid, Burzum, Darkthrone and Unholy. The trio soon realized that the music they played wasn't as good as they would have wanted, lacking the atmosphere and emotion of the bands that influenced them. They needed to either step up their songwriting game or try something else completely. During the summer of '95 Raven recorded their rehearsals with a simple cassette recorder, capturing all the songs that later became the Alone In The Mist demo, for the first time on tape. After listening to the rehearsal tape and realizing they actually had something in their hands they could stand behind, Raven wanted to record the tracks in a proper studio. It took the band three years to do it. Raven entered Arkki-studio in early '98. They still hadn't tried any vocals until the very last minute, when they decided they wanted to test how the songs would sound with Mäensivu's vocals and were surprised how well they actually fit. The Alone In The Mist demo [1] was not released until 2016, when the band thought it was the proper time to do it. They changed their name in September 1998 to Shape Of Despair. The decision to change the name came down to basically not wanting to be confused with the UK hard rock stalwarts Raven. Obviously, their new moniker fit their new sound better too.

In 2000 they signed a deal with Spikefarm Records and released their debut album Shades of...[1] with Samu Ruotsalainen on drums.

The second album Angels of Distress, released on September 2001, featured Pasi Koskinen on lead vocals. Sami Uusitalo joined up in 2002 to play bass for the third album Illusion's Play. It was released in 2004.

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 the EP Written in My Scars and a split EP with Before The Rain.

Their 4th full-length album Monotony Fields was released on June 15, 2015 by Season of Mist.[2]


Current membersEdit

  • Jarno Salomaa – lead guitars (1995–present), keyboards (1998–present)
  • Tomi Ullgrén – rhythm guitars (1998–present), bass (1995–2002)
  • Natalie Koskinen (formerly known as Natalie Safrosskin) – vocals (1998–present)
  • Sami Uusitalo – bass (2002–present)
  • Henri Koivula – vocals (2011–present)
  • Samu Ruotsalainen – drums (1999–2015, 2020–present)

Former membersEdit

  • Toni Mäensivu – drums (1995–1999), vocals (1998–2001)
  • Pasi Koskinen – vocals (2001–2010)
  • Daniel Neagoe – drums (2015–2019)




  • Shades of... (2000 - Spikefarm Records, Reissued in 2006 by Season of Mist)
  • Angels of Distress (September 25, 2001 - Spikefarm Records, Relapse Records)
  • Illusion's Play (September 27, 2004 - Spikefarm Records, Reissued in 2005 by Season of Mist)
  • Monotony Fields (June 15, 2015 - Season of Mist)
  • Alone in the Mist (December 9, 2016 - Season of Mist)


  • Written in My Scars (October 31, 2010 - Solarfall Records)
  • Shape of Despair / Before the Rain (June 30, 2011 - Avantgarde Music)

Compilation albumsEdit

  • Shape of Despair (August 3, 2005 - Spikefarm Records, Reissued in 2006 by Season of Mist)


  • Rehearsal I (1995, as Raven, instrumental demo with 2 songs)
  • Rehearsal II (1995, as Raven, instrumental demo with 5 songs)
  • Alone In The Mist (recorded in 1998 as Raven, though never officially released as Raven, released in 2016 by Season of Mist under Shape Of Despair)
  • Promo 1998 (1998, as Raven)


  1. ^ a b Sharpe-Young, Garry. A-Z of Doom, Goth & Stoner Metal. Rockdetector. p. 362f. ISBN 978-1-90144-714-9.
  2. ^ "Shape of Despair (Doom Metal)". Season of Mist. Retrieved 5 July 2015.

External linksEdit