Band

Khiral is:
Joni Öhman – bass

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Alexander Kuoppala – guitar

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Tuomo Vänskä – vocals

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Sami Lehtonen – guitar

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Tom Aho – drums

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Khiral’s story began in the fall 2008 from a three-member rock band called Ivana Red, manned by Pete Raatikainen in drums, Joni Öhman in bass and Mari Sevonen doing the vocals. Guitarist’s post was fulfilled by Matti Hämäläinen in the end of 2008.

The band was making songs and inventing itself for the spring 2009. Joni, Pete and Matti were driving the band in a metal-style direction, whereas Mari preferred a more melodic approach. In the fall 2009 Mari decided it was time to move on. Joni, Pete and Matti abandoned the name Ivana Red and nearly all of the old material, and practically started a new metal band called Khiral. As a heritage from Ivana Red the guys kept on mixing different styles and letting the music define their genre. Teemu Tyyskä joined the band as the second guitarist.

For the position of the lead singer, several candidates came and went, until the fall 2010 when the quartet found their low-growling lady Tiina Honkanen-Gustafsson. In the spring 2011 Teemu left the band and was replaced by Arto Rikkonen later the same year. The slow-cooked stew was ready enough for Khiral to do their first gig in spring 2012 at Club Darkside in Helsinki.

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Tiina decided to step down from her post at the end of 2012, and Arto did the same shortly after. Some years went by in a relative silence. The rest of the guys were doing other projects, but at the same time still looking for a new vocalist and keeping up the fire. Then in the spring 2016 Tuomo Vänskä took up the microphone, and the story was finally ready to continue. Additional backup was received from Jouni Tuovinen who was recruited as the second guitarist. Khiral published their first two singles Orphanage and UltravioleNt in the summer 2016.

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After the singles were recorded and published, Pete decided to withdraw from his throne, but continued as a live drummer for four gigs in the turn of 2016/2017. After a long search Markus Lehto was found to fulfill the drummer’s position, which allowed the band to continue full steam once again, doing live shows in Finland and Germany, and to finally start recording their first album. “Chained” was released by Inverse Records in January 2018.

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Summer of 2018 featured Khiral performing on several gigs promoting ‘Chained’, while writing and composing new material at the same time.

In November 2018 Matti left his post to continue with other challenges in his life, and was replaced with Sami Lehtonen.

In the very beginning of 2019 Jouni needed some time to set up the schedules between the band and his private life, and stepped down. Composing new material and recording the album #2 did continue despite that, just as Jouni had wanted.

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At the end of January the second guitarist was found, as Tommi Kinnunen stepped in to provide the necessary deepness to Khiral’s music.

Khiral performed on several gigs around southern Finland promoting their “Chained” album and increasing their audience steadily on the way. They also began composing material for their second album, which at the time was to be released during the first half of 2020.

Things, however, took an unexpected turn as the Covid-19 pandemic broke up. Khiral, like many other bands, now had plenty of time in their hands to put their material into shape, but there was friction concerning the direction toward which to take their music. This eventually led to new line-up changes that brought a substitute drummer, Ville Velasco (Volymian) to the band. Ville played drums on the new album. Khiral also parted ways with their guitarist Tommi, who was briefly replaced with Tuomas Kulomaa, who, however didn’t play on the upcoming album, but instead Tommi’s guitars are heard on it.

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Khiral’s second album was eventually finalized and baptized as “Shards“. The title would represent the band’s vision of an alternate “mirror reality” existing right under the eyes of society, and this thread would be followed through the album. Khiral signed a deal with Puuma Records, an independent record company to release “Shards” in the late summer of 2021, as there were hopes of the corona pandemic to be loosing its grip by then. “Shards” was released on August 6th, preceded by two singles “Painter of Fates” and “Tiny People“.

Tom Aho/pic by Creinium

The substitute drummer Ville didn’t have enough time to concentrate on two active bands as he was busy with his own band Volymian, so Khiral hired a permanent drummer in Tom Aho, hoping that the line-up would finally have found its form.

Which, of course, was not the case just yet…

Shortly after the release of “Shards” guitarist Tuomas stated that he had things in his personal life that would take up too much of his time to fully concentrate on Khiral, so there was a mutual decision that he would step down. After a short search Tuomo invited his old friend, ex-Children of Bodom guitarist Alexander Kuoppala to join Khiral, and so the story would finally continue.

Alexander Kuoppala/pic by MetalPhotos.com