The first spark that was to become Farmakon ignited in the spring of 2000 when Toni Salminen on his vacation from the army (everyone has to do a stint in the army in Finland) had a meeting of minds with Marko Eskola.
Both guys had played in bands before but as the conversation developed it soon became apparent that they had a common goal. To make some crazy, heavy, fucked-up intricate music, spanning all the sounds and ideas they could muster. The two guys started jamming together, writing riffs and vocal lines that soon spawned into entire songs.
Things got a little more serious and they realised that if these ideas were going to go anywhere they would have to get a whole band together or not bother at all. The hunt was on for like-minded individuals who could not only drink like demons (easy to find in Finland...) but who also shared such a wide-ranging taste in music as a whole.
First to join the merry throng was Riku Airisto, a drummer from Marko's previous band Planar Gallery. A talented drummer, not usually accustomed to the ways of extreme metal, but he took to it like a duck to water.
The final piece in the puzzle was Lassi Paunonen, a guy who none of the guys really knew, but Marko knew he played guitar and vaguely remembers a very drunken conversation about music with him some 18 months previously. That was good enough for him!
The band was now a solid unit and in September 2001 they went to a local studio to record a three-song demo. They had no serious plans for the band, they just wanted to play some music, flex some creative muscles and have a good time doing it in the process.
The band posted the demo up to MP3.com. Remarkably within days of the songs being posted they were contacted by Lee Barrett of Elitist records, who was sufficiently impressed to be able them a contract on the spot. At this time the band had only three full songs in place, so they set to work writing new material and making demos before finally signing the contract in September 2002.
The fruit of this labour can be heard in the debut album, "A Warm Glimpse". It's a startling, mature and complex debut from such a young band. Pirkka Rännäli recorded it at the same studio where the band had made their demos. Pirkka had been there since the beginning and had been an instrumental part of the Farmakon "sound". It was the obvious choice.
The album's an oddball melodic death masterpiece. On first examination the influences seem to worn pretty much on the bands sleeve, but delve a little deeper and there's a lot of dark, mischievous stuff going on. Someone once described the band as "Opeth in a head on collision with Mr Bungle". It's difficult to disagree with that one.
Taking the main influence from the Scandinavian melodic death metal sound, the band has rooted their own ideas and diverse musical tastes and blended them into the whole bizarre mix. The band launches into all-out thrash assaults before twisting into funk or lounge-jazz passages. The riffs twist and turn, battened down with complex and original drum patterns, before turning into melodic acoustic breaks with tasteful solos that bring the 70's prog movement to mind. Marko's extreme death metal vocals soon give way to powerful clean style, before rolling into Patton-esque schizoid insanity!
Farmakon are not a band that cares to tread a well-worn path. Utilising their eclectic influences to the highest possible degree, the band have delivered an eccentric melodic death metal album that defies normal convention. "A Warm Glimpse" is a diverse, multifaceted recording, ideal for those cynics who think they've heard it all.