PRESTIGE 2020

Hailing from Tampere, Finland, PRESTIGE is one of the oldest and the most established thrash metal bands in the country. 

The early stages of the band go back to 1987.  In the spring of 1988 PRESTIGE played their first gigs and released the ”Gods” demo. The guys were just around 17-18 years old at the time. The demo tape brought the band attention in the music press and after their 4th gig, in September 1988, the band got signed immediately by the major Poko Rekords label. 

Only a few weeks later the band was recording their debut album with a renowned producer TT Oksala. In January 1989 the debut album ”Attack Against Gnomes” was released, first on vinyl and tape, later that year on CD. Everything went down really fast.

Gigs and tours followed. In 1989 PRESTIGE released also a 12” Maxi-single ”Priest” and a 7” EP called ”Veijo” containing more Hard Core type of songs. In 1990 PRESTIGE started touring other countries as well – for ex Sweden and Denmark and they played as the first Finnish Metal band ever in Czechoslovakia. In 1990 they recorded the follow up album ”Selling The Salvation”, again with TT Oksala. Due to extensive touring PRESTIGE established themselves as a hard working thrash metal band in the Finnish Metal scene. In 1991 PRESTIGE recorded their third album ”Parasites In Paradise”, which was released in the early 1992. That year PRESTIGE played at the big Ruisrock Festival and this was to become their last gig for a while – although they did not know it yet. The band had lived fast, toured extensively and had released three albums and other releases in less than 4 years!

Then the band took a break. The guitarist Jan “Örkki” Yrlund moved over to the Netherlands and joined the Swiss Gothic rockers Lacrimosa. After that he played years with the Belgian black metal band Ancient Rites and a bunch of other bands like Danse Macabre, Imperia, Delain, Satyrian. The vocalist / bassist Aku Kytölä formed a Bad Religion cover band  Paha Uskonto and he explored the music in different genres and bands, from punk to psychobilly. Some of the bands he played in during the years were Kill Me Gently and Vulture Club. 

In 2007 Poko Rekords wanted to release a ”Best Of” compilation album. The favorite songs were chosen and remastered at the Finnvox studios. The double CD digipak ”Decades Of Decay” was released in 2007 on Poko / EMI Music.

Soon after the band got back together and played on several major metal festivals in Finland like Jalometalli and  Sauna Open Air. They also visited Spain for a festival and hosted twice the indoor fest Speed Metal Party. In 2018 PRESTIGE entered the studio and re-recorded the 1988 demo again to celebrate the 30th anniversary. The special edition ”Gods Revisited” was released and sold out quickly.

In the early 2020 the original drummer Tero Karppinen made a decision to step aside from drumming. With his approval the band decided to continue. They had a few new songs ready and started searching for a new drummer.

This is when they found Matti ”Matson” Johansson. Not only did Matson own all the old PRESTIGE releases and knew the music but now he had time too as he had just parted ways with Korpiklaani. Obviously Matson needs no introduction as a musician, being member of Korpiklaani over 17 years and having toured all over the world and having played at the biggest metal festivals.

With Matson PRESTIGE entered the Fantom studio in the summer of 2020 and recorded two brand new tracks ”Exit” and ”You Weep”. Now PRESTIGE is ready to hit the stages and release new material again!

Line up (from left to right):

Matti ”Matson” Johansson – drums 

Jan  ”Örkki” Yrlund – guitars

Aku Kytölä – bass, vocals

Ari Karppinen – guitars 

Read 2007 bio here