Helsinki, Finland based Shape of Despair came into being during winter 1995, the brainchild of band leader Jarno Salomaa (guitars and synth) and Tomi Ullgren (guitars). All the while searching for the ultimate line-up, Shape of Despair recorded a demo-tape "Alone in the Mist", a promo, and two albums. While the debut "Shades of..." caused quite a stir in the underground, their aim became unwavering for the second one and "Angels of Distress" was a bull's-eye shot, a defining moment for a talented band already well set in their ways.
Before releasing "Illusion's Play" the line-up had, besides Salomaa and Ullgren, settled on Natalie Koskinen (female vocals), Samu Ruotsalainen (drums) (both long-standing members), Sami Uusitalo (bass) and Pasi Koskinen (vocals). Koskinen's monstrous growls prove his vocal range and is by no means exhausted by his other bands Mannhai and Ajattara, while providing a distinct counterpoint to Natalie's angelic voice.
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