Interviews & articles
Interview by Metal Hammer
21 Apr 2021
Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen loves this cult 90s metal album and thinks you will too
Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen hails the overlooked genius of The 3rd And Mortal’s cult 90s classic Tears Laid in Earth
“If you’re a hardcore metal fan, you’ll know about The 3rd And Mortal, but they weren’t widely known within the metal scene – they were on a very small label, and the music was quite underground, with long songs, not very radio friendly.
“But I don't think it’s an exaggeration to say that Nightwish wouldn't exist without them. They were from Norway and were categorised as ‘atmospheric metal’ – they were very doomy, melodic, dark, not at all symphonic, but with a beautiful female voice. I heard them, and thought, ‘I want to do something similar.’
“Tears Laid In Earth was their first album. I was 17 when I first heard a song called Why So Lonely on the radio in Finland. There was a lot of darkness in my life at that point, and I related to that. And the next week I went and bought the CD. It took me to a whole different world – it was so beautiful and so dark. And when you combine those two things, that’s the kind of music I like.
“They only made four albums before splitting up, and none of them really sound like this – they went more experimental and jazzy. But the most incredible thing happened a few years ago. We played a festival in their hometown, and the promoter knew my obsession with them, so he brought the whole original line-up backstage to meet me. They hadn’t seen each other for 12 years. It was emotional for everybody.
“Whenever I listen back to this album, I get the same kick I did back then. Of course there’s a lot of nostalgia there – it takes me back to 1994 and all the stuff I was going through. But it’s also just a great album that everyone should listen to.”