Mana Mana
Mana Mana was a rock band from Joensuu
Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia in eastern Finland. It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of North Karelia region. It was founded in 1848...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

. It was formed in 1986 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Jouni Mömmö and lead guitarist Otra Romppanen. Their musical style could be described as a mixture of goth
Goth subculture
The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify...

 and death rock, punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 and metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 combined into heavy stoner rock
Stoner rock
Stoner rock or stoner metal is a subgenre of heavy metal, combining elements of psychedelic rock, blues rock, traditional heavy metal and doom metal. Stoner rock is typically slow-to-mid tempo and features a bass-heavy sound, melodic vocals, and 'retro' production...

 and even hints of grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...


The bands trademark was to use multiple overdubbed, distorted guitar tracks in their studio recordings, as many as 8-12 per track. Their heavy music was accompanied by haunting vocals by Mömmö that were sung in Finnish. Jouni Mömmö wrote all the lyrics for the group, and the texts often dealt with topics filled with religious symbolism, personal revelations, the apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

, death, psychedelia, insanity and stories of love gone wrong. The lyrics were often blaming - sometimes attacking Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 - depressing, gloomy and mentally disturbed. The name of the band is apparently a reference to the concept of mana
Mana is an indigenous Pacific islander concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The word is a cognate in many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian....

 in Polynesian mythology
Polynesian mythology
Polynesian mythology is the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia, a grouping of Central and South Pacific Ocean island archipelagos in the Polynesian triangle together with the scattered cultures known as the Polynesian outliers...


Their career was rather short; during their original existence Mana Mana made only a few vinyl singles and one LP album, "Totuus Palaa" (engl. The truth is burning), which was released in 1990. Their inability to continue was because of Mömmö's deteriorating mental condition - he suffered from schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 along with various other mental illnesses, had been in and out of a mental institute and became almost catatonic at some point, thus making it impossible for the band to create new material and to do live shows. One of their final efforts was to re-record vocal tracks with English translations of some of their songs from "Totuus palaa" in order to achieve a possibility of success abroad. These songs were "Totuus palaa" (retitled "Truth is Burning"), "Ilmestyskirjan peto" ("The Beast"), "Kuolla Elävänä" ("To Die Alive") and "Ketä sä rakastat?" ("Who Do You Love?"). However, Mömmö was already too deranged to perform and his voice was barely audible. The recordings weren't released until after his death on the "Complete ... Kaikki" CD compilation.

Jouni Mömmö committed suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 by taking an overdose of drugs
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

 on 26 October 1991. He was 35 years old.

After Mömmö's death, Mana Mana played many live shows as a tribute, with two different vocalists, Kimmo "Kaltsu" Kuosmanen and Sami Tiilama. In 1998, lead guitarist Otra Romppanen started to compile song material out of old 4-track demos, rehearsal tapes and notebooks. A new Mana Mana album, "Murheen Laakso" (engl. A Valley of Tears) was released in 2000 as a tribute to Jouni Mömmö. Sami Tiilama did most of the vocal parts, and Antti Litmanen from Babylon Whores
Babylon Whores
Babylon Whores is a deathrock and metal band from Finland, founded in 1994 by Ike Vil and Ewo Meichem. As of 2006, the band has released two singles, three EPs and three albums. Throughout the years, the band's music has evolved from a raw, punk-ish style to a more massive sound with complex...

 featured as one of the guitarists on the album. He also accompanied on Mana Mana's "burial tour" the same year. A live CD was made of their final show in Tavastia
Tavastia may refer to:* Tavastia , a historical province of the kingdom of Sweden, located in modern-day Finland* Tavastia Proper, a modern region of Finland* Päijänne Tavastia, another region of Finland...

, Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 in the 2001. It was titled "Kuolla elävänä" (engl. To Die Alive) and was released in 2004. After the official split-up of the actual band, former Mana Mana members have continued performing tribute concerts under moniker Murheen laakso.

Mana Mana is often considered as one of the most notable Finnish underground rock groups with a large cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

. Many Finnish artists have covered their songs in their live acts, and Finnish groups such as Kotiteollisuus
Kotiteollisuus is a Finnish hard rock/heavy metal band that was formed in 1991 in Lappeenranta. The band released its first demo tape in 1993 under the name "Hullu ukko ja Kotiteollisuus" . The shortened name and current line-up was established in 1997.Kotiteollisuus is said to combine "furious...

PMMP is a Finnish band fronted by singers Paula Vesala and Mira Luoti and backed by musicians Mikko Virta, Juho Vehmanen and Heikki Kytölä. The name of the band is often said to be an abbreviation of the sentence "Paulan ja Miran Molemmat Puolet", which can be translated in English as "Both Sides...

 and Viikate
Viikate is a Finnish metal band from Kouvola, formed in 1996. The band is known for its melancholic lyrics, drawing inspiration from Finnish romance movies of the 1950s and Finnish singers of the era, including Reino Helismaa...

 have recorded their own cover versions of Mana Mana songs.


  • Jouni Mömmö - vocals and guitars
  • Arto "Otra" Romppanen - lead guitars
  • Tuomas Moilanen - bass
  • Timo Puuko - drums
  • Janne Suhonen - guitars (from 1990)
  • Antti Litmanen
    Antti Litmanen
    Antti Litmanen is a Finnish musician. He plays guitar in the band Babylon Whores. He has also played as a rhythm guitarist in the now defunct band Mana Mana. He wrote the lyrics for the black metal band Thy Serpent.-References:...

     - guitars (2001, on "Murheen Laakso")


  • Maria / Vaarallista (7" single, 1988)
  • Totuus palaa (LP, 1990)
  • Raptori / Suikki (7" single, 1990)
    • "Raptori" is a sarcastic adaptation of Kraftwerk
      Kraftwerk is an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008...

      s "The Robots" and "Suikki" is a cover song from Finnish group Neljä Ruusua
      Neljä Ruusua
      Neljä Ruusua is a Finnish rock group formed in the city of Joensuu in 1982. The group consists of guitarist-singer Ilkka Alanko, guitarist Petteri Koistinen, bass guitarist Jari Laakkonen and drummer Kari Kämäräinen. Their style of music was influenced by punk in their earlier years, but changed...

  • Hän on paha (5" split-single, 1994)
  • Complete...Kaikki (CD compilation, 1996)
    • Includes all previously released studio material along with four songs from "Totuus palaa" with overdubbed vocal tracks sung in English.

Post-Mömmö era
  • Murheen laakso (CD, 2000)
  • Kuolla elävänä – live 2001 (CD, 2004)
  • 2000–2001 (2-CD compilation, 2005)
    • a 2-disc set that includes the albums "Murheen laakso" and "Kuolla elävänä"

External links

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