Jalometalli 2011 – Oulu Finland
Seeing the mighty Finnish thrash metal patrol A.R.G. on the stage was something unbelievable for sure. A.R.G. vanished from the map about 20 years ago. The audience used to be out of their minds at the stage back then. When A.R.G. got on the stage, a handful of their most dedicated old school thrash metal fans had arrived on time to witness the northernmost thrashers. Even though the years have passed by, the old songs truly sounded as brutal and thrashing as in the past. “Heathenism In Penitentiary” are truly high classic thrash songs for sure. Occasionally it felt like the band was some sort of a bit lost at the stage even thought the playing worked, but breaks and eccentric unclean speeches between songs weren’t that convincing after all. Hopefully the pioneers of the Finnish thrash metal will keep unleashing the more angry based thrash metal.
Another unexpected reunion was the rebirth of OZ. The most fanatical and hard die metal fans have to be aware of the immortal OZ classic. The mighty OZ had undergone some line-up changes as the Finnish guitarists had been replaced by the young Swedish guys. One of them definitely the cloned younger version of Yngview Malmsteen. The set consisted of the material from the forthcoming BURNING LEATHER album such as the video tune “Dominator” and of course a plenty of old killer tunes such “Search The Light”, “Fire In The Brain” “Gambler” etc. Even though OZ’s rebirth could be seen as a nostalgia trip, but the band sounded truly traditional heavy metallish. Even though a billhook was missing, but the powder extinguisher has remained the part of the real OZ gig.
The British young thrash guns Evile hit next. Evile definitely has mixed feelings about Oulu as it was the last gig that the late Mike Alexander played. But back to the present day, when the Bristish thrashers hit the main stage. The band sounded quite sterile and quite more commercial with a Metallica-based approach. Although the band played tight and were extremely skilled, the songs and above all riffs sounded quite hollow and to be honest uninspiring. Even the audience wasn’t that thrilled about Evile for some reason as no pit was born and people were wandering and drinking beer.
Grand Magus started the Swedish metal triple on the second day. The trio hammered the audience with pure groove rocking metal that sounded hard as a rock. The vocalist JB Christoffersson with the strong voice was extremely convincing. The trio covered the material of the latest album and of course offered a great deal of the older material. The band’s strong performance was extremely professional and well played and carried out after all
Entombed as a four piece never ever worked out. Without the second guitar the death rock by Entombed sounded hollow. With the second guitarist the Swedish death metal pioneers have definitely strengthened the sounds as well as the performance. The frontman L.G. Petrov with the shabby look moved relentlessly and appeared to be thrilled about having good appreciation and response from the audience. Entombed’s set was a real triumph of the old school Swedish death metal by doing a number of tunes from the first three albums.
Nifelheim again at Jalometalli, why ? Well the head of Jalometalli were extremely delighted about their performance at Jalometalli a few years back and secondly Jalometalli was celebrating the 10th anniversary. Evilness and darkness describe Nifelheim on stage whereas the Iron Maiden obsessed twins are super cool devoted metalheads off the stage. Nifelheim were pure hell on earth and roots of all evil. At least all the spikes and leather had been polished and sharpened.
Before landing at Jalometalli Sodom underwent a minor line-up change when the long time drummer ”Bobby” Schottkowski was dismissed from the band and replaced by Markus ”Makka” Freiwald. Makka has a long experience in the German metal scene and proved to be highly skilled drummer.
Then the thrash metal legends Sodom faced a huge setback when the gear got lost on the way to Jalometalli. Thanks to the Finnish airplane company for that. The Germans had to borrow gear from the local bands and of course that caused unpleasant problem with the settings. Besides, Sodom delayed a little bit the beginning cos Angelripper was sleepling at the hotel. However Sodom declared I Am The War causing the ballistic reaction amongst the pit maniacs. The set consisted of the essential and known such as “Blasphemer” and of course the mandatory ones “Bomberhagel” and “Ausgebombt”. Seriously the setlist was the same as it has been during the past years. Where were “Christ passion, ”Nuclear Winter”, “Conqueror”…? Well it was cool to have something from OBSESSED BY CRUELTY. Sodom’s appearance at Jalometalli blew the 2007 Tuska gig easily away. With the killer lights and insane audience going totally beserk and the darkened night created the splendid atmosphere for such a killer show despite a few technical worries.
Cathedral announced about pulling the plugs and will lay to the eternal sleep after the massive farewell tours and gigs. Getting Cathedral to do a farewell show at Jalometalli was definitely one of the highlights and waited gigs amongst the audience. After Sodom people crawled to witness the doom legends for the last time. The band and above all Lee Dorrian appeared to be one hell of a showman like strangling himself with a microphone wire and moving about the stage like Ozzy, personal and eccentric speeches. The etherical doom with the sludge got spread out in the catacombs of the hall when songs such as “Hopkins” “Soul Sacrifice”, “Ebony Tears”,”Midnight Mountain”. Killer performance from the band going to terminate the long glorious and respectful career.
Once again the mighty Jalometalli is over. The festival is such an interesting experience as it is small, but however vital and energic and offers an absolutely great line-up consisting of death, black, thrash, and traditional metal. Above all Jalometalli gave an ultimate opportunity for young bands to play there. The next year will definitely be interesting as it is known the promoter of Jalometalli will be doing one hell of a job to book the most interesting bands by creating the killer line-up. See ya in 2012!