Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2002
Helsinki, Finland: 12th - 14th of July 2002
Review & Photos By The Finnish Metal Rules Team

Day 2: SATURDAY, July 13th
The second day of the festival was kicked off by a Stoner Rock oriented combo called Sunride, having a few Nicke Anderssons look-alike dudes basically jumping around on the stage and enjoying playing there at fullest.

Impaled Nazarene

But a real wake-up kick to the ass was given by the controversial ´Nuclear metallers´ Impaled Nazarene whose set around at 3.00 noon was definitely a mind-blowing overwhelming experience of an uncompromising Hardcore-metal delivered with an immense ultra-hyper speed for which no normal, every-day-dude should be capable of bringing out of him/her-self in the ´normal´ festival circumstances. And of course the band´s Grand-Goat Mika´s relentless and hateful stage performance was worth watching, too as it always has been thus far.


The Crown

Next up, it was the time to witness the relentless Swedish Thrash patrol, The Crown, who had hired their old vocalist Johan Lindstrand to replace the former At The Gates shouter Tomas Lindberg who parted ways with the band quite surprisingly due to ´personal differences´. Despite that minor, but unfortunate, incident the band seemed to be in a really deadly shape on the stage, basically concentrating on playing songs off their impressive new album CROWNED IN TERROR. Their previous albums weren´t ignored completely either. The band played almost an hour and I honestly have to admit that at one point it all sounded to me like they repeated only one of their songs over and over again as their blasting full-out, all-deafen blitzkrieg-ish Thrash attack simply made you numb and breathless so to speak. This probably may have caused that tiny cold fact, ImpNaz were rather ruthless on the same killing field just a while ago, giving us all Hell and just much more.

Nevertheless, it was great to see them playing at Tuska 2002 ´coz the band´s highly energetic ´Thrashexplosion´ surely didn´t let any devoted, die-hard maniacs of the band down by any means. However, the guys definitely need to be credited with causing a few of hurting necks afterwards. Amen to the hurting neck muscles and let´s raise a fair toast for the whole band for coming over to Tuska 2002 at such a short notice.



Weird and even unexpected technical problems haunted another Northern metal combo - namely Sentenced - forcing them to change the set list quite radically because of the opening intro didn't start working properly as it had been hoped for. When the fucked-up intro and other problems were occurring throughout the whole set, the band instead had to focus on the well-known battle hymns as "Warrior Of Life", "Nepenthe", "The Suicider", "Drown Together", "Nepenthe", "Bleed", "The Sun Won't Shine" - and just ignoring "Killing Me Killing You" in the wake of the whole CRIMSON album. The Sentenced dudes have created quite a depressive impression out of themselves which in a way reflected into their stage performance by not communicating with their audience that much at all - the guys basically concentrating on standing a little bit on the background during their whole set. Probably our nice´n´hot summer weather has lots of to do with that tiny fact, though.




Before ´the beauty and the beasts´ were unleashed on the main stage, a domestic so-called ´all-star´ Black - or whatever Pagan Metal combo Ajattara consisting a few guys from Amorphis, did a real vicious sounding gig in a smaller stage. The band's main man better known as the Amorphis vocalist definitely has a wide range of voice skills to handle songs from melodic tunes to an extreme grim Black Metal stuff. Luckily Ajattara ain´t your stereotypical Black Metal outfit with some twice circulated 2nd - or 3rd class chainsaw riffs, chaotically rushing drum parts with no starts nor stops, satanic wannabe wankering, etc… .Their music is more like a tight marriage between doomy and heavy riffs melted together with some influences from Black Metal. Lyrically there´s no Black Metal band that even could match with them equally. Pasi´s lyrical approach in Ajattara knows no boundaries, so many consider him as some sort of a genius in that particular department as well.



The second day got its prestigious conclusion when Nightwish hit the stage as the headlining band on Saturday. Obviously most of male metalheads must have got their tiny erections while watching the beautiful front woman moving on the stage and having dressed up in a damn sexy and desirable way. Nightwish was, for an obvious enough reason, concentrating on playing songs off their extremely successful new album CENTURY CHILD and putting Marco Hietala, the incredible male vocalist of the Nightwish´s current line-up, for an ultimate test for his 1st time in a live situation to share vocals with the always cute-looking Tarja on that particular department. "Bless the Child" started their set - and off CENTURY CHILD the crowd was blessed by such songs as "End of All Hope", "Dead to the World", a hit single "Ever Dream", "Slaying the Dreamer" and "Beauty of the Beast". Despite some technical difficulties during their set, both singers sounded just great, but I also have to say Marco´s input for being one of the two vocalists on the Nightwish camp, has really brought more power into the band´s live appearance. Besides being an extremely talented and strong vocalist, he´s also a great showman and knows how to be entertaining onstage; thanks to all the spent years in his previous band Tarot as a brilliant front man.

From Nightwish´s earlier albums, the band played, if I still remember correctly, "Come Cover Me", "Sacrament of Wilderness", "The Kinslayer", "Sleeping Sun" and an evergreen Gary Moore hit song "Over the Hills and Far Away" was naturally a part of their set at that night. Probably due to their rather short set, they didn´t play any songs from ANGELS FALL FIRST which was a bit disappointment for me personally. "Elvenpath" and "Beauty and the Beast" could have been nice additions to the set list, but nonetheless, I bet most of the people who came to see them, were satisfied enough with a selection of the songs they had chosen to be played at Tuska 2002.


Burning Point

And then it was again time to crawl yet another time to the Tuska´s metal club to check out a few rising and promising new bands but having old and known faces in the rank. The first old-new one Burning Point kicked off by bringing the old school heavy metal off from their debut album Salvation Of Fire by doing almost 90% of the whole output material. The stuff as well as the band got overwhelming response from the tired, well drunk audience.



Another interesting new combo with familiar faces in the rank was Thunderstone whose self titled album has got praising reviews everywhere. It isn't a big surprise as all the members have been involved in the metal genre for app. 15 years or even more, so all the skills and talents should be under control. When Burning Point operates in the traditional metal genre, whereas Thunderstone's direction is more into the progressive with some power elements tied up.

It was kinda unbelievable to see all the reaction that Thunderstone received even though it was already 2AM(!) and the people had spent the whole sunny, hot and metallic day in the festival area.


Read on for Day 3...


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