Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2005 – Helsinki Finland

August 28th, 2005
by Arto Lehtinen

The Second Day ? Saturday

Deathchain

Finland?s probably the most promising deathrashing messiahs Deathchain have proved already that when they enter onstage, they are not only there to play for their audience, but also to kill their audience. The band?s intensity level is kinda unmatched yet extraordinary in a live situation, and their early spot on the main stage didn?t make any exception either. The band has been growing as a really tight live band over the years and it all shines through their live appearance whenever they get a chance to start nailing their audience to the ground. In my opinion there was simply no single weak moment in Deathchain?s live show when their furious deaththrasing hammering got started on the main stage. The band proved to be in an energetic live shape just like they have always been, and the band?s performance was absolutely excellent from every possible aspect. What surprised me pretty much actually, their live sound was blessed a truly crystal-clear yet still all-annihilating live sound. They sounded even better than most of the bands on Friday that seemed to have some problems to get a proper live sound for themselves. Deathchain?s live sound didn?t lack anything; it was nearly a top-notch perfect ? and it could be said that an enjoyment level amongst those festival people who had gathered to witness them this early in the morning, was soon raised up to the roof. And yes, as summa summarum, the Deathchain ?camp did play a killer set – and yes, they indeed killed.          

 

 

Naglfar

Before the Swedish maestros of blasphemy and blackish terror conquered the stage, it was so delightful to find out people were really waiting for Nalgfar?s set to begin as the whole tent was nearly fully packed by metalheads of many different ages. This was Nalgfar?s first ever live appearance in Finland (feel free to correct me if I?m totally wrong about this, ok folks?), so at least the band?s Finnish fans were in a somewhat anxious state of mind, waiting to see their heroes finally in front of them and getting ready to be slaughtered by Nalgfar?s well thought-out hybrid of both Black ? and Death Metal.

Naglfar had lost their charismatic vocalist and founding member Jens Ryd?n a year ago due to his educational reasons, so one might have thought the band had come to the end of its road. Luckily a perfect replacement was found from inside the band as the band?s bassist Kristoffer W. Olivius stepped forth and took the vocal duties for himself. When ?A Swarm of Plagues? off Naglfar?s new album PARIAH started piercing through the audience?s ears, it became very evident at this early point of their set already, the band would hardly have found a better choice behind the microphone. Kristoffer sounded and looked extremely convincing, being obviously the best choice for Naglfar as a luminary frontman as if he was meant to sound and look like in the first place. Just perfect?

As for their set itself, it was a somewhat pleasing combination of both new ? and old material. 3 songs off PARIAH (?A Swarm of Plagues?, ?Spoken Words of Venom? and ?The Perpetual Horrors?), 2 songs off SHEOL (?I Am Vengeance? and ?Wrath of the Fallen?) and ?12th Rising? and ?The Brimstone Gate? off DIABOLICAL plus the old Naglfar classic ?When Autumn Storms Come? pretty much satisfied most of the fans that had gathered to see the band?s malicious and savage sounding cavalcade of songs. It would have been nice if they had played even one song off the band?s highly embraced debut album VITTRA album as well, but obviously the guys don?t feel too comfortable with playing those songs any more. I gotta admit at least that I did enjoy somewhat immensely these Swedes? performance; it was amongst one of the best and most convincing live performances at Tuska 2005. Just my opinion tho. 

A Swarm of Plagues
Spoken Words of Venom
When Autumn Storms Come
Wrath of the Fallen
12th Rising
I Am Vengeance
The Brimstone Gate
The Perpetual Horrors

The Naglfar -bunch found the time to pose for Metal-Rules.com… ,,/ 

 

Mnemic

The Danish aggro metallers Mnemic already made a visit to Finland in January at the Finnish Metal Expo. Presumably the organization of the Tuska festival got convinced about the ability of Mnemic?s stage performance and skills to take their audience because of  Mnemic had been given a weird opportunity of being on the main stage as the second band of the second day. Well these Danish modern aggro metallers are a real vital live band indeed as their hair kept spinning roughly during 60 minutes and especially the vocalist Michael Bogballe turned out to be a relentless frontman as running and jumping around on the stage like a bunny on rabies. It was obvious Bogballe had adopted the almost same stage manners like Phil Anselmo used to have in his heyday in Pantera. But unfortunately the Danish own little Anselmo didn?t have as much as the credibility as his idol, because of his stage manners need mandatory improvements indeed in terms of winning the audience on the band?s side and having the needed stage charisma. Well at least the guy would definitely have needed a new belt that he wouldn?t have had to pull his extra large pants up every second minute. In the long run the Danish boys? simply and pointless riff after riff stuff, more or less being influenced by In Flames, Messuggah, SYL, Fear Factory, started sounding damn boring and monotous  in the long run and the interest got lost after following their action after a while. Frankly their stuff definitely lacks the required originality indeed and as stated above all the typical aggro elements borrowed from other bands of the same type had been recycled in their own material. Quite boring to be honest.  By the way Michael, keep your tongue in your mouth next time cos you are not Gene Simmons.

Ajattara

?Ajattara have split up and all gigs have been  cancelled? was announced last spring until a few days later the ?Ajattara haven?t split up and will do Tuska? statement was sent to the media. What a mess indeed. Obviously the concept within Ajattara was quite badly in the mess, cos those kinds of announcements were published every second day. Anyway Ajattara fronted by the former Amorphis and surprise surprise current Mannhai vocalist/frontman Pasi Koskinen however rose on the stage to deliver the blackish paganish dark metal sung in the native Finnish language on the Sue stage.
When following the Ajattara guys on the stage, the reality is definitely utter clear the whole heathen kingdom of Ajattara is entirely surrounded by the vocalist?s dismal charisma whereas as the rest of the band, featuring f.ex the Amorphis guitarist in the rank, was more or less in some sort of static?s role, like mostly standing more in the background when the black haired frontman spread the darkish blasphemic lyrics to the landscape of the Kaisaniemi park. Comparing Amorphis to Ajattara together is kinda pointless, it is needed to point out the Amorphis guitarist Koivusaari happened to be an extraordinary movable and activate on the stage for a change as in a normal live situation with the man is known for looking bored and inactive when doing gigs with his main band Amorphis.
Generally Ajattara?s gig didn?t offer and bring anything new and all the mandatory well-known heathen hymns of Ajattara got played.

 

Gamma Ray

The German metal assault continued when third name representing the frontline of the German scene stepped out on the main stage to deliver the new world order in this metal dreamland. Hansen?s Gamma Ray already visited extremely successfully to Tuska as one of the main headliners already back in 2000 by playing a long and energic set in front of enthusiastic Finnish audiece. A following night Gamma Ray made a surprise gig in the local rock club by playing in front of 10 people digging them..Weird.. Rapidly back to 2005 when Gamma Ray kicked the set off with New World Order and continued the power metal fireworks by playing Man On A Mission and a helluva lot. The band?s happy and stirring songs made the packed area sing along and fists kept swinging in the air pretty wildly. But unfortunately the whole 60 minute set was plagued by several unwanted and unexpected technical problems ruining Richer?s playing quite badly that Hansen had to make up something clever to say to fill up the free time. According to Hansen, they will be playing a hell lot more of new songs from the new upcoming album on the forthcoming tour and he demanded  the crowd to shout the title of the new album MAJESTIC loud and hard. After some technical problems had been fixed Gamma Ray did the one only song called Blood Religion off from that new album. The song sounded nothing but the Gamma Ray?ish Power Metal maelstorm. The band was however in a damn good mod and strike and especially the hired gun behind the keyboard from Finland handled his job damn well indeed. Obviously technical problems weren?t over as Bassist Dirck Schlacter kicked a couple of times his amps and speakers. However the german power metal tornado soldiered on and continued their Tuska appearance with the legendary Helloween tune ?I Want Out? and you readers can?t believe how loud the Finnish sang that song by heart? It is pretty much sure Gamma Ray will be seen on the soil of Finland on their upcoming tour?

 

New World Order 
Man on a Mission
Rebellion in a Dreamland 
Land of the Free 
Blood Religion 
Armageddon
Heavy Metal Universe 
I Want Out

Pain Confessor

The line-up of the Tuska 2004 was a full of Swedish melo death or whatever bands from Gothenburg. Fortunately those Swedish melo metallers weren?t booked this time as the domestic Pain Confessor was a more welcomed one in Tuska 2005 after visiting the warm-up party of Tuska last year. The band was vicious and played tight together and even the band?s guitarist threw a band around his wrist to the crowd and definitely sacrificed blood and tears while molesting the guitar and above all his hand with the pain, but the honour.  The set was kicked off by Lake Of Regret and was continued by Soul Eraser and of course a plenty of other ass kicking tunes. When the stuff is wild and aggressive, so it can?t be expected from a band like Pain Confessor that they wouldn?t remain in one shot growing roots on the stage. Instead they were literally on fire, especially the Finnish grand old thrasher Vesa S?kkinen moved around the stage like an electric bunny. A killer band indeed !!

 

Lake of Regret
Soul Eraser
Whenever Dark Draws Near
Pathetic Little Soul
Underworld
Poor Man’s Crown
Powderburns
Butterfly
Just Names Remain

 

Rotten Sound

Rotten Sound?s nihilistic inhuman grinding mauling punching has already reached the mainstream interest in Finland as their albums are more or less typical sight on the national album top 40 chart. Four rotten to the core guys on the stage unleashed one hell of a brutal terrorizing and earspiercing experience by delivery a 60 minute grinding cacophonic noiseworld to the audience of the festival. Despite Rotten Sound kicked their set off without their wellknown blood covered mad butcher look it didn?t prevent them from raging on the stage. When the human drumming machine Kai Haahto started giving a lesson of how to do the right blastbeats, followed by Tony Laureano aside by the way, other Rotten Sound members quickly tipped their rotten bodies to the blood looklike color and continued their violent grinding attack. The band?s brutal visual look and restless and wild stage performance are real trademarks of this band?s uncompromising grip and attitude which always proves Rotten Sound on the stage are worth checking out in order to be able to enjoy their infernal chaotic, but controlled, grinding stuff. Before the end was reached the XXI track was dedicaded to the late Nasum frontman. If you are into and want more and more brutal and grinding chaotic maelstorm, Rotten Sound is for you on albums and above all on the stage?

Maggots
Slave
V.S.A.
Follow
Perfection
Corporal Fuck
Strongman
Targets
Suffer
Obey
Exit
Burden
Sell your Soul
Slay
Western Cancer
Nation
XXI
War

Testament

Let?s take a rapid historical glance at Testament?s visits to Finland before analysing Testament?s ass kicking gig at the festival. The legendary Bay Area thrashers already visited Finland back in 1992 as an opening act for Iron Maiden without causing any bigger fuss in the metal audience. Once again years rolled until 2000 Testament hit the soil of Finland by playing in a small club with a renewed line-up in front of a handful people. Then once again in 2004 Testament did a visit to Finland by doing a festival date at Provinssi Rock with a few faces in the rank, but missing Eric Petersson from the line-up. 
Finally 2005, frankly it has to be admitted the organization of the Tuska festival definitely hit the real jackpot by getting Testament with the classic line-up booked to the festival. Originally the thrash pentad was supposed to arrive at Finland with Digiorgio, Bostaph, Metal Mike and of course Chuck Billy and Eric Petersson, but in the wake of raging reunion boom all around the whole line-up concept went entirely upside down on the eve of the Dynamo Festival when Loiue Clement, Greg Christian and the guitar wizard Alex Skolnick returned back to the rank. With this classic line-up the Bay Area thrashers after all landed to Finland after several speculations about if they are coming or not.

It wasn?t any unexpected surprise and wonder to witness the large range of the main stage was a full of people willing to see this classic Testament line-up in action after several years. The set was kicked off with The Preacher followed by The New Order. As a matter of fact as it was widely known the combo would rather stick to the songs off from the five albums where this classic line-up played, just ignoring LOW, DEMONIC and THE GATHERING completely from the night?s setlist. Frankly the setlist of Testament equally and mainly consisted of the stuff from the first two albums THE LEGACY and NEW ORDER. Picking up the ballad oriented The Legacy off from SOULS OF BLACK was a kinda strange choice as for example Testament have done the same titled song of the album several times during the few last years at other festivals. But as it was stated earlier the material of the first two played caused a more ballistic reaction amongst the audience.  

 

As for the band?s appearance on the stage, well Chuck Billy is definitely one hell of a charismatic frontman of Testament as his look, big size and above all his voices are the key factors in the Testament concept creating an unforgettable Testament show for anyone. He knows how to take the audience and especially his wide capacity to use his massive voice in different parts of different kinds of songs definitely creates a real magical touch capturing the audience by putting them under the spellbound.
Louie Clemente, whom drumming skills have been criticized, handled all the drumming responsibilities in the expected professional way even though he has been absent from the Testament rank over a decade and rumoured not to have touch drum sticks since the departure. But Alex Skolnick could be considered as the core of the band. It was more than obvious several older Testament fans kept their eyes open and aimed on his playing and in general Alex Skolnick?s stage appearance during the whole 60 minute set. It was a sort of hilarious from Chuck Billy to ask the audience to cheer up for Alex Skolnick playing solos with eyes closed. Even guitarist Eric Petersson remained more on the background when Alex shined with his solos. Everything worked and thrashed perfectly until Skolnick?s amp got literally blown up and had to be replaced to a new one.

Testament gave a good lesson to the younger extreme thrash generation of how to play ass kicking and catchy thrash hymns. It is pretty much sure the younger ones got to learn something special and magnificent while watching the Bay Area metal legends on the stage.
To be honest Testament would have deserved to be a headliner especially on Friday instead of Monster Magnet as the festival area was completely packed by thousands of metal heads digging the legendary Testament songs. 

 

The Preacher
The New Order
The Haunting
Electric Crown
Sins of Emission
Practice What You Preach
The Legacy
Alone in the Dark
Over the Wall
Trial by Fire
Raging Waters
Disciple of the Watch

 

Luxi (Metal-Rules.com) & Chuck (Testament) know how to show sign of a metalhead… ,,/

 

Thunderstone

It seems like Thunderstone never manages to gain their place on the mainstage even though thunderstoners stand for the frontline of the Finnish power/heavy metal genre. But on the other hand being on the small stave gives other kinds of advantages as well as vibes for a band like having a more intensive raging feeling on that smaller stage and of course having a closer connection to their audience. At least that closer connection in the photo pit could be felt when a couple of dozens of photographers had packed to the pit in order to take pics of the band when guitar wizard Nino banged his head up and down with the ultimate rage, whereas vocalist Rantanen kept hassling his mic stand and restlessly moved all around the stage, bassist Titus ( the band?s own streaker, who is rumoured to have shown his family jewels to the Testament guys) banged with his bass and spinned his hairmop with the intensive passion as well. It looked like the Thunderstone guys had managed to charge a little bit too much energy and relentless rage to their batteries for their Tuska show, cos judging by their older gigs they have mostly behaved quite calmly. At least it looked pretty good and even wilder indeed. The thunderstoners did a normal set by covering songs picked from the three albums, but for obvious reasons focusing on the material of the third album. Hopefully the sons of the thunder will be getting an opportunity of playing on the main stage.    

Without Wings
Tool of the Devil
Liquid of the Kings
Forth into the Black
Let the Demons Free
I Will Come
Eyes of a Stranger
Until We Touch the Burning Sun

Dimmu Borgir

The Norwegian Black Metal giants Dimmu Borgir were privileged to be the official headliner of the second day as the six piece messangers enjoy a massive following on the soil of Finland. Even the dark clouds once again gathered around the festival area, but without raining, when the masked black metal patrol started giving the lesson in violence as Shagrath announced in the middle of the set. The whole area was entirely packed when the opening intro roared out of monikers and was followed by a bunch of known DB tunes, but for obvious reason the set consisted of songs picked up from their latest album. The vocalist Shagrath used to wear a long leather jacket and an old school HellHammer t-shirt. Instead of Galdar, known for being the mastermind of Old Mans Child, looked as hilarious as always with his eccentric way of having so called ?evil facelifts? on the stage. The volume level had been increased a little bit higher after Testament, but was, however, still enjoyable and bearable. As all of you are supposed to know the Dimmus have undergone several drummers since Nick Barker pulled out of the band, but for the Tuska appearance they had managed to utilize services of the highly ranked drummer named Tony Laureno who has gained the reputation in Nile and Angelcorpse before. The vocal duties were divided equally between Shagrath, who handled the brutal vocal delivery, whereas bassist ICS Vortex (known as Simen Hestn?s)  took care of  the more symphonic, or let?s say more opera based delivery. The visual side on the stage was handled with excellent light techniques as red, blue and other light spots gave nice variety to the show and created a real nice looking visual light show despite of the fact the evening could have been a bit darker for a band like Dimmu Borgir. Darkness is Dimmu Borgir?s home after all, so…

The Dimmus concluded their 60-minute set by one of the most known songs called “Mourning Palace”. Even though the set was kind of short from them generally, the Dimmu?s Tuska -appearance sounded damn cool even if it didn?t offer any unexpected surprises compared to their gigs in Finland during the previous years. And yes, there were incredibly many ridiculous looking ?wanna-be-gothic? or whatever Black Metal clowns amongst the audience, all these kids wearing these somewhat stupid looking clothes and make-ups who most probably had come to worship their heroes only. It was honestly amusing to see them that many here and there in the crowd honest, but I guess these “posers? are allowed to be like… (eh?), … ?posers?.

    

Intro
Vredesbyrd
Cataclysm Children
Kings of the Carnival Creation
Reptile
Master of Disharmony
Unorthodox Manifesto
Spellbound (by the Devil)
Stormbl?st
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Mourning Palace – In Death’s Embrace


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Posted in 2005 | Comments (0)




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