The second day of Tuska once offered a great deal of well-known and regular domestic bands who keep visiting every bloody Finnish festival every summer. For example, the Finnish attitude metallers Diablo have gained a solid following on the soil of their country as their latest album was catapulted into the national album chart. But to be honest it is kind of strange that Diablo keep playing in every small or large festival around Finland, not trying to get one step into festivals and tours outside of Finland. Well anyway, the 4-piece started hammering quite early in the afternoon and offered a set which could be described like a punch direct to the face, and hard. Obviously the band’s Finnish redneck attitude based sense of humour might not get understood as easily for foreigners, which is an essential part of the gig of Diablo. The band punished the Tuska crowd with the heavy and tight played set.
Well the little bastard brother of Children of Bodom, Northe, hit the stage with an extreme fast & furious attitude as they unleashed the fury on the smaller tent stage. The band hammered down a number of songs in less than one hour causing a ballistic reaction amongst the young fans screaming in the frontlines. The band didn’t offer any gimmicks, just raging like a tornado.
The cherishers of the Finnish national epos Kalevala, Amorphis, have been having a busy (gig-wise) year since the release of the band´s new album, ECLIPSE, which also was Amorphis´ first record on their new label, Nuclear Blast Records. The band started touring for this new album in March, and since then they have been doing gigs both in their home country Finland as well as in some other European countries – covering countries like Germany, France, The Netherlands, Poland, Austria and so on. As the festival season had just started, Amorphis were found from the bill of nearly every possible (important) national summer festival that are arranged here in Finland every year – the legendary Tuska Festival being naturally one of the biggest ones out of this whole pile.
When Amorphis finally crawled on stage, the whole venue was incredibly packed which was good for Amorphis. The band´s set contained a good selection of both old (“In the Beginning”, “Divinity”, etc.) and new songs (“Under the Soil of Black Stone”, “House of Sleep”, etc.). There was something for everyone, so it was hard to say anything bad about them as far as their songs are concerned. It must be said that Amorphis´ new frontman and vocalist Tommi Joutsen has brought new life into the band as the band members don´t like dead, stoned trees on stage any longer. They look upliftingly entertaining and energized while performing their songs for the crowd. Especially Tommi seemed to do his best to keep his massive dreadlocks going on in a relentless headbanging rotation. So let all the credits belong rightfully to him for his wild performance at the Tuska Festival. Who remembers the band´s previous vocalist Pauli Koskinen now when they have this skilled and great guy to front Amorphis? The fact is, Amorphis have started re-flourishing in their career both by the change of vocalist and label. Hopefully this progress in them will last for quite some time. So far, so good anyway…
In the Beginning
Under A Soil And Black Stone
Karelia > Sign from the North Side
House of Sleep
Opeth seemed to visit every second festival in Finland this summer. This isn’t a big surprise as the band’s success has grown tremendously during the last few years. That could be witnessed when the whole area of the frontstage was totally packed by thousands and thousands of fans. Opeth was easily suited to be the headliner of any day of the fest. The communication between the band and the massive crowd worked perfectly. Frontman Mikael Akerbelt is absolutely a man on a mission when it comes to being an amusing stand up comedian. It occasionally feels as if the man could start doing more of the comedian stuff when Opeth’s career is done and finished as the man’s funny as well as eccentric sense of humour made people laugh for sure. Somehow it feels kind of weird that this kind of progressive metal style seems to appeal to a number of people for one reason or another because Opeth’s difficult and progressive style isn’t the most typical and idealistic metal approach to be performed at huge outdoor metal festivals. As for the songs, well the set was kicked off with “The Grand Conjuration” and was followed by a plenty of mortal Opeth tunes like “The Amen Corner”, “White Cluster” and etc. The Swedish five piece did a solid and routine gig by keeping their interesting as well as complex style fresh with catchy hooks in their technical songs. Opeth definitely works well at an outdoor metal festival, better than expected in the first place.
Kids who got interested in metal in the late 90’s haven’t had the kind of opportunity of seeing and feeling the pure violent maelstrom of metal raging back then in the old days. It is quite obvious that kids born in the 80’s or the late 70’s and raised in the 90’s are mostly used to enjoying the more melodic metal approach such as Nigthwish and Dream Theater. For example, the Dutch band Epica is quite a good example of this as the sextet operates in the melodic and atmospheric approach and is fronted by a hot looking red haired chick. Of course this sort of package appeals to the bigger mainstream audience for sure, even though the tent turned out to be less than fully packed. The stuff isn’t groundshaking even though some catchy tunes “Mother Of Light” sounded magnificent indeed. But the young hot looking chick is really eye capturing and increases the interest to keep eyes open. Epica can easily be added to the growing list of European melodic metal female fronted bands. All right, time to go to see Venom finally.
Dance of Fate
Cry for the Moon
Mother of Light
Consign to Oblivion
The legendary British black metal trio Venom definitely set new levels of volume at the SwedenRock festival by giving a real lesson in true old school black metal. But unexpected problems literally plagued the beginning of the set at Tuska festival resulting in Cronos being forced to do a one man show by relying on the force of all evilness of the bass whereas guitarist Mykes struggled with technical problems. Frankly “Welcome To Hell” sounded quite weird with the bass thundering with drums on the background. But Cronos’ strong and huge showman charisma on the stage can easily fill up one lousy stage, even other members are more or less in their own static roles. On the other hand, a shitload of Marshall amplifiers placed on the stage gave rather a hilarious impression of Venom’s weird sense of humour to show how much they kind of rely on the loudness and the power even though the sounds had been turned to the normal bearable level.
The whole set was a real firework of oldschool black metal of the 80’s even though newer material had been added for example “Burn In Hell”. It was more than obvious the older material had a dominating grip in the night’s set. The order of the songs had been fixed and changed a little bit since Swedenrock as the trio kicked the set off with “Black Metal” which instead concluded the gig at Swedenrock. Unfortunately, Venom wasn’t that convincing and older material didn’t get the prestigious handling at Tuska. The whole performance in Finland was closer to the Spinal Tap effect than reaching and having a feeling of being at war with Satan. Instead it would be extremely brilliant if Venom roared in the smoky club environment.
Welcome to Hell
In Nomine Satanas
1000 Days in Sodom
At War with Satan (shortened version)
Don’t Burn the Witch
Burn in Hell
Encore: Witching Hour