TUSKA 2008 – SUNDAY
JOB FOR A COWBOY
How come is it even possible that someone has such a weird imagination to make up such a dumbass name for a band? Well, Job For A Cowboy is definitely one of the more weird and eccentric names seen for a while. Despite the jackass name, JFAC could be described as a deathmetalcore outfit more than easily. The Arizona metallers had faced the most nightmarish setback that a band can ever face as the singer had got a brutal throat infection and wasn’t able to scream at all. Instead he made quite a hat off from a head decision by doing a 45 minute set with any singing. Even though the whole idea may look nothing an absurd solution, but to be honest JFAC sounded even better and more enjoyable without the singing! The band’s technical death metal riffs sounded extreme vicious and brilliant. Even though the situation was quite absurd, but the band just proved by being a real energic and vital on the stage. Those riffs definitely sounded killer indeed.
Metalcore is making its long waited arrival at Tuska. The leading name of the whole metalcore genre is definitely Killswitch Engage whose previous gig at Nosturi was packed. Their first appearance at Tuska was more than welcomed amongst fans. However the old school metal fans decided to have a couple of beers. KillSwitch Engage is definitely an active and energic live band. Especially the guitarist appeared to be the wild boy of the band, talking all kinds of non-sense things. Maybe he had forgotten to take his needed medicine? The set consisted a plenty of know KSE songs such as “Arms Of Sorrow”, “My Last Serenade, “The End of Heartache” etc. The 75 minute set was concluded by "Holy Diver" by Dio. Actually, that showed more of the skills and capacity of the vocalist Howard Jones. Frankly that Dio cover tune could have been skipped and have some other KSE being on the setlist though. The audience indeed appreciated KSE by arranging tremendous circle pits and of course brutal smashing wall of death.
More brutal death metal from The US. with Dying Fetus was a great addition to the roster of Tuska alongside with Nile and Morbid Angel. Although Dying Fetus stands for the more brutal Yankee death metal, they had managed to have the whole area of the tent stage pretty much packed. The three piece delivered an one hour set consisting of songs selected from several outputs. Both the guitarist and the bassist equally shared the vocal duties. Seeing Dying Fetus was as fascinating watching as the rolling of a dishwasher. The band was an utterly deadly boring whereas their music literally slayed.
The ancient catacomb guards from Greenville, South Carolina – better known as Nile (I guess, he!), were also booked to Tuska festival in 2008. The band had already spread their tales about Egyptian mythology here in Finland 2 times, the last time was in November 2007 when they played together with the Finnish death metal squads Deathchain and Sotajumala.
The band´s latest album, ITHYPHALLIC, was received very good in Finland, so it was no wonder why so many people had arrived to see their heroes to the Sue-stage (which took place under a huge festival tent). The whole tent was packed right from the front row to far a grassy hill that was right there, about 20 metres outside of the tent. It was funny to see the really supportive crowd shouting Nile´s name from the top of their lungs, so basis for a good show, were already pretty favorable, I think.
When the band finally jumped on the stage, people were like one big screaming mass of raised fists, banging heads, sweat, rivetbands, etc. – the atmosphere was thick as the thickest blood. This time Nile also had a new face in the line-up: A session bassist named Chris Lollis (also in Lecherous Nocturne, in which Dallas Toler Wade is also a member of) who seemed to fit in well in the Nile live line-up. Watching the show, it can be honestly said that Nile´s technical, deeply atmospheric, darkened death metal is something that one cannot resist when witnessing these troops in a live situation. The band – metaphorically speaking, ripped its wild Finnish crowd apart by such raging, strongly Egyptian mythology-based on anthems as "Laying Fire Upon Apep", "Lashed to the Slave Stick", "Sarcophagus", "Ithyphallic", "Annihilation of the Wicked", "Black Seeds of Vengeance" – among others. Nile´s set was really intense, and it´s no wonder why they have reached such a level of success as they have among metal heads nowadays. Damn, this is what I call an entertaining live show. Good job from the Nile -camp, definitely!
Sacrifice unto Sebek
The Essential Salts
Laying Fire upon Apep
Lashed to the Slave Stick
Annihilation of the Wicked
Black Seeds of Vengeance
More folkrish, or whatever, Viking metal at Tuska……well why not as this type of metal seems to appeal to the Tuska audience. Tyr, hailing from the Faroe Islands, have gained a solid fanbase in Finland during the last few years which could be noticed when the tent stage area was full again. If Primordial did a real groundbreaking and capturing set a day before Tyr’s task was quite impossible to top that. The four piece lads take inspiration from their own culture reflecting in lyrics and the band’s outlook as well. The band spread the Faroe Island mystique around the area and managed to create the atmospheric feeling in the tent in front of the Finnish crowd.
Gandkvæði Tróndar (intro)
The Wild Rover
Hail to the Hammer
Ramund Hin Unge
Having Slayer finally play at teh Tuska Festival was a real victory for the whole festival organization because since the birth of Tuska they have insistently tried to get Slayer and now they finally made it after ten years of waiting. Although Slayer has never been at Tuska, they have been quite regular visitors to Finland since their very first time in here in 1998. since then they have stopped here on each tour, lastly on November 2006. Slayer released their latest studio release CHRIST ILLUSION earlier that year and apart from a six month break earlier in 2008 they have been constantly on tour supporting that album. Actually, this show was going to be their first after the break, so at least I was waiting what surprises band might have to offer this time. The show started with GOD HATES US ALL -album intro "Darkness of Christ" followed by "Disciple" and new album track "Cult". Right from the beginning it was clear that Slayer has not lost a bit of their exploding energy on stage. Slayer’s show was loud, raw, and the sold out crowd was into every single note. They played all their hits from "Raining Blood" and "Hell Awaits" to "War Ensemble" and "Angel of Death" but they did also four tracks from CHRIST ILLUSION. Many new tracks, especially "Jihad", have quickly become real Slayer classics which for its part proves that they still have something new to say. There were minor changes on the set list but otherwise not much has changed since the first time visited in Finland. No surprises, but there’s one special thing which must be mentioned here; Tom Araya has finally come to his senses and he had cut off his gray "Santa Claus" beard! That decision gives him some extra points although it must be said that his voice does not seem to be quite what it used to be in the past. Otherwise he was like always before, a stupid ass smile on his face, laughing hysterical between his stage raps but still playing his ass off. Watching the interplay between guitarist’s Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman is always very impressive. They’ve never been overly technical players, but there is always some amazing solo work between the two. Then there is Dave Lombardo on drums and he’s simply an amazing guy, one of the best in metal world, end of story. Overall, Slayer’s performance was very tight and the crowd seemed to love them. The show was not quite up to the level of some earlier shows what I’ve seen from them, but it was still great and they definitely earned their headliner spot at this year’s Tuska Festival.
Ghosts of War
Die by the Sword
Spirit in Black
Eyes of the Insane
Dead Skin Mask
Captor of Sin
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
Hell yes the Tuska open air metal festival was another tremendous success. Once again the whole weekend was totally packed by thousands of metal maniacs. The sea of black clothes was nothing, but an overwhelming metallic sight. That just proves that Finland is a pure metal country.
This year’s roster mostly covered the extreme stuff for extreme metal maniacs. Several old school traditional metalers were left to long for more traditional names to satisfy their needs and demands. However, it is difficult to please everyone. Over 10,000 truly enjoyed bands and above all during the Slayer set pits were raging and the wall-of-death was witnessed a couple of times. Morbid Angel unleashed a god of emptiness with Trey’s tormenting guitar solos.
Tuska was heavy and deadly thanks to the quality of the booked bands. Not only was the weather being hotter than hell, but so was the atmosphere.
Tuska’s pain and misery will continue next year with new tricks and new surprises for sure. Therefore it can be expected there will be some mindblowing bands in the line-up. Until then, see you in 2009… at Tuska again.