Jalometalli Festival – Oulu, Finland – August 15th & 16th 2008

October 17th, 2008
by Arto Lehtinen

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The 15th -16th of August 2008

Oulu Teatria Finland

Review and pictures by Arto Lehtinen, Niko Karppinen and Luxi Lahtinen


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Finland is definitely one hell of a paradise for metalheads as there are five to six metal festivals arranged all around Finland during the summer time. One of those metal festivals which has started becoming more and more known is Jalometalli up in the north of Finland. The whole festival started as a small event, mostly consisting of local bands. Jalometalli has since grown, attracting plenty of killer and catchy names such as Onslaught, Testament, and Rotting Christ.  This year’s event was no exception with several first time visitors such as Overkill, Trouble and Mortal Sin. It is obvious most of these bands have been all time favs of the Jalometalli organization. The festival is not a big massive gathering of tens of thousands of people. Instead, the event is a small, true, intense metal event with visitors having travelled from far away. This is the very first time ever when Jalometalli festival is covered by Metal-Rules.com. And if you live somewhere in the northern part of Sweden, Norway or Russia, start seriously considering having a roadtrip to the next Jalometalli event as the line-up of 2009 will surely be full of pleasant surprises…
Enjoy the article and some video clips in it, too! 

 Friday, August 15th 2008

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MASTERSTROKE

Masterstroke kicked the annual Jalometalli off by delivering solid and well played melodic traditional metal. It is a mistaken thought that traditional metal is dead, buried and forgotten. Instead these youngsters definitely play good old metal with a modern twist proving traditional metal is still kicking hard. Even though the five piece have unleashed a couple of albums, they have remained criminally unknown even in Finland. Only a handful of people had arrived on time to check out Masterstroke, but that is the curse of being the opening band of the first day unfortunately.

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PRESTIGE


Amongst the first bands in the Jalometalli festival I had a pleasure to hear were Finnish thrash metalers Prestige straight from the 80s.  These fellow metalheads released a compilation in 2007 and almost straight after that we heard rumors that the band planned to make comeback or at least perform a couple of gigs in Finland, just for fun.

This really was the case with Prestige as this band always have had a wink in their eye when performing their thrashy attack on stage. At Prestige’s gigs you won’t get too involved with a dead serious attitude at all – which is really refreshing amongst many other metal bands. This band always had humor in their songs. They started with “Force of my Hate” and I really like how their sound remains exactly as if it were still the 80s. It is like no time has passed since the last time I saw them playing (that was around 1992 I think). The guys have since gained a little weight and are actually right now looking more credible on stage than 20 years ago. It looks like Örkki (Jan Yrlund) is still playing the same guitar that he played in 80’s as well!

“Angels Cry” from the first album ATTACK AGAINST GNOMES kicked off. Their lead singer Aku also warned the youngsters about the dangers of drugs by playing the song “Dead by Drugs”. Who says that  thrash metal isn’t educational! “Punishment”, “Gods”, and “Brain Outburst” followed from Prestige’s GODS demo which was originally released in 1988. We also got to hear “Naughty Granny” from the SELLING THE SALVATION album. After that it was time to get to know the punkier side of Prestige. We heard a couple of Finnish h/c-songs from the VEIJO EP and of course the last song of the set was the title-song “Veijo”. Anyways Prestige’s set was really fresh amongst the openers of the festival and I was happy to see them playing live again. I bet that this gig gave a good picture to the youngsters about Prestige who haven’t been able check them before. Hey guys, still missing that Bad Religion cover on your set…

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ADASTRA

Traditional metal delivery was followed by Adastra whose albums have both been released via Violent Journey Records. The five piece out of Helsinki got on the stage to continue the melodic heavy metal approach but with a little bit of an old school sounding delivery. The Adastra guys weren’t in that good form on stage as the general impression of the band’s performance was kind of mellow. The band’s old school metal didn’t sound that convincing.

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SADISTIC INTENT

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Jalometalli festival, which is annually arranged in Oulu, Finland, needs some praise for bringing over some of these rarely seen metal bands to their festival that many other metal festivals in Finland, seem to ignore.

Getting to see such a legendary underground death metal act like Sadistic Intent all the way from Los Angeles, California, to Jalometalli festival, was the main reason for me personally to get my luggage packed and my flight booked to Oulu weeks before the actual metal fest took place in that particular northernmost metal mecca of Finland.

Sadistic Intent have a really long history as a band (formed in 1987!), but as strange as it may sound to some of you, they still haven´t recorded their debut full-length album within the 21-years of the band´s existence. That situation is about to change soon if the signs from the thundering sky are anything to be believed in.

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When Sadistic Intent finally entered the main stage at 7:20pm for their 50-minute slot that was reserved for them, one could tell – according to the size of the metal crowd - that many of these metalheads had traveled to Jalometalli festival this year because of Sadistic Intent. The crowd´s supportive "Sadistic… Intent!" shouts, from all around the entire area, brought the band on the stage while the Sadistic Intent guys started giving their first lesson in old-school death metal by playing "Conflict Within" off from their RESURRECTION mini-album (1994). It was a real wake-up call for every die-hard metalhead for some real, pummeling death metal that had dragged his/her ass to see these LA death metal veterans in action.

Sadistic Intent´s sort of ´Possessed-meets-early-Morbid-Angel´ type of evil and brutal old-school death metal sank well into the madly raging Finnish metal audience – and the more the band smashed crucifixes on the stage in form of their classic songs ("Untimely End", "Lurking Terror", "Funerals Obscure", etc.), the more people seemed to go nuts in front of their masters.

Sadistic Intent´s show was in all honesty, an incredible tour de force of what real old-school death metal is supposed to be all about. It´s supposed to be evil, heavy, brutal and first and foremost, making one feel like: "I don´t wanna watch any other bands after this. This band did rule so much…!!".

Sadistic Intent did so indeed - hell yeah, they did! We need to get them back to Finland again…SOON!

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MORTAL SIN

Thrash metal from Australia at Jalometalli. Where else can be expected to have an opportunity of digging an Australian thrash metal if not at Jalometalli. Mortal Sin made a triumphant debut gig at Jalometalli in Finland. The band’s everlastingly vital frontman Mat Maurer appeared to be as relentless as at Wacken. The man banged his massive hair brutally while singing. However, both the guitarists were not out of darkness and mostly focused on playing. In contrast, bassist Eftichiou ran and jumped all around the stage. The set, for obvious reasons, consisted of the new material like "Dead Man Walking" and of course plenty of classic songs. The five piece hammered down the old school thrash metal to the Finnish crowd who thanked and arranged some kind of pit when one of those older songs “I am the Immortal” cut through the air.  

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POSSESSED


IMG_3569 copy.jpgAt the first glance Possessed was one of the most interesting bands at Jalometalli 2008, one of those ´must-see´ bands on the bill of this year’s festival. It’s been said that Possessed actually started the whole death metal genre in 1983 when band was founded. Looking back in the history, this band is one of the most legendary acts together with Slayer, Metallica and Venom. It could be said that all these aforementioned bands were the main reason that death, black, and thrash metal were even born. Enough ‘bout the history lesson though; I was excited to see Possessed playing live.

Possessed kicked on stage and I have to say that when they started to play “The Heretic” I was ready to follow them straight to hell. We got to hear “Tribulation” as well such as material from their first album: “Pentagram”, “Burning In Hell”, ”Holy Hell” and “The Exorcist”.  I was happy to see that Sadistic Intent guys didn’t fail us; they played so damn tightly and supported Becerra’s vocals really well (it was also extremely satisfying to witness Sadistic Intent’s own set which was among the best in the whole festival and I’m eagerly waiting when I’m going to see them in Finland again!!! (Right Luxi??).

While the SI guys concentrate on playing, Mr. Becerra’s concentration is on vocal duties… The start of the set worked out really well but in the end it was pretty clear that King Alcohol have had a meeting with Becerra and therefore we got to hear for example “No Will To Live” twice. To put this straight Becerra mentioned the song when the band was about to play “The Exorcist” and played “No Will to Live” after this…Well shit happens sometimes folks! I was happy to hear stuff from the “Eyes of Horror” as well “My Belief” was one of songs on the set.

Ok. Some of you dear readers might be wondering where are one of most legendary songs from Possessed – “Death Metal”? We almost heard that… The band got on stage about 10 minutes too late which means that we only heard a drum fill from start of the song after the staff of Jalometalli interrupted the show! This was the only noticeable moment in the whole festival that I might say the staff should have reconsidered this particular action.  We’ve waited for Possessed for 25 years to appear in Finland (for you who are not familiar with the facts, Possessed played their first gig ever in Finland at Jalometalli 2008), so to speak I think it’s unfair for the crowd to let them suffer because of this decision. Afterwards I heard that band originally planned to play “Fallen Angel” after “Death Metal” which is a personal favorite of mine. So you can feel my deepest depression and sense my wrath about this! I can only rejoin Becerra’s reply to the crowd “I’m sorry. They won’t let us play more”. Anyway, the gig was ok. It could have been even better for the several reasons I’m not going to analyze here. Thank you Sadistic Intent and thanks Jeff Becerra. This at least proved to us that Possessed cannot exist without Becerra and I can only hope that we will have the chance to see the band in Finland again! POSSESSED Interview and liveclips

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BLITZKRIEG

The legendary new wave of the British heavy metal outfit Blitzkrieg got on the stage to remind the young festival audience of the basic roots of the true British metal of the 80’s. Iron Maiden has conquered the world from the north to the south, and from east to west, but other outfits of that genre have disappeared, split up and temporarily reactivated, mostly enjoying a cult following. Blitzkrieg definitely belongs to the latter group still having a cult following. Therefore the band pulled a quite nice crowd to check out good old British heavy metal. The combo is known for the famous Blitzkrieg song covered by one "tiny" metal band from San Francisco. Brian Ross looks scary with dark glasses and black suit, but let’s be honest, Blitzkrieg handled their job fine, but didn’t cause that beserk feeling.

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OVERKILL


overkill 1 copy.jpgIt was time for us to witness the band from New Jersey, USA. When keeping in mind that Overkill have never quit, never even had a break during the years and the band was founded in 1980! Only two original members are still in the lineup – D.D. Verni and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. I have to say that their career has been somewhat amazing. They started their set with “Necroshine” and after followed “Bastard Nation”, third cut was “Hello from the Gutter” which I might say warmed everybody up. My attention got hooked with the band’s professional attitude which was clearly seen by the way they worked on stage. Overkill worked like a well oiled machine and I believe the crowd felt that too, their set was one the highlights of the whole festival. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth joked during the breaks that everybody should do diving because it’s the only way to have a body like he has – he was really in good shape and looked more like a sportsman than just the lead singer of a metal band.

It was good to hear “Elimination” from the Years of Decay album and finally I got to wake up when band played “Hammerhead” from their first album. I looked around all I saw was just smoke, lights and moshpits everywhere which was telling me that the crowd had gone insane. More was on the way; we got to hear “Wrecking Crew” and I have to say it was one the definitive highlights of the set. “Rotten to the Core” worked out well too, OverKill did (in my opinion) only one bad cut when they played N.Y. hardcore-style song which was “Old School”. I believe this would have been better to leave some other original N.Y. hardcore group to play… After a short break and guitar soloing we were ready to hear the last songs of the set. I think we heard what we all were after to: “In Union We Stand” before playing the song Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth dedicated this particular song to the brotherhood of metal and I can only agree with that. We got to hear perhaps the best song from Overkill; the crowd was shouting their lungs off while singing the chorus with the band. The ending was predictable as the last song was “Fuck You!” it was time for us to bow down and thank sincerely the mighty Overkill for the good set.

Overkill was definitely worth seeing and hearing. They proved with their set at Jalometalli that they’re in great shape – still. I was only expecting more old songs from the first two albums but I guess that you can’t have it all. It would be nice to hear Overkill playing indoors, but at least this gig on the main stage left a little hunger to hear more… OVERKILL live at Jalometalli

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TURISAS

Turisas had been selected to follow the first opening band. Despite this, Turisas was the last one on the bill, but Overkill was definitely the headliner of the day for obvious reasons. Thousands of people had gathered to the dark indoor hall to witness the Turisas freaks. Their folk or whatever battle metal was received more than extremely well by the audience. Turisas have become like a journey to Varangia. The six-piece’s bombastic and even symphonic pagan folk metal worked extremely well in the hall environment which was almost utterly dark. The frontman, Warlord Nygård, looks like an extreme relentless wildman with the fur battle costume. Both violinist and accordion player played an important role in the band, creating that folkish pagan metal soundworld. The set consisted of songs picked up from both their albums, but it has to be admitted songs off from THE VARANGIAN WAY sounded brilliant in the live situation.

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Saturday, August 16th 2008

 

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KALMAH

The local  Northenmost metallers have had such a nice festival season as having made a visit to Tuska and finally made to Jalometalli. Unfortunately only a handful of people had arrived on time to witness the northernmost swamp metallers in action. Once again the vocalist/guitarist Pekka Kokko made weird eccentric speeches and told odd symbolic fairytales between songs. Despite the early playing time and lousy attendance Kalmah survived as a Northenmost winner after all.

 

 

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DESASTER

"Another old-band dug up from the grave", some might say without knowing the truth. I have to admit that I was hearing Desaster for the very first time at Jalometalli. As one of the oldest bands at the festival (almost as old as Sadistic Intent) Desaster hit new levels in this year’s festival with their black-death-thrash-metal. Their stuff reminds me just a little bit of old Celtic Frost; add some Venom and some German-oriented heavy metal on it, and you’ll have a cocktail which is pretty close to Desaster.

Desaster was one of the most positive performers in this year’s Jalometalli. An old fart like me was totally sold when I heard the band playing inside on the 2nd stage. They gave a really strong performance which I daresay is not very well known in the Finnish metal scene. Giant lead singer Satanic was really an impressive entity on stage and this guy has quite an evil grunt! As the rest of the band performed strongly throughout the gig there will be no complaints at all about the Desaster’s set. My opinion is that this band would have belonged to the main stage – definitely! My problem was that I didn’t know their songs at all but I will be more prepared when the next time comes. I suppose that set list also contained stuff from their latest album SATAN’S SOLDIERS SYNDICATE. After listening to that album I can only recommend this band to all fans of death-thrash. Check ‘em out! Killer stuff from Germany!

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EVOCATION

Old school Swedish death metal was the name of the game when Evocation hit the stage. Well even though the band used to be around in the heydays of death metal in the early 90’s, they mostly remained in the catacombs of the underground. In 2007 the debut album saw the light of day, since then the five-piece has constantly been gigging all around and landed at Jalometalli. Obviously the band is rather unknown or something, as only a handful of people had gathered to check out Evocation. The Swedish death metallers didn’t give a damn and unleashed 45 minutes of pure old school Swedish death metal. The combo rampaged through plenty of songs from the debut album. When Evocation spreads their name around, I think much more people will aware of and want to see Evocation live.

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BARATHRUM

Finnish black-metal pioneers Barathrum emerged on to stage. The frontman Demonos Sova had already started the evening if you know what I mean. Sova had corpse-paint in his faces and he was wearing a military cap which was odd enough so I was interested to see what Barathrum has to offer. I have to say that the band sounded pretty well balanced and musically their gig was okay. Barathrum’s set contained old material as well which gave us a good picture of their discography. At one point of the gig the band wanted to shout out the crowd and it looked like the audience didn’t do it good enough to satisfy Demonos Sova who therefore decided show them some balls. If you know the saying “bringing balls to rock” in this case it was merely “bringing balls to the audience”…Otherwise Barathrum had a good set and it sounded like the crowd had fun too.

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SOTAJUMALA

Brutal death metal by Sotajumala was nothing but a merciless mauling from the beginning to the end. The vocalist Mynni definitely has become a dominating stage personality with a grim evil staring though the eyes of dead look and the man’s heavily tattooed body with several piercings only create more charisma. Mynni has absolutely learnt a lesson in violence when gigging with Sotajumala. He controls the audience by commanding them to smash each other in the pit and encouraging them to arrange a wall-of-death. As stated above, Sotajumala’s set provided deadly brutality throughout the 50 minute set. Sotajumala’s gig proved the band has become an extremely vicious warmachine on the stage.

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ASTRAL DOORS

Astral Doors is a relatively unknown band in Finland though having put out a number of killer albums based on the traditional metal approach. Especially the band’s vocalist, Nils Patrik Johansson, has gained fame and glory in other bands such as Lions Share, Space Odyssey, and the mighty Wuthering Heights. Nils has an amazing voice but it is kind of a shame that he hasn’t got that needed and deserved attention. The Swedish six piece did a solid and guaranteed hard rocking set. Well Astral Doors didn’t offer any surprise, just classy old school heavy metal!

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MAYHEM

I was excited to see this band on the main stage but have to admit I had no clue what we were about to see next. Having severed pig-heads around the stage, lots of blood on the floor, or a Santa Claus straight from hell? Attila came on stage with the band and he was wearing some sort of “Slipknot-mask” and wandering around with a noose. The rest of the band sounded great and Hellhammer certainly was doing his best and proved why he’s marked as one of the best metal-drummers in the whole world. This guy’s truly amazing! Attila’s voice sounded curious. I never had a chance to get to know what the heck he spoke between the songs at all. He just said, something….I guess. That was one of the reasons why I couldn’t get the best feeling out from this one. The band sounded great on stage and was really in good form. When thinking about the noose, we have a guy strolling around on stage and showing that to the people and wearing it on himself.  It was early evening in Jalometalli at Oulu and there was the setting sun still shining its last rays – we suddenly had no atmosphere there at all. Therefore I’d say that it wasn’t good idea, but that’s just my opinion. You can always ask Mr. Taneli Jarva to get some hints for using this kind of equipment on stage; he probably might advise you to shout out loud “we have a solution for ya!”  

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TROUBLE

Trouble have reached cult status amongst the doom metal genre so their debut visit had been waited for a lifetime. But unexpected things forced the band to go through brutal line-up changes. The band’s soul and voice Eric Wagner pulled out and was replaced by the Warrior Soul frontman Kory Clarke. If that wasn’t enough then the original drummer Jeff Olsson was dismissed from the band and the Wet Animal drummer Mark Lira had been recruited to handle the drums for the short European stint. However the legends made it and came over for the first gig. The 60 minute set was kicked off by "RIP" followed by "The Sleeper" and so on. Of course people remembered to shout Warrior Soul, but to which Clarke couldn’t help commenting “We are Trouble, but yeah I am Kory Clarke from Warrior Soul”. Frankly Clarke was more active and a more vital person on the stage compared to Wagner, and actually he sounded damn good and fit well with both old and new Trouble songs. Both Wartell and Franklin sounded and handled their job as perfect and professional as it is feasible. As far as the set list of the night is concerned, they offered a wide range of songs picked up from several albums. Anyway, although the band went through mentioned changes in the line-up, it was absolutely great that Trouble was seen on the soil of Finland.

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SATYRICON

When looking back after the Jalometalli 2008 it’s easy to say that Satyricon was certainly one of the greatest bands at the whole festival. I was surprised about the band’s professional attitude as to how they worked the gig out. Satyricon told us that they would take no prisoners so to speak; they were here to beat the shit out of us!!! I mentioned before that Overkill was working like a well oiled machine which was true, but that was not the case with Satyricon – they were even better than that!! Satyr walked around the stage with his horned microphone-stand and demanded the crowd to participate more during the gig; and the rest of the band played like they’ve been running away from the fiery demon from hell. In Satyricon’s gig I witnessed probably one of the best light-shows I’ve seen for a while… that totally crowned the whole set. Add some professional playing from the band with the songs like: “Pentagram Burns”,” Now Diabolical”, “King”, “Hvite krists død”, “My Skin Is Cold”,” Du Som Hater Gud” and of course “Mother North”. The band also wanted to thank the crowd about a job well done, which Satyr himself said couple of times during the set and we of course shouted our lungs out while they played those must-hear songs. The whole set lasted about an hour and a half so I daresay everybody certainly had their own “dose” of Satyricon’s theatrical and avant-garde black-metal. When the last chords faded it was a perfect way to bid farewell to a great band on the main stage which was an interesting ending to the second day of the Jalometalli festival…

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KYPCK

All right how many of you are aware of the current band of the former Sentenced guitarist?! Kypck features guitarist Sami Lopakka (Sentenced, Northern Tribe), drummer/producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, vocalist Erkki Seppänen (Tuiran Miliisi, Dreamtale), and Jaakko Ylä-Rautio on the bass guitar (The Skreppers). Despite the well known names in their ranks, Kypck operates the deadly doom with the Russian language. Even though they had a hometown advantage, the audience had left the venue in order to focus on other things. Kypck sounded tremendous, depressing, and deadly heavy. Frankly enjoying Kypck might be a little bit too heavy for a traditional metalhead. In the long run Kypck was to be honest an extremely depressing listen at the end of the festival, but concluding with a band such Kypck is quite excellent. 

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All in all, Jalometalli festival this year was an overwhelming experience from the beginning to the end. Even though the festival is fairly small (the venue holds approx. 3000 people), it breathes the true metal spirit.
The Jalometalli organization announced after the Satyricon´s gig on Saturday 16th of August ´08, the legendary Canadian VoiVod will land at the festival as one of headliners in 2009. But VoiVod is only one of the those forthcoming ´aces´ that the people behind the organization of Jalometalli festival will have up in their sleeves. More interesting announcements will be made as soon as it´s spring time again…   
Traveling to Jalometalli to see many great metal bands, is extremely rewarding and easy for metalheads as the festival is basically arranged in the heart of Oulu. We have to confess that we are really looking forward to the Jalometalli 2009 event.
Niko: It was my pleasure to participate this year’s Jalometalli (for those who are not so aware of Finnish language, the word “jalo” means noble or precious and of course the word “metalli” stands for metal, so we have then “noble metal” or “precious metal” – you decide!), the whole festival was a highly positive trip to a world of metal. We got to hear bands who had never played in Finland ever before like: Possessed, Blitzkrieg, Trouble, Desaster, Overkill and Sadistic Intent. We also had a chance to listen to different kinds of bands which gave us a good insight into what’s really going on nowadays. Thanks to the staff of Jalometalli I myself met a lot of old friends from my hometown and surprisingly quite many of them were working mercilessly to bring their best out of this great festival. Thanks to the brothers in metal The Mighty Metal Rules.Com staff of Finland! I’d also like to admit that one of the next year’s main acts is going to be…(drumming and insane giggles) Voivod!!! That might also mean that the Finnish Metal Rules.com patrol will be packing their bags again and turning their sight towards The White Town in northern Finland, Oulu. We just have to wait another year before that… Damn!

 

 Official Jalometalli  youtube site : www.youtube.com/Jalometalli
 Official Jalometalli site : www.jalometalli.net

 


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