Tuska Open Air 2011 – Suvilahti Helsinki Finland

August 27th, 2011
by Arto Lehtinen

TUSKA 2011

THE SECOND DAY – SATURDAY

Before Witchery hit Finnish soil and conquered Tuska, the band went thru a rapid line up change. As vocalist Legion pulled out and was quickly replaced by the former Dark Funeral Emperor Galigula. The Swedish all star combo had been placed at not so much pleasant place on the schedule.  Somehow the Witchery music didn’t start off at all. The wind kind of whacked the sounds making the listening more unpleasant. As for the audience which appeared to be phlegmatic toward the band, besides playing at noon isn’t ideal. Bassist Sharlee D’Angelo was definitely the overworked musician at Tuska by appearing three times on the stages- Did anyone notice that!?

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Was the second stage correct for Wintersun? Well when seeing the huge amount of people who gathered near the second stage and above all the general area was a little bit packed. Wintersun could have easily played on the main stage as the whole area was totally packed. Their melodic catchy riffs spellbound the audience who went totally beserk. Maenpaa’s skilled guitar playing is utterly amazing. Their songs are complicated, intensive, and above all catchy as stated above. Wintersun offered a great deal of material from their career such as “Starchild, Summer Madness, Beyond The Dark Sun” etc.

 

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Coming all the way from Japan, Church of Misery took most people by surprise since they are relatively unknown here, and most people didn’t know what to expect. Having a huge Sabbath influence and ”feeling”, the band had such a great presence on stage and their songs had a great vibe. It was great to see the crowd enjoying the band so much, even though people didn’t know their songs well or at all.   

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The thrash metal patrol Axegressor put the total thrashing gear on and unleashed whipping set with tight riffs. The frontman’s beard kept banging faster than his head. The high pitched singing style of the vocalist was reminiscent to Schmier of Destruction.  During the 30 minute set the four piece thrashed till death with intense thrashing passion.  

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It had been 5 years since Blind Guardian was here in Tuska, and this time around the gig was a lot better compared to the last. The Germans were still promoting their latest record, ”At The Edge of Time”, but also included in their set some of the fans’ favorite songs. Obviously there were a few songs that would have been nice to hear live, especially from the early days, but the newer songs were also good. The whole band was full of energy and Hansi Kürsch, as usual, was working the crowd in a charismatic way. There was a good interaction between the band and the fans, especially in ”sing-a-long” songs like ”Valhalla” and ”The Bard’s Song – In the Forest”. Hopefully the Finnish fans will have the oportunity to see the band playing some headline gig next time.    

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Hooded Menace has arisen to the elite of the doom/death genre. The four piece with the black hooded shirt doomed the audience with the massive heavy set. No communication or other gimmicks needed when the slowly played doom death metal rolled over the audience. The lights and dark atmosphere crowned the gig for sure. 

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This band is either loved or hated. The six-piece has been seen at various and several festivals. Ghost made the debut visit at the Finnish Metal Expo by playing as the last band in front of a few people. It is amazing how quickly their name has spread out. Even James Hetfield has admitted digging them. This time the tent was totally packed when the evil pope arrived at the stage.  The 70’s style occult rock hit the audience like a sledgehammer. The magical and catchy riffs spelled the audience singing along such as Elizabet. The evil pope with all the custom may look hilarious, but the whole thing is about the theatrical and creating some sort of mystique around the Ghost myth. The mysterious Ghost concluded the set with the The Beatles cover “Here Comes The Sun”.  

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Once again Devin Townsend at Tuska, wasn’t it quite enough to have him at Tuska last year? Obviously not. What was the point of booking Townsend to Tuska again? The Canadian self claimed genius visited Helsinki earlier this year. It seems like Townsend’s crazy world pleases the Finnish audience for some eccentric reasons. The introduction was handled by his Ziltoid figure on the screen. To avoid the repeating the same Zilzoid thing of the last year the former The Gathering front-lady had been invited to handle vocals along with Townsend. Devin Townsend both spelled the audience and of course expelled some people. Devin is definitely one hell of guitar wizard and evil genius with his twisted sense of humour. His funny grins on his face gave an impression of the lunatic scientist working on some insane project. Townsend has succeed in achieving a strong fanbase in Finland. No wonder and it is just the matter of time when Townsend will be gigging in Finland.  

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