Hammer Open Air – Finland

August 28th, 2012
by Arto Lehtinen

Hammer Open Air – Finland

THE SECOND DAY


Vorum has been known for a few years as one of the most promising young death metal groups in Finland. Now it’s time to start fulfill those promises, otherwise the band is going to fade into obscurity. I must admit, their new bone necklaces, blood, and the mean black leather outfits, have made this band’s stage presence a bit more sinister as they don’t look like young and "nice" boys anymore. Their new material seems to be very dark and aggressive, no more catchy Swedeath and that’s a strong positive. We’re looking forward to new recorded stuff from these lads from Åland.

Krypts don’t have much material out yet, just a demo/MLP and a seven inch but all of it is quite splendid. The full length album is coming soon and they played some songs from it in Lieto. I like their death metal as it sounds refreshingly Finnish. And as a Finn, I mean old bands. Rami from the mighty Stench of Decay has joined their ranks to play second guitar but the reins are still in the firm hands of drummer Otso. Krypts is yet another great newcomer from the Finnish rotten underground.

This was my fourth and probably the most unsatisfactory gig from the Gorephilia. The sound was quite bad at the smaller stage and the band’s traditional but somewhat ambitious death metal just didn’t strike me this time as hard as usually. I think that some of the songs were new but as guitars were just muddy mess can’t tell for sure. But I loose don’t my hope yet as the forthcoming album might be killer.

This year there weren’t many pure black metal bands at Hammer, so it was nice to see some fresh blood from the Finnish scene. Unfortunately Charnel Winds‘ material with a touch of avantgarde is not the best fit to an outdoor festival setting. There was some glimpses of interesting ideas but in the end the gig was quite dull even though the singer tried hard to do everything in his power to get some reaction from the audience. The most memorable part, and not only in a good sense, was the last song without the main singer. The second guitarist threw his guitar away and made some obscure and quite clumsy esoteric dance moves while singing the last song with a clean voice. A weird and a bit embarrassing performance, sorry to say.

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Even though Necrophobic has been around since the late 80’s, has several albums, and undergone several line-up changes, they have never gave up an inch in their brutal bestial death metal. The four piece unleashed a raw and brutal hour lesson of the old school death metal. The frontman with the grim eyes looked pretty obsessed and possessed. The band appeared to be a real brutal vicious strike and the songs sounded truly nastier and more brutal than on their recorded outputs.

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Asphyx’s newest album DEATHAMMER proves that the legendary death outfit out of Holland can still unleash true unholy old school death metal. Even though the sounds match the modern day technology, the band still rips. That same ripping feeling could be witnessed at Hammer Open Air when the legendary four piece gave a lesson in ultimate brutal death metal. Every young band member should take a lesson as this is how real death metal is supposed to sound. Although the sounds hadn’t been turned to maximum volume, but Martin Van Drunen’s ripping headache singing style is one of kind and unique and can be identified easily. Yes Death The Brutal Way for sure.

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EyeHateGod was definitely quite an exceptional name on the roster as the sludge kings of Saint Loius differed radically from all death/black bands. It was obvious the band divided the audience into two different camps. Whatever, as the weed smokers didn’t care about this at all and did a killer set of  New Orleans stoner metal in front of intensive and even enthusiastic audience. The singer’s raw and nihilistic voice fit to the approach of what Eyehategod stands for. Eyehategod hammered the audience down. Those who didn’t get hammered got wasted instead. The conclusion of the gig was hilarious as each of them begged someone to bring them weed and Bower made a list of various drugs. The audience definitely cracked for sure. 

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Marduk provided what you may call a "basic" Marduk experience with it’s furious but a bit dull black metal attack. It’s debatable if Marduk has done anything of any relevance in this millennium and the recent Serpent Sermon is not going to changing my opinion any time soon. You may call former vocalist Legion a poor man’s David Lee Roth of black metal but at least his stage antics were a bit more entertaining than Mortuus’ static evilness. Surely there was some gems from the first three albums but not any surprises, but unfortunately the sound was somewhat crappy as the band was forced to play  the smaller stage – a fact that band was not too happy about. Mortuus even bitched about the small stage and the shitty sound, a bit primadonnaish if you ask me but hey, maybe Marduk is just too big and fancy band to play in the UG festival like Hammer Open Air.

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