Steelfest 2013 – Hyvinkaa Finland

June 13th, 2013
by Arto Lehtinen

Steelfest Open Air 2013 – Hyvinkaa Finland: SATURDAY

Skirmish is a new generation of Finish thrash to the metal scene. The young thrashers’ technical playing was impressive, fast, and extremely skilled. The four piece made the thrashing gig by doing a majority of songs off from the debut THROUGH THE ABACINATED EYES. The frontman’s relentless performance didn’t leave anyone cold and in general the whole band appeared on fire on stage even though only a handful of people had managed to drag themselves to witness Skirmish.

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Barathrum
singer Sova said some stupid things on Friday night, but hey, if you judge Saturday’s gig only by the music and playing, Barathrum’s war metal attack was a triumph, sort of. The band played quite tight and the setlist was full of golden oldies from the classic era of Barathrum.

The Italian Darkend, well, obviously the band’s material could be described as dark metal. Even though the Italians relied on theatrical aspects and had major playing skills, but these songs…. Unfortunately they didn’t get opened at all. The songs sounded a bit monotonous and even boring. Sorry guys… IMG_3393

Ahhhh the lovely Linnea Landstedt is back with Tyranex, melting the metal hearts of the Finnish grim looking metallers, with the pure thrash metal. With the high pitched vocals and razor sharp riffs Tyranex rolled over the audience for the 30 minutes. Linnea Landstedt’s stage performance and character on the stage was murderous strong and huge leaving the male members to wander in the smoke. Tyranex was simply, uncompromising and straight forward thrash metal act.

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The broad daylight was not the most suitable place for a band like Kadotus but this forthcoming group with their debut just released as vinyl made most of it’s change to impress. Their black metal is not the most straight-forward but more or less I liked what I heard. I should definitely listen more of it from the record in the peace of my personal crypt.

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When a band has the word “vomit” in it’s name I expect nothing more than some joke even I did know that Mörbid Vomit should play some kind of old school death metal. And yes, that is kind of stuff they played, and surprisingly good too. The guys have played in the likes of The Zombi and Damngod and this surpasses all of those for me by a mile. What was the most pleasing aspect is that the band looks good and confident on stage. Of course the band was maybe too much from the school of rocking Entombed-stealing to really deliver any true aura of morbidity but in their own class Mörbid Vomit is a promising band.

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I haven’t seen Lie in Ruins in ages, so I was quite pleasantly surprised that the band was this confident, heavy and morbid. Ok, the blood on faces antics are clichéd, but the crushing delivery of their older tunes was a treat to remember. I’m looking forward to their new, darker album.

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The next 90 minutes were dedicated to the old school Finnish thrash metal bands from the heyday of the 80’s; N.N.S. (National Napalm Syndicate) and Necromancer. First off , N.N.S.,  hailing from the north, got together to celebrate the debut album from 1989 with the singer from  the album. Even though two of five had been recruited to replace the older members not willing to get involved with the return of NNS, the five piece kicked the set off. Of course, the band could have sounded a bit more aggressive and brutal, but for example the singer hasn’t been seen on stage for 24 years! Therefore, some kind of tension and excitement was in the air. Unfortunately, NNS sounded a bit soft and more rehearsal sessions would be needed to sharp up the live performance as the tightness and passion was still missing.

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Another domestic speed/thrash metal act from the 80’s, Necromancer, never managed to land a proper record deal and released a single and a number of vicious killer demo releases. Necromancer was in an extreme vicious strike throughout the whole gig. The band sounded vital and catchy. Well the singer’s nonsense comments and yodeling between songs low-pointed the gig. All the most aggressive and fastest songs like Rapid Death were played with tremendous fury and speed. The whole magnificent set was concluded by “Malicious Death”. For old all old school thrashers, check out Finland’s own Necromancer.

Phew, if National Napalm Syndicate before them was rusty and unspeakable old in a bad way, Hyvinkää’s very own Necromancer was very sleek and professional like a hammer to the head right from the beginning….even this band is also a relic from the 80’s. The band has played few gigs here and there in the last decade or so, but now I had the pleasure to witness their craft for the first time. I was pleased with what I saw. The band handled their instruments well and their somewhat technical brand of thrash surely demands it. Also every “hit” from the 12″ and demos was there I think so material-wise the gig was a jackpot. The only thing I disliked was the annoying speaking between songs. Get rid of those and make a real comeback please. Necromancer deserves some love, definitely.

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Norway’s Blood Red Throne is a one mean death metal juggernaut. Their death metal is a bit low-browish brutality but there’s some neat riffs here and there to keep things interesting and entertaining enough. I’ve seen them now few times and they’ve been delivering the goods every time. Now it was their first time in Finland and but not without some drama. For some reason or another one of guitarists puked on stage. Very suitable for this blood and vomit style of band. Then somebody got hurt in the raging moshpit so seriously that the ambulance was needed. Not any real consequences of the accident is known by us, hopefully not anything too harsh.

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The Norwegian  Tsjuder literally surprised several black metal heads with the intensive performance. The three piece literally blew the stage away by delivering such a brutal slap into the face. Merciless!  Well it seemed like they were running out of condition, gasping for some air, obviously the tight and merciless sacrificing on the stage kind of dried them out.  Anyway Tsjuder was a really unexpected highlight of the Steelfest festival.

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When Sodom blew the ceiling off with 90 minutes of pure thrashing witching metal, their countryfellows Destruction unleashed a real bestial invasion on the second stage. The whole area was totally packed when the opening intro roared out of the monikers. The three piece’s thrash storm wiped over the festival area and a tremendous pit broke out in the middle of the crowd. Schmier whipped the audience and demanded the crowd go utterly beserk. Even the paramedic crew kept the eyes open on the audience and was prepared to give first aid immediately. The set list equally consisted of the material from 80’s up till now. The trio was in an extreme bestial strike. When the last hymns from the older albums let hell loose. Killer set!

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Dull, dull and dull. It’s hard to say much more about the once mighty Mayhem. They have lost it. Their decline was complete when Blasphemer left the band. The sound is too messy so it ruins the old classics too. The delivery is soulless and robot-like. Attila has some illusions of grandeur as he’s now well aware that people will go crazy when he farts on microphone (e.g. Void ov Voices and Gravetemple). The guy hid most of the show behind stage props. Quit already, you don’t even have a songwriter anymore. I can’t see where this band can go from here. Oh. I liked the intro though.

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