Hammer Open Air 2013 – Lieto Finland
Pics and article by Arto Lehtinen & Timo Hanhirova
The 3rd Hammer Open Air was held at a new location. The line-up of this year’s Hammer Open Air was utterly killer and offered everything from sludge stoner to extreme black/death metal. The whole festival is an authentic event, even though there is quite a limited capacity as just over a thousand extreme underground metal diggers had crawled to the fest.
DAY 1 – Friday
Jumalation kicked the first off by offering a lesson of the old school thrash assault. The five-piece thrashed hard and fast and concluded the set with the Agent Steel cover “Bleed For The Godz”.
Horna, one of the long standing black metal bands in the Finnish black metal scene, had made some eccentric changes in their line-up. The original singer Spellgoth had stepped side and had been replaced by the Satanic Warmaster frontmant Werwolf has fronted Horna in the past. Was it a temporary choice or a long term one, who knows ? However Horna is known for being and staying to the loyal bestial black metal approach. Horna with Werwolf didn’t make any exception even though there was a risk of getting to the comedian aspect as the audience kept shouting and the band struggled some technical problems. However, Horna pulled the set off.
The young Finnish black metal squad named Cataleptic squad hit the stage. Even thought the band tried to pretend to be as evil as possible, instead they failed and seemed to be clowns on the stage. Obviously, some strong drinks had been enjoyed before the show. The band looked more like a bunch of comedians on the stage. Obviously, being really evil needs to be rehearsed before getting to the limelight again.
The German black metal outfit Morrigan hit the stage next. After the long eerie opening intro Morrigan kicked the set off the heaven literally got ripped apart and started raining like hell. The audience escaped to find a shelter meanwhile the true hard core persons dared the rain and decided to follow Morrigan in the frontrow. Well the heavily Bathory influences epic hymns got spread around under the heavy rain. Morrigan would have been more enjoyable if the weather had more reasonable. However, the two man group pulled through the show without giving up any inch.
The Norwegian American black metal squad Gorgoroth unleashed the damnation under the burning sun. As it is widely known the former Obituary bassist Frank Watkins is also involved in the current Gorgoroth version, but the man’s essence was truly shocking. Not his black metal image, instead he looked quite thin and weak and walked with the help of the stick when getting on the stage. However Gorgoroth fronted by Taake’s mainman looked less evil under the daylight sun. However the Norwegian black metallers would have been more evil if the night had descended over the Hammer Open Air festival.
The Greek extreme death metallers Dead Gongearation have visited Finland quite often and gained a strong fanbase. The death metallers nailed the audience again. With the brutal grip the four piece unleashed the utter merciless set of the uncompromising the nihilistic death metal. The material roared out brutality without essential melodic parts. Dead Congregation is known for being the extreme savage on the stage, showing no mercy no excuse when delivering the lethal riffs.
The Swedish doom mongers Candlemass have announced about pulling the plug smoothly. However, the legendary five-piece plus the keyboard addition managed to make it to Finland to create the immortal doom hymns. Candlemass with Mats Leven on the mic sounded outstanding great even though being on the small stage. Mats Leven is absolutely amazing singer in every aspect and is capable of living up to the stuff of Candlemass. The set consisted of both the old material and the newer material. Candlemass with Matts Leven sounded quite astonishing great at Swedenrock even though Matt’s role as a frontman was kind of odd to see. However Candlemass pulled a real doom show at Hammer Open Air. Mats sounded truly awesome and his voice fitted to the epic hymns of the old Candlemass songs. Being on the small stage created the more atmospheric and extremely doomy feeling amongst the audience banging their head off and pumping the fist in the air. Candlemass with Mats Leven unleashed and performed the real utter killer set consisting of the new material with the classic ones. This epic doom metal triumph would have been listened more than the required time as it sounded truly awesome.