Steelfest 2014 – Hyvinkää Finland
Pictures by Arto Lehtinen
Steelfest has carved its immortal marks onto the metal festival map in Finland and managed to pull through these hard times whereas other festivals have collapsed. An extremely strong line-up offered killer bands from the front lines of the death/black metal genre. Even though the festival is kind of small, it has an intimate feel passionate towards extreme metal. Metal bangers have also found the festival as the fest was completely sold out. Over 3000 maniacs visited the fest during the weekend, enjoying the metal at its best. Hail! The Metal-Rules.com team spent the whole weekend at Steelfest, witnessing killer bands…
(by Arto Lehtinen)
The domestic death metal underground jewels Lantern kicked the first day off. The young death metal combo offered solid sounding stuff. But being an opening band on stage was a bit of an unpleasant job for the band when the people were still crawling into the air. However, Lantern pulled off a good sounding death metal assault during their 30 minutes.
Baptism was forced to cancel their appearance at Steelfest last year. However the Black metal squad returned to make up for that cancellation. Baptism’s ritualistic black metal hymns echoed in the catacomb of the hall. The four pieces’ set was a pure ritualistic mass from the beginning to the end. Somehow Baptism could have been a way more brutal and nihilistic in the sounds, whereas the band replied on the sophisticated performance by doing both the new and old in their set. The gig was concluded with the frontman of Sotajumala who joined to take care of the clean vocals for the last song “The Prayer”.
Raven Woods from Turkey was an entire new acquaintance for the crowd and offered a bit of exotic metal for the Finnish crowd. The Turkish metallers delivered a good sounding death metal influenced stuff. The material sounded truly strong and catchy for sure. The frontman appeared to be the most activate person on the stage, whereas other members for some reason remained more in the background. The band definitely has the potential in the songs, but they need to improve the live performance to look more vicious, just starring at the floor.
The local black metal combo has been given a good opportunity of performing the stuff of their own. The young outfit has been formed a few years ago and got the first full length out a while ago. The Hautekammio guys have absorbed all the essential black metal gimmicks. In that way, Hautakummio relied on the old Black metal approach, not even trying to reinvent the cycle again. Hautakammio sounded as blackish as it should sound in terms of brutality and aggressive and even a bit of barbaric. Hautakammio didn’t get to kneel down, instead unleashed the lesson of the raw black metal in a good way.
Maveth presents the true unholy death metal with the deadly grip. The four piece have created the lethal set of vicious sounding deadly hymns. Maveth convinced to be in extreme deadly strike at Steelfest. However Maveth have proved being a real death metal machine, the razor sharp riff and above all sounding as evil and brutal as death metal is supposed to. Maveth didn’t let down by any manners as when the quality death metal is expected, Maveth knows how to do that for sure.
Valkyrja from Sweden got on the second stage. Judging by their stage present and the outlook, one certain Swedish black metal outfit crawled to the mind for obvious reasons. Even though Valkyrja’s material was familiar to me, but the obvious references to that same Swedish leading black metal genre popped up. Despite those eccentric mind association Valkyrja handled the gig damn well by giving a good performance, living up to the music with the passion and banging the heads off. Even though Valkyrja has been around for about ten years, but the band would need some attention for sure.
The filthy thrashing whipping by Aura Noir that had been the most expected amongst the audience. The four piece Norwegian thrashers, if that title can be used in this case, unleashed the neck crushing blackened thrash maelstrom. The four piece Norwergians’ uncompromising black/thrash stuff appealed to the crowd extreme well, when pulling a lot of people to the front stage. The frontman Apollyon’s raw and savage growling sounded extreme nihilistic. Aura Noir testified to be brutal as hell with the headbanging riff. Now every blackthrasher should pick up the whole catalogue of Aura Noir.
The Gustavsson Twin Bros have possessed the metal bangers year after year and gained fanatical possessed souls. Nifelheim is known for giving a wild and sadistical barbaric live performance. The show at Steelfest was no exception. However the Nifelheim line-up had been a little bit renewed, but the evil twins with the back-up forces truly lived up to the barbaric and nihilistic show. The crowd went utter ballistic when Tyrant and Hellbutcher whipped the kids in the frontline go insane. The band as a whole sounded tight and well trained. With the vicious look Nifelheim literally slaughtered the Steelfest crowd.
Destroyer 666 along with Primordial keep visiting in Finland, playing at various obscure festivals quite regularly. Why not as Destroyer 666 always pull an asskicking show. The four piece delivered a set of the catching songs from their catalogue. Destoyer 666 literally breathes the blackened thrash metal as the Norwergian Aura Noir. The gig by the four piece offered one hell of a gig with the intensive live performance and grip on the playing. Destroyer 666 didn’t joke and play any gimmicks, just relying on the pure skull crushing riffing. Destroyer 666 went thru all the essential hymns and finally the show was concluded by Slayer’s cover “Black Magic”
The tremendous amount of people have packed the frontarea of the stage before Inquisition kicked off. Dakon unleashed the true black metal invasion. Even though Inquisition consists of two guys, but the two piece managed to create the ultimate black metal tornado with the cosmic and satanic atmosphere spreading echoeing in the indoor hall. Of course the stage performance is based on Dakon’s character and his moving on the stage. However Inquisition concluded the first day with the prestigious performance, not letting anyone down.
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