SONISPHERE 2014 – Hietaniemi beach, Helsinki

June 14th, 2014
by Marko Syrjala

Sonisphere

SONISPHERE

28.05 2014

Hietaniemi beach, Helsinki

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

The Sonisphere Festival is an annual touring metal/rock festival which takes place across Europe between June and August. In Finland, the tour was seen for the sixth time and this time it was organized in Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki. Headlining was, as usual, Metallica. The show is part of “Metallica by Request” tour, where fans can vote for this concert set list. Other performers included: Slayer, Danzig Mastodon, Gojira and Ghost. For practical reasons I didn’t get into area until 06:00, just in time to see Danzig show to begin, so I missed the first three bands this time. But let’s start from there then !!

Sonisphere

Sonisphere

DANZIG

It’s been over ten years since legendary Glen Danzig last performed in Helsinki. It was great to notice that despite the rain and freezing cold there were still loads of people here to see Danzig’s show. The show opened up with “SkinCarver”, from the previous CIRCLE OF SNAKES album (2004), and it was followed by “Hammer of The Gods” from the latest opus DETH RED SABAOTH (2010). It was obvious that most of the crowd weren’t too familiar with Danzig’s latter material but things changed soon when the band next headed into “Not of This World”, a track from the classic DANZIG album. And after that it was just a hit parade till to the end. All the classic Danzig tracks: “Dirty Black Summer”, “How the Gods Kill”, “Am I Demon” and of course “Mother” were played one after another and sounded just phenomenal. Glen was in full fighting mode right from the beginning. Although the man once slipped and fell down on the slippery stage, he was blustering all around the stage and was still as credible a performer as ever. And yes, his voice was in really great shape too. Long-time guitarist Tommy Victor was another man working hard on stage. At times his sound was a bit too “industrial” for my taste but other than that his performance was nothing but perfect. Tommy was wearing a t-shier from his other band, Prong, on stage. Well, there’s not a better place to promote your band but Sonisphere, right? The rhythm section, Johnny Kelly and Steve Zing, was really solid and maybe it’s not too wrong to say that this current line-up of Danzig doesn’t lose an inch for the classic version of the band which existed in 1987-1994. All in all, Danzig put on a really entertaining show and proved that there’s still plenty of life left in the band. Welcome back any day!

1. SkinCarver
2. Hammer of the Gods
3. Not of This World
4. Am I Demon
5. Her Black Wings
6. Killer Wolf
7. How the Gods Kill
8. Dirty Black Summer
9. Black Mass
10. Twist of Cain
11. Soul on Fire
12. Mother

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

Danzig

 

SLAYER

The mighty Slayer has gone though many changes during the past few years. Jeff Hanneman’s passing is of course the biggest thing but also gone is another founding member, Dave Lombardo, who left the band last year. Lombardo is now replaced by Paul Bostaph, who previously played with the band in 1992-2001.Gary Holt (Exodus) is filling in for Hanneman’s place in second guitarist spot and that’s what he’s been doing since 2011 when Hanneman was first diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis which eventually contributed to his death. But anyway, now it’s the year 2014 and it’s time to check out Slayer’s live condition today. The band took to the stage at 08:30 PM and opened up with a pair of WORLD PAINTED BLOOD tracks. The classics “Necrophiliac” and “Captor of Sin” followed and the stage was on full brawl. Despite the rain and coldness Slayer managed to take over the audience good. Tom Araya was good-humored and led the band in style. His voice was still on top shape and, especially on “War Ensemble”, it was just pure rage what he screamed out during the song. Kerry King was… he was just Kerry King. Grotesque look and tons of attitude, that’s what King is made of. Paul Bostaph may not be Lombardo on drums but in fact he was really bracing element on the band. I have seen Slayer live several times during the years and to be honest he now added some extra kick for many songs and that’s something that Lombardo has been lacking during the past few years. Maybe there’s just more hunger or whatever but Bostaph was just great behind his kit. And then last but not least there’s Gary Holt. Like with Bostaph, Holt is also really refreshing element on the band. It was curious that after spending more than three years in the band he’s now finally able to do more his “own” things on stage. I mean, now he clearly played more with his own style and his solos were now totally different to the originals. The set list didn’t include surprises but all the classics. It was disappointing that the band didn’t play any new songs. Also, how about adding a few more songs from the 90’s and Bostaph era albums? There’s a plenty of good stuff there like “Divine Intervention” or “Killing Fields” which hasn’t been played in ages. But however. Slayer was in good form and they proved that all those “scab Slayer” shouters are just wrong.

 

1. World Painted Blood
2. Hate Worldwide
3. Necrophiliac
4. Captor of Sin
5. War Ensemble
6. Mandatory Suicide
7. Disciple
8. Seasons in the Abyss
9. Dead Skin Mask
10. Raining Blood
11. Black Magic
12. South of Heaven
13. Angel of Death

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

METALLICA

Metallica opened their long awaited “By Request” European tour from Helsinki. In fact it’s a great concept to let fans vote for songs they really want to hear instead of doing just regular songs. Because of this election system Sonisphere Finland was now going to be the first place where Metallica is playing such an obscure song as “Frayed End of Sanity”, voted by Finns. Before the show started the weather started to turn really ugly. The temperature went down to +3, it was raining and wind was getting stronger. Maybe the band was waiting for things to get better because the show was delayed almost 30 minutes. The wait didn’t help circumstances but finally the band took the stage at 21:30 and opened show with “Battery” followed by “Master of Puppets”. The weather conditions were really terrible and as a good proof of this was that Kirk Hammet played the first 4 songs with beanie and James Hetfield was wearing some kind of wind suit during the entire show. Like said before, the set list was now chosen by fans and it was interesting to see what people really wanted to hear. Unfortunately it was such a letdown because with the exception of “Frayed End of Sanity” the band did mostly the same old regular songs. Indeed it was great to hear some rarely played classics as “Orion” and “Ride the Lightning” but if people now had the freedom to choose whatever they want to hear, why on earth they go and vote such matters of course as “The Unforgiven” or “Enter Sandman”? Nothing was included from LOAD albums, ST.ANGER or DEATH MAGNETIC but the band played one brand new song called “Lord of Summer” which was a pretty bland to be honest. Visually the show was looking really good. A soldier video played on the screens during “One” was just impressing and the lasers were looking amazing on against cloudy and dark sky. All in all and despite circumstances Metallica did pretty entertaining show. With exception of Hetfield, the band hardly now used a giant ramp which surrounded “the Snakepit”  but their playing was still as tight as ever. Even much-maligned Lars Ulrich did a decent job behind the kit. But to be honest, the mega success of Metallica is always been some kind of mystery for me. I mean, they are a good band with a lots of great songs, but I still do not understand why the whole nation seems to love them regardless of the age or gender. Perhaps it’s just fashionable thing to be a Metallica “fan” nowadays, but however. A satisfied audience got what they wanted and so did the band on their way to the bank.

1. Battery
2. Master of Puppets
3. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
4. Ride the Lightning
5. The Unforgiven
6. Lords of Summer
7. …And Justice for All
8. Sad but True
9. Fade to Black
10. Orion
11. One
12. For Whom the Bell Tolls
13. Blackened
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman
16. The Frayed Ends of Sanity
17. Whiskey in the Jar
18. Seek & Destroy

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

 

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

Metallica

 

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