Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2004

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Sunday The 18th of July 2004


Time to start the last day with an old school Swedish Death Metal assault presented by Finland?s own Death Metal?s power mill Chaosbreed. The five-piece could be fairly named as an ?all-star? Death Metal outfit fronted by some familiar names and faces who had already gained, well, more or less fame and glory in the line-ups of their main bands in the Finnish Metal scene for a long time. Well, maybe a couple of words could be written as an introduction of the band?s line-up to give a better impression who is actually involved in the line-up of Chaosbreed. First off, the band?s drummer Nalle used to molest the batteries in Gandalf previously, the guitarists are both from Moonsorrow (Marko) and Amorphis (Esa); then there?s this Mannhai guy Oppu who takes care of all the bass duties in the band and had a gig with his main band in another festival at the same time, was temporarily replaced by the Rytmih?iri? dude for Tuska ? and last but not least the vocalist of The Black League and the former Sentenced frontman Taneli Jarwa. As for Mr. Jarwa, the guy has always been one hell of a characteristic personality on the stage, even in his days in the Sentenced ?line-up, kind of like ?expect the unexpected? from him, that sort of a guy. The Chaosbreed?s set was unleashed by Jarwa?s hilarious announcement to the Tuska ?crowd:  ?Here?s some bumbling, noisy shit for all of you?!!?. Chaosbreed?s whole performance was damn energetic, full of an unrelenting passion and it was at least kind of interesting to follow how the charismatic frontman of the band Jarwa raged onstage, abusing the mic stand ruthlessly in order to get some extra steam off from himself, eventually tearing his pants apart during the show and enjoying a bottle of doses of ?some certain strong liquid? at the same time while entertaining the audience. I also have to confess that especially the Amorphis guitarist Esa deserved a few ?extra points? for being an extraordinary movable and active on the stage for a change as normally the man is used to known for trying to grow roots on the stage at least when he does gigs with his main band Amorphis. Despite the early playing time, the Finnish Death Metal all-star combo did a real vicious and lethal set consisting of songs from their well-applauded debut album BRUTAL and even the set also included an old Nihilist demo favourite tune called ?Supposed To Rot?.  I?m sure that every old school Death Metal ?fan got exactly all that they had come to Chaosbreed?s gig to look for: A pure dose of a sheer Death Metal brutality with the bollocks and without any goddamn compromises. And they were served all that ? plus probably a bit more even.

Fear Factory

Once again a band from the Roadrunner label on the Tuska bill, following the same Roadrunner tradition in the history of the Tuska festival by featuring at least some representative of a new Metal breed ?la Machine Head, Soulfly, etc. on the bill. Fear Factory?s visit brought out another interesting aspect as the Strapping Young Lad?s bassist Byron Stroud had joined the rank. As Fear Factory?s set then, the band started their non-stop merciless blast beat maelstrom with the opening track ?Slave Labor? off their ?some sort of a comeback album titled ARCHTYPE. Especially the drummer Raymond Herrara?s insane and brutal drumfire was nothing, but totally insane and amazingly technical and tight, shaking the ground below our feet quite an effective way as a matter of speaking. The band mangled and mauled the audience with an absolute tormenting sonic brutality under the hot sunshine. Burto C Bell definitely knew how to entertain the audience whereas Stroud and Wolders surely did their best as well with even quite an insane looking headbanging at times, kind of like make sure the crowd gets worth of their money.  However, I quite honestly need to say that beating the audience up with nearly 75-minute set with a vulgar sonic slaughtering on the main stage, started sounding quite monotone in the end after all. A bit shorter set would have served the crowd better, at least in my opinion. But as I don?t consider myself belonging to an instant die-hard group of the band, I probably didn?t have the best understanding over their live performance either. But anyway, even if they managed to whip my ears somewhat ruthlessly, being probably the loudest band at the whole festival, I still could say I did enjoy them pretty much though.


Slave Labor
Self Bias Resistor
Arise Above Opression
Dog Day Sunrise


Dismember, being one of the longest running and truest Death Metal mongers from Stockholm, have stayed extreme loyal to their old school Death Metal roots over the years. The classic Swedish Death Metal combo has never ventured to explore new territories to find new levels to express themselves musically the way as some other ?known? bands have done that started out at the same time with Dismember. Despite the Finnish-speaking frontman Matti K?rki, the band hasn?t visited to here in Finland for about 5 years. But it ain?t any wonder because the whole band has undergone pretty times, sorting out their own problems they had had during these past 2-3 years or so. Anyway finally this highly appreciated Swedish Death Metal assault got a chance to roar at the Tuska festival, on the Hell-sinki stage where the old Dismember classic tunes literally dismembered the audience to pieces. Witnessing an intensive, supportive and passionate crowd headbanging and raging in the pit, shouting Matti?s name non-stop, definitely made the frontman of these Swedish death troopers extremely happy, noticing the Finnish Death Metal -fans haven?t forgotten Dismember during all these years at all.


Despite the band?s brilliant and tight performance, the guitarist David Blomqvist faced a few unfortunate yet unexpected technical problems with his guitar. The man got so pissed off due to these problems he had during their gig that he threw his guitar to the other side of the stage and while still being in a rush, he quickly picked up another guitar in order to carry on the set with the rest of the guys as soon as he just was capable of continuing with them. Despite of a few of these minor setbacks during Dismember?s set, the band torn the audience apart by doing several classic tunes ?Casket Garden?, ?Skin Her Alive? and concluded the whole set with ?Dreaming in Red?. It could be well said that Dismember came and skin the Finnish Death Metal maniacs alive.


In the meantime when the Swedish Death Metal legends were skinning the Finnish Death Metal crowd alive on the Hell-sinki Stage, ?Hammer-party-metallers? Diablo did a real aggressive set for the packed Sue -tent even though the band would have deserved to have a slot on the main stage as well. The band has increased their success a damn lot especially with their last two albums and their latest record ETERNIUM has sold well in Finland, spending several weeks on the national ?TOP 40? chart. As a matter of fact it would be about time for the band to start considering to expand their bulldozer-heavy Metal outside Finland, too, at least a bit more determinedly and actively they have done thus far. Seeing Diablo playing at Tuska this year, to say it simply and without exaggerating a bit, was just great. The vocalist and guitarist of Diablo owns one hell of a character when being on the stage as he pretty much dominates everything there, having a bit of the same charisma as James Hetfield does in Metallica. The whole band worked out as a well-oiled machine and the guys? playing was extraordinary tight and sharp through the whole gig. Several so-called ?hit songs? were aired from the band?s three records and the band both looked and sounded very good during their set. Adding even something more about them would be slightly exaggerating, I suppose.


Dew Scented

The German thrashers hit the Sue -stage by bringing a breath of wind of a modern-day German Thrash Metal to the Tuska festival. Although the glorious representatives of a new wave of the German Thrash Metal have already released five albums all in all year by year without getting that big fuss around the globe, I consider them as one of the tightest, ?new? Thrash Metal bands that are out there nowadays. Especially their latest output INWARDS represents a really tightly played Thrash Metal package with its occasional hints to some Slayer stuff here and there. As for the gig itself, the band anyway proved to be in a damn tight shape at Tuska 2004, pumping many violent and aggressive songs up through their whole set and kind of never allowing themselves to take a longer breath during the gig. I really don?t wanna raise any specific song above other songs out from their set because in my opinion each song in their 45-minute set, had rightfully earned its own place for sure. Dew Scented came, killed and killed again by a punishing set of German Thrash Metal and deserved a sincere mention probably as the most furious and relentless act at Tuska 2004 thus far?



Meanwhile when the German ?neo-thrashers? carried the torch of the German Thrash Metal legacy on the Sue -stage, Finland?s melancholic Gothic-metallers Charon was doing a romantic and sensual joyride into girls? dreams in the opposite direction of the festival area, pulling a helluva lot of ladies of all kinds to stare at… Well, ?the band in action?. But let?s really face it! It definitely is clear the whole Charon world is surrounded by the vocalist?s very dominating and eye-capturing stage presence whereas the rest of the band has more or less always used to been in some sort of a statistic?s role, like dividing the band into two separate camps. I think it?s just fair to say that Charon?s set didn?t include any surprises. The band relied on doing a bunch of well-known tunes off especially their last two albums (for some reason ?Little Angel? stuck in my mind especially well). Mkay, I can openly confess that I watched more attractive and nice-looking ladies in the Charon ?crowd than I was watching the band performing onstage. I?m sorry, but I just couldn?t take a grip on myself, no matter how hard I tried? (Ha!) Oh well, nevermind? it was about time to rush and see a real Heavy Rock icon next, namely Dio?


Ronnie James Dio?s career already began around in the late 50?s, with Vegas Kings, which did not have any tremendous impact on the Heavy Metal genre, but definitely helped to pave the way for Ronnie James Dio to carry on his career. His first bands never became any huge success, but things got entirely changed when he joined Rainbow and then later Black Sabbath. His own solo albums from the ’80s such as HOLY DIVER, THE LAST IN LINE and DREAM EVIL became all time favourites of the Heavy Metal fans around the world. Although he has definitely seen both up – and down hills since those days on his long career (Well, one could listen to his mid ’90s work such as the dismal ANGRY MACHINES, the others would refuse to do that), Dio (aka Ronnie Pavadovna) has, nonetheless, succeeded in keeping his music alive with a number of live shows that holds the same lurid attraction as a medieval public execution.

The show was opened with an intro, after that the band soon kicked the set off by playing ?King of Rock?n Roll ? as an opening track from one of the most classic Dio albums SACRED HEART. It became evident soon that there was no point for Ronnie to focus on new songs from MASTER OF THE MOON too much because the album release date was still too far in the future. But however, only one song got played from that upcoming album, and it was a song called “The Eyes? which made me hungry to hear more new songs from Dio. Mostly band were running through ’80s tunes like “Stand up and Shout”, ?Rainbow in the Dark? and “Don?t Talk to Strangers” that were the ones most of the Dio ?fans apparently wanted to hear anyway.

The whole show was indeed based on the older stuff; it was without any doubts obvious because of the predominant older crowd being at present and willing to be eager to hear the songs that they grew up with. Anyone having stayed in the venue in order to witness ?The true Metal icon? in action didn?t get disappointed at all as the whole band unearthed a lot of classic pre-Dio cuts such as “Man on the Silver Mountain,” “Gates of Babylon,” “Heaven and Hell,” “Long Live Rock?n Roll” and “Stargazer” ? all these evergreen classic songs from his Ronnie?s previous bands Black Sabbath and Rainbow.

The whole five-piece band, consisting of the drummer Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC), the keyboardist Scott Warren, the ?on/off? guitar player Craig Goldy and a ?newcomer? Rudy Sarzo (ex-Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake) for bass, sounded really good; the guys matching together tightly since from the very beginning of the set – and the voice of the master himself was definitely in a top form. It?s incomprehensible how he is still able to sing all those high notes and melodies when everyone should remember that he?s around 65 years old. Just amazing!

The commercial success ain?t the same for Dio nowadays like what it used to be in his biggest glory days of the ’80s. But fortunately the 25-something crowd at the Tuska festival that had their fists clenched in the air, screaming “Holy Diver”, the name of their hero, had once again been brought back to life.

It became clear most of the audience really liked this kind of ?best of ?set containing a plenty of classic Dio songs. I for one personally would have wanted to hear some more material from the last couple of Dio albums. The period between 1985 and 2003 was completely ignored in the set. There?s a lot of good Dio stuff from that aforementioned era in my opinion, too. Maybe things will change when the actual tour for ?Master of the Moon? starts. Also it?s questionable if a drum solo by Simon is really necessary just after three first songs? Well, maybe Ronnie?s voice needs more rest in these days, but who knows?



Besides those things that got mentioned earlier, the whole gig generally was absolute great in its pure and simple terms. The music and energy was just incredible. If something still needs to be said, then it?s: ?Long Live Rock?n Roll!!?.

Intro: Killing the Dragon
King of Rock and Roll
The Sign of the Southern Cross / Stargazer / The Sign of the Southern Cross
Stand up and Shout
Drum solo
Don’t Talk to Strangers
The Eyes
Rainbow in The Dark
Man on the Silver Mountain
Guitar solo
Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll / Man on the Silver Mountain / Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
Gates of Babylon
Holy Diver
Heaven and Hell
Last in Line
We Rock

All in all, the prestigious Tuska Open Air Metal festival in 2004 was nothing, but a huge success from its every aspect. The whole organization of the Tuska festival had once again done a marvellous job by setting up such a megalomanic Metal party in the centrum of Helsinki. I guess it is obvious they must be having a huge motivation and pleasure to witness and see an increasing interest toward the festival in the international media and it?s just amazing how well and successfully the name of Tuska festival has managed to reach so many ears of lots of bands during its whole existence and especially even a few extra pairs of ears of band managers, kind of wanting to get their bands booked particularly for this festival. It is going to be exciting and interesting to see what kind of ?aces? the organizers being in charge of booking bands for the upcoming events, will have in their deep sleeves for the coming years.

Anyway, as the very last ?genius? words, the Metal-Rules.com?s Finnish ?devil?s advocates? wanna thank both the Tuska organization and the crowd of Tuska once again for a nicely spent and memorable weekend at Tuska 2004. We will all be there next year again for sure, right dear Metal dudes and dudettes?