ARTICLE BY FINNISH METAL-RULES.COM TREAM
Here we go again! The traditional Tuska weekend with several great bands. The line-up for this year was quite diverse covering a wide range of metal and hard rock. Europe seemed to entertain the older hard rock generation, whereas Parkway Drive made the younger generation go crazy in the pit. Of course, Bodycount led by Ice-T was definitely one of the most anticipated bands for most of the people at Tuska. The band thanked everyone and arranged one heck of a show. The whole three-day event was such a great success as all in all 37,000 people made a visit to Tuska. Above all the weather was quite good to enjoy the Metal and Rock. Metal-Rules.Com visited the Tuska festival again to see and taste the Finnish metal and a bit more.
The Swedish Tribulation has gained amazing reviews of their albums and above all their live performances. The band has rehearsed their stage performance and moving truly carefully. The guitarist Jonathan Hultan’s way of moving on stage by dancing looked amazing. His moving was kind of balletic jumping and twirling. Tribulation’s rockish death or whatsoever metal sounded splendid even though the sound could have been a bit better. The band focused on the most recent material of DOWN BELOW. Of course, the material off THE FORMULAS OF DEATH got played as well. Tribulation should make a club tour as the band would definitely look and sound superb for sure.
Moonsorrow did an amazing set at the Steelfest festival a month earlier. Therefore expecting another superb performance from them was obvious. Even though the playing time was a little bit short at 60 minutes, they managed to perform all in all five epic long songs. Moonsorrow sounded so bombastic and epic and above all absolutely amazing.
Friday was halfway through when Dead Cross unassumingly got on the main stage to unleash their own blend of hardcore, crossover and punk with added experientialism, as you expect from a band fronted by Mike Patton. There was no band backdrop, nothing ‘extra’ on stage, just the four guys playing as frenetic and loud as they could, giving that air of a club gig on a larger scale. Just like a gig club, there was a moment when two kids, in corpse paint mind you, got on stage to mosh alongside the band. Their 60min set allowed them to play pretty much all the songs from their full length and EP. You could easily tell that 80% of the audience there wasn’t even familiar with the band’s music, despite having Mike Patton on vocals and Dave Lombardo on drums. The whole band sounded great and it seemed that this was a great introduction of what Dead Cross is all about to a bigger crowd.
As the first day was coming to a close, the second last band on the main stage was Arch Enemy. The band has been touring heavily on their latest record, “Will To Power”, and despite having played in Helsinki just under one year ago, and actually playing the next day in another festival in Finland, you could easily tell the excitement on the air for their appearance. After the intro “Set Flame to the Night”, they went straight to “The World is Yours”, “War Eternal” and “My Apocalypse”. A trio of hits that just left the fans trying to catch their breath. The band was delivering a ‘best of’ set that could get their core fan base and the overall crowd excited, and their Tuska gig was exactly like that. Sure, you will miss out on some back catalog songs, but Arch Enemy knows how to play to a festival crowd. Even those who have seen the band recently, can’t deny how energetic and explosive their 60 minute gig was. Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz knows how to interact with the crowd and seems already like a ‘veteran’ in the band. Not to mention that a band with a guitar duo in Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis, and the rhythm section of bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and drummer Daniel Erlandsson will always sound heavy and on point. Without a doubt one of the highlights of this year’s Tuska.
BodyCount came and conquered the whole Tuska crowd. Bodycount was definitely the most expected and wanted band to Tuska for years. Obviously, the fans had hoped of seeing Bodycount for a long time. Bodycount’s lyrics about the brutal street violence and the real-life aspects are definitely brutal material for the Finnish crowd to figure out. Seeing that massive line of people waiting to have the Bodycount stuff signed was amazing. That definitely testified the crowd was totally psyched to see Bodycount.
The Finnish audience cheered and had incredible and insane looking pits. Ice-T didn’t have to encourage the audience that much when the crowd was already going insane. As far as the gig is concerned, Bodycount has several members on the stage. One of them was Ice-T’s son. When introducing the line-up Ice-T wondered how this happened. The set equally consisted of the older material and of course newer stuff. The 90-minute long gig was surprisingly kicked off with the classic Slayer tune “Raining Blood” and was followed by “Post Mortem”. Meanwhile, Dave Lombardo sneaked in behind the drum kit and did the part of Post Mortem. it is quite needless to say the crowd went berserk. The whole thing about having Lombardo to sit behind the kit was a really huge surprise to the audience.
As for the Bodycount material, the band hammered old songs such “Born Dead”, “KKK Bitch”, “Drive” and the legendary controversial “Copkiller”. As for the newer material “Black Hoodie”, “Manslaughter”, “Talk Shit, Get Shot” etc. The whole set was concluded by “This is Why We Ride” .
As the respond of the audience was so brutal and reckless, that definitely fueled the band to sacrifice themselves 110% on stage. Ice-T was a real master of the ceremony, controlling the audience to go insane and having speeches when introducing songs. Bodycount truly did an awesome show and the waiting of years was definitely the worth of every cent. Welcome back.
The Finnish goths or should it be said Helsinki Vampires haven’t played at Tuska for about 15 years. Therefore their return to Tuska was welcomed for sure. Fortunately, they hadn’t been allowed to play on the main stage as it would have been very boring. Instead, the tent stage created the more authentic atmosphere. The band surprisingly sounded damn good and offered a great set of the most well-known 69 Eyes tunes. The singer sounded surprisingly good despite he tends to over sound with his down-tuned vocals. The set consisted of songs such as Gothic Girl, The Chair, Brandon Lee. 69 Eyes turned out to be the nice unexpected and pleasant surprise.
Carpenter Brut was kind of odd choice for Tuska, but the festival has booked other eccentric squads in the past. The 80’s synthesizer with the metal guitars ain’t that metallic. This sort of stuff seems to get spread out truly fast. Obviously, Perturbator has carved the paths for other groups playing this sort of dance beats meet metal sounds. Carpenter Brut draw a huge and passionate crowd and did a great gig with catchy songs. The three-piece made the crowd dance along with the metalized dance beats. Is this the future of metal or just a pure one-time trend?
Emperor has been a more regular visitor at Tuska. This performance was already their third visit at Tuska. Recycling these same bands is getting a bit boring, but on the other hand, the younger generation hasn’t managed to witness the Norwegian emperors. However, the band did IN THE SIDE NIGHT OF ECLIPSE back 2014 in the extreme rainy conditions, creating a magical moment. Back to 2018 when Emperor was doing the special set for the highly worshipped Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk album. The album is definitely a milestone in the black metal genre and it is adored by the metal community around the world. Emperor hammered down each song off the album in the most safety and guaranteed way. The band didn’t offer any unpleasant detours, just focusing on pulling the 60 minute set all the way through. The band performance was quite a routine one. However, Trym’s playing was in the sharpest strike as making some tiny mistakes here and there. The audience was pleased to hear all the songs and of course, mandatory ones ‘Curse You All Men!’, ‘I Am the Black Wizards’ and ‘Inno a Satana’. All right what is the next what can the Emperor guys can come up for shows ?! Both the albums have been played entirely by now.
Hallatar being one kind of all-star group feat. current and ex-members of various bands (HIM, Amorphis, Swallow The Sun) have got a lot of attention since the debut album came out earlier this year. The music is tremendously heavy and doomy oriented. The slow deep and depressive, yet melancholic songs appealed to the crowd truly well.
Saturday’s headliner was a German thrash metal legends Kreator. The band is one of the most popular bands in their genre, and despite the fact that the band is performing regularly in Finland, the band managed to attract one of the biggest audiences on the whole festival. Kreator opened with “Phantom Antichrist” followed by “Hail of Hordes” and the tone of the band’s performance was made clear. It was pure old-school thrash metal at its best. Mille’s screaming vocals, the dual guitar riffs from him and Sami Yli-Sirniö and the combination of Christian Giesler‘s bass lines and Jürgen ‘Ventor’ Reil‘s powerful drumming kept the band’s impact hard with no respite and kept the momentum going through the whole set. With the current tour still being in support of the band’s latest studio effort, GODS OF VIOLENCE, it made a lot of sense that the band’s setlist included a lot of new material. With four songs included from the latest album, and three from the previous PHANTOM ANTICHRIST shows the band’s faith in their newer stuff and for a reason. The songs like “Satan is Real”, “Fallen Brother” and “Civilization Collapse” are genuine Kreator classics already.
But of course, a couple of older songs were performed as well. “Total Death”, “Pleasure to Kill” and “Flag of Hate” kept the old school fans happy for sure. The rest of the set was a string of selected songs from the era between the early years and the present. Especially “People of the Lie”, “Enemy of God”, “Phobia” and “Violent Revolution” got a great reception from the crowd. On top of the brilliant performance, the band’s stage-show was more than convincing. There were large movie screens, tons of pyro, a spectacular light show and lot more. All these things together, combined with the band’s performance and the great music, caused several mosh pits and “the wall of deaths” in the audience. It was both beautiful and amazing at the same time. Kreator proved that they still belong to the highest top tier of the Trash Metal scene.
Hail to the Hordes
Enemy of God
Satan Is Real
People of the Lie
Flag of Hate
Gods of Violence
From Flood into Fire
Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)
Pleasure to Kill
AT THE GATES
At The Gates has got the busy festival summer, crisscrossing all around Europe at various festivals. But how many times At The Gates have visited Tuska? Too many to be honest. However, the audience still pays the attention to the band and why not, as they still sound good on stage. Tompa Lindberg’s dry sounding cawing is a trademark for the sounds of At The Gates. The solid gig by the Swedish finest.
Saturday’s headline Gojira is a veteran of Tuska, this being their fourth appearance, but their first time headlining a day in the festival. Not to mention that just last year they played in Helsinki to a sold-out show. You could say that their popularity has been growing and growing, not just here but worldwide, and in a way their Tuska gig was the culmination of their rise in Finland. Even before their gig started, there was a great number of people already waiting for them to hit the stage. It’s kind of remarkable to think that just about 10 years ago this same band was playing in the middle of the day in a smaller stage in Tuska. After a 10-minute delay, the band started their set with “Only Pain”, from their latest record “Magma”. Despite some occasional pyrotechnics during their performance, the thing that caught everyone’s attention and actually brought something different to their live experience was the giant screen behind the band that played different short videos throughout their set. It didn’t distract the overall experience, it added something else to their gig. Through a set of almost 90 minutes, they played songs like “Flying Whales”, “Terra Inc.”, “Liquid Fire”, and many others that sounded heavier live than compared to their album versions.
STICK TO YOUR GUNS
The third band on Sunday was Orange County’s Stick to Your Guns. Despite a 15-year history on their back, you could say that they are still relatively new, at least to a crowd like the one in Tuska, which for the most part wasn’t aware of their music or style. Nevertheless, a good crowd gathered on the second stage to catch their fast and furious set. Speaking about fast, their set was even shorter than what had been scheduled, coming to down to almost a 40-minute gig, which actually suited even better this energetic, 5-piece, hardcore act.
From a set that included “Nobody”, “Such Pain”, “What Choice Did You Give Us?”, “We Still Believe”, “Nothing You Can Do To Me” and other bangers, they were able to get the crowd to circle pit, mosh and sometimes sing along with them. Things kind of slowed down with the song “Reach for Me”, which is sort of a ballad. In a way, it made sense for them to showcase the variety that they got in their music since it’s not that classic style of hardcore, but at the same time, that song felt in a way misplaced between all these other heavier and faster-paced songs. Regardless, I’m sure that this band will be coming back to Finland soon again.
The headliners of Saturday were the Swedish hard rock band Europe. Since its reunion in 2001, the band has gone through many changes musically, and their recent musical offerings being are on a par with anything that the band has released earlier in their career. The band kicked things off with the title track from the latest 2018 album, “Walk on Earth”, followed by another new track “The Siege”. If the crowd was still a bit wondering, what was the band on stage, the third song “Rock the Night” fixed the situation quickly!
The set-list included a lot of songs from WALK THE EARTH and WAR OF KINGS albums and mixed those with their best- known hits. The band delivered a good show which was greatly aided by a clear sound. Although Europe was like a lost orphan in this year line-up, among of all those metal bands, they were widely supported throughout their set. Although Joey Tempest’s “Coverdale-ish” manners went too far at times, he proved that he’s still a great vocalist and a showman. The same can be said about the guitarist John Norum. The man is getting only better with age, like a good wine. His playing sounds so easy, it comes out naturally, and there’s plenty of soul on it. The rest of the band played solidly and sounded tight through the set. Europe proved that they’re more than a relevant band in 2018. The newer material is definitely different to their 80’s stuff, but maybe that’s the strength of the group. Europe is nowadays a way more versatile band compared to the old days. Although many still consider them as a one-hit wonder, there is so much more to them than that one song. And yes. They did play “Final Countdown” as the last song on the set. No worries.
Walk the Earth
Rock the Night
Scream of Anger
Last Look at Eden
Sign of the Times
War of Kings
Hole in My Pocket
The Final Countdown
Parkway Drive concluded the three-day inferno of metal in the heart of Helsinki. The Australian metalcore kings have become tremendous huge during the past few years. Therefore being the closing band was justifiable. The band offered a real raging performance, making the audience go totally nuts. The performance was energic and ass-kicking. Especially the rolling drumkit in a roller-coaster lookalike machine was amazing. Parkway Drive doesn’t appeal to all the crowd, but the band definitely gained the new fanbase.