The BlowUp Festival is another great indoor festival arranged in the darkest period of the year in Finland. The festival was arranged for the fourth time in a row and the whole event was totally sold out. The festival has been described as a mini version of the mighty Roadburn festival. This is because BlowUp offers the same kind of brotherhood of the particular genre such sludge, doom, industrial that fit to the concept. Visiting the BlowUp festival was a real eye opening and amazing experience to witness these kinds of special events of a specific genre are highly appreciated and people are definitely geared to seeing more underground acts. Here is a brief write-up of the festival, enjoy !
The domestic Dark Buddha Rising kicked off the fourth annual Blow Up Festival. The band’s more psychedelic metal with the blackish metal elements tied up in the music was a great way of welcoming the audience to arrive at the festival. Dark Buddha Rising combines different kinds of elements to mold their sounds and execute it in the live performance. The frontman’s creepy and raw delivery crowns their whole approach. Dark Buddha Rising sounded raw, experimental and blackish with some mysterious aspects and feelings hidden in the playing and the way they express the lyrical note.
The San Francisco based Acid King hit the stage to do the more sludge/stoner doomy sounding metal. The three piece led by Lori S. Her hypnotic voice echoed in the venue, and her heavy and down tuned guitar sounds were amazing, capturing and mesmerizing.
Crowbar is an iconic stoner/doom/sludge combo led by the legendary Kirk Windstein. Even though Crowbar’s line-up has once again undergone some changes, but the basic elements are still in the sounds of Crowbar. Crowbar never let down – they sounded truly slow, deep and heavy for sure. Kirk Windstein’s voice is an obvious trademark for the Crowbar sound. The four piece didn’t make any exception or offered any gimmicks. The band definitely relied on the rough power of the music and let it flow with a heavy grip and playing. Crowbar is always super heavy and raw.
Kauan is an atmospheric doom metal or whatever post-rock band from Chelyabinsk and having a Finnish band weird. Sounds weird, right ?! However the Kauan band performed very melancholic and atmospheric stuff. The surrounding atmosphere in the smaller venue was perfect as the light were blue and created the right atmospheric vibe to their performance. Kauan definitely knows how to create the touching stuff with several video clips reflecting on the screen brought more. Those clips were based on the winter scenery and other dismal looking aspects.The stuff of Kauan definitely appeals to those ones, who are into the desperate sounding epic and melancholic stuff.
Bongripper has always managed to create the inhuman torturous sonic rendezvous, resulting that people must have been carried away from a venue. The band’s earripping riff and … The level of the volume hadn’t been set to the maximum, instead it was quite low. Bongripper is used to having the most insane huge terrorizing volume that makes ears bleed and people to faint. The band mangled the audience with the intensive and heavy playing.
The Swedish Hällas were catapult to wider awareness of the people during this year when the band’s second album second album “Excerpts From A Future Past” got high appreciated responds. The four-piece started the second day as an opening act on the main stage by doing a fascinating set of the hybrid mix of the old school new wave of the British heavy metal meets some psychedelic rocks elements. The band’s music is so spell-bounding and capturing that makes the one listen and listen again. The eccentric and funny stage clothes create more bizarre the 70’s feeling in the vein of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. The catchy song title “Star Rider” has memorable riffs that got stuck to the head for sure. As for the live performance, to be honest they need to develop the stage performance as the music is already splendid.
Conan always sounds brutal on the stage. The band led by Jon Davis is known for the truly downtuned and heavy guitar sound. The three piece combines the Doom Metal elements with a little bit Death Metal and of course Sludge st in the approach, making them sound so raw and a little bit distorted. Their gig at the Blow Up Festival just proved that the Liverpool based doomsters are truly raw and heavy. As far as their stage performance, there was not that much to cheer when the musicians took care of the playing and standing next to the mic. However Conan’s strenght is the ultimate heavy and raw volume of doom( and sludge) metal.
Author And Punisher belongs to the new wave of the modern day industrial metal(can that be said?) generation. This one-man group has truly conquered new places and territories with the intensive, raw sounding and above all unique and passion performance. The whole gear and system designed for the live performance of Author And Punisher is incredible. The man behind the gear named Tristan Shone is definitely a genius what comes to creating the industrialized sounding metal with some doomy vibes. Ironically enough or not, but the godfather and icon of the whole industrial genre Godflesh played on the main stage at the same time as Author And Punisher, therefore Godflesh had to be sacrificed for Author And Punisher.
The Belgian Amenra has been a more regular visitor at Roadburn for years, but visiting Blow Up Festival and Finland was obviously the first ever. Amenra definitely has the fanbase in Finland judging by a huge crowd in the main hall. Amenra is quite an interesting act as the singer usually performs with the back toward the audience and generally the lights are more or less grey and darkened. However the band’s intensive performance was adorable. The music has a wide variety of different elements, from the depressive and outstanding beautiful riffs and parts to the raw and savage outburst. Amenra’s songs work and sounded more vital and better than on outputs, as the band can crank them up with the brutal and aggressive touch.