Blow Up V Festival – Helsinki Finland

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Even though the summer festival is over, the autumn festival season has started. One of the most remarkable indoor festivals in Finland is absolutely BlowUp. The festival has gained more and more success and the name has been spread out.  Frankly, the whole three-day festival is an amazing experience. BlowUp festival is such an interesting event as it covers different genres of the music from the ritualistic eerie sounding acoustic performance to the most extreme metal. The Blowup Vol. 5 festival took place in Helsinki, Korjaamo on Oct 10-12 2019 and had several amazing bands and artists performing.


Kaela Mikla from Iceland opened the BlowUp Festival V. The band consists of three female members; the singer, the guitarist and the synchronizer. The female Icelandic trio’s music is based on electronic music with some punkish elements. Using their language brought the personal vibe and grip to their performance and music.  When listening to their stuff, some Bauhaus elements popped up. Their performance was full of intense passion.

Morne did an amazing heavy set. The band’s heavy bulldozing riffs sounded like a sledgehammer would have hit the crowd. Morne gained a couple of fans more with the intense sludge-sounding stuff.

Ved Buens Ende got activated earlier this year and played some gigs here and there. The band released the highly appreciated WRITTEN IN WATERS in the ’90s and then vanished as members were involved in other bands. The return of Ved Buens Ende drawn a huge crowd as the Norwegian avant-gardism metallers were one of the most anticipated bands along with Cirith Ungol.  Ved Buens Ende combined various elements from the fusion jazz to extreme metal influences. Carl-Michael Eide’s personal and eccentric way of singing gave its own character to the approach of Ved Buens Ende.  The guitarist Yusaf Parvez handled the more extreme black metal delivery.

Godflesh has performed at the BlowUp Festival before. They had been invented to the festival to perform the legendary and groundbreaking STREETCLEANER album from back to back. Their set was heavy and truly crushingly heavy. The heavy beats and rhythms of STREETCLEANER made the pacemaker jump in the chest several times.



The domestic sludge patrol Demonic DeathJudge sounded surprisingly heavy and stoned. The material was splendid and sounded superb.  The band aren’t  that visual of one. To be honest, the group was quite boring as a live band, but that could be expected from a sludge/stoner band?

Cirith Ungol was interesting as well as quite eccentric booking at the BlowUp festival. The more old school heroic metal differed from the whole offering of the BlowUp festival. Despite that, the band received an amazing response from the audience. The whole main hall was quite packed when Cirith Ungol took the audience back on the time-trip to the heyday of the ’80s. Though the band has been more or less forgotten gem, they have resurrected from the ashes successfully.  Ungol’s material sounded refreshing and vital, even though the songs are about 40 years old.

Bolzer has always been a brutal, barbaric and nihilistic live act. Even though the line-up consists of two guys, the sounds were crushing. The vocalist and guitarist KzR’s raw and deep growling sounded truly violent and bestial.  He used the whole space of the stage by moving from one side to another. It was rather impossible to see the drummer’s intensive playing because of the tight smoke. Bolzer didn’t show any mercy, just giving the merciless set of the rawest blackened death metal.

EyeHateGod has increased the Finnish fanbase during the last decade. Whenever they have visited Finland they have played for bigger and bigger crowds. That could be witnessed when the NOLA sludge metallers hit the stage. The audience went insane and a few brutal pits broke out. The frontman Mike IX Williams was an unpredictable performer on the stage as he moved and manners were out of control. He truly lived up to his performance and the music. EyeHateGod was raw and heavy. They are truly masters and pioneers of the whole sludge/stoner/doom metal genre with their recognizable sounds.



The last day was started by Lustword’s electro-ambient show.  The man behind Lustmord is Brian “Lustmord” who is a real pioneer of the whole dark ambient genre. Williams described as a pioneer of the whole dark ambient genre. His performance was mesmerizing and kind of eerie. The visual aspects reflected on the backdrop and looked quite capturing. The visual aspect brought more depth and cold feeling. The audience followed Lusmord’s ambient performance in some kind of trance.

The German doom metal patrol Ahab offered a lesson of a little bit suicidal doom metal aspects. The heavy and slow riffs echoed in the main hall. The frontman’s ability to do both the low growling and the beautiful clean vocal parts were perfect and sounded good. Doing those kinds of singing is challenging.  The band handled the gig with a firm hand and didn’t offer any surprises. However, they sounded truly deadly doom and heavy.

Eyehategod did the double set at BlowUp. There wasn’t that big difference in the set, but their performance was a little bit more controlled. Even the audience was more down to earth as pits didn’t break out. Mike IX Williams pointed out the audience was quiet. Once again EyeHateGod proved to be one hell of a live band.

The British act Dragged Into Sunlight needs no sunlight or even bright lights. All the lights were mostly red and otherwise dark. The band usually perform their backs turned to the audience as they did at the BlowUp festival. Of course, the whole stage had been filled up by the heavy smoke. Some people didn’t appreciate the band playing the back turned to the audience as that was found quite odd. Dragged Into Sunlight’s ultra brutal black metal with grindcore elements sounded quite apocalyptic, chaotic and even insane.

Rippikoulu started in the early ’90s when the biggest hype of death metal was raging.  When the biggest boom was slowing down, the band went on a long hiatus for a long time.  Rippikoulu got activated some years ago and since then been playing at several underground festivals and gigs. Rippikoulu’s doom/death metal drew a nice amount of people. The five-piece performed quite a deadly set. The set started quite smoothly but got improved and better toward the end. The band ain’t the most raging onstage, instead, they stylishly handle the performance as well as the playing.

Sadly it was the last BlowUp Festival, for the time being, the organization announced they put the fest on hold. Time shall tell if and when Blowup will return to the limelight again. As this kind of festival with different kinds of artists and bands is a unique event and above all the audience has found the fest. The BlowUp festival was sold out, therefore, it would be superb to see it in the future.

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