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Jane Oliver, Klaudia Weber + additions by Sabine van Gameren, Stefanie Singh,Tina Solda
Was it the new location or the program – the signs (like quickly sold-out-3 day tickets) might have been a bit deceiving: according to the official summary it were not so many more people than usual who visited Finnish Tuska 2011, although the new Suvilahti area offers space for bigger audiences. Still, 28.000 visitors in three days, 10.000 on Saturday alone, make this year´s Metal festival another big success.
My concerns (as I had „enjoyed“ Suvilahti area previously) remained unfounded, the nicely laid-put arragement of stages and other elements, e.g. catering, worked perfectly, you could reach everything in no time. Four stages meant a lot of clashes, though, and we were just 2 STALKERs – therefore many thanks for all those „guest contributions“!
More photos here! Yet it´s a fact that fantastic summer weather and +30 degrees are tougher to cope with on asphalt fields than in Kaisaniemi-Park – and a family picknick loses a certain appeal. In the afternoon you hardly find shady spots at Suvilahti; audience, crew and bands alike had to prove their capacity for suffering. Well, anyway, the festival name Tuska means „pain“...
Friday July 22, 2011 How to define „hot“? Well, it was so hot that you could see stout Metal Machos using quite feminine hand fans ... (hopefully they used their own and not just stealing them from their girlfriends). Despite my minimalistic outfit (a tiny summer dress plus flip flops) it turned out to be a sweaty day for me. Partly that was caused by fear, too, because entering a Tuska photo pit is much more dangerous than any brutal HC moshpit ...
There were two opening acts playing at the same time, and I picked:
More band photos here! Omnium Gatherum presented their new guitar player Joonas "Jope" Koto and an energetic show. Singer Jukka hardly ever stopped running around. There was „The Distance“ only in form of a song, as he climbed boxes to get as close to the enthusiastic crowd as possible. The setlist focused on the New World Shadow CD, but they also played classics like “Chameleon Skin” or “A Shadowkey”.
More band photos here! Forbidden visited Finland again after 18 (!) years but the sound was a bit disappointing for me at first. Perhaps Russ Anderson needed more time to warm up his voice? My expectations were fulfilled after the legendary Bay Area Thrashers kicked ass with classics like Forbidden Evil or Twisted Into Form. Then also new songs from the Omega Wave Album worked nicely. As a little surprise (and repose) they also played a Children of the Sea cover – cool! (KW)
photo: Tina Solda
More photos here! Hell Oldies can still rock as these Englishmen certainly demonstrated. In the murkiness of the Inferno stage Hell attracted a fair bunch of curiosity. First formed in 1982, they were active for only a few years - but with a fairly recent reunion and a record put out by Nuclear Blast only 2 months ago, they have enjoyed the limelight once more. They blasted out a 45 minute set of NWOBHM-esque with vocal styles akin to King Crimson giving a lot of energy - lead man David Bower obviously enjoying very much being back on stage! (JO)
More band photos here! Bulldozer from Italy offered some show spectacle, as singer Alberto Contini was „preaching“ as Dracula. Musically it reminded me a bit of good old Venom, but after a while I found this Thrash/Black Crossover set, focusing on their recent release Unexpected Fate, a bit one-dimensional.
More band photos here! Arch Enemy would have been a nice headliner, because the spirits were high among those masses of fans that had gathered. The guys and front woman Angela Gossow hardly gave the crowd a rest, and no complaints about the setlist either, with e.g. Yesterday is Dead and Gone, Ravenous, My Apocalypse, Bloodstained Cross, Under Black Flags We March, No Gods, No Masters, Nemesis and finally Fields of Desolation. Great gig! (KW)
More band photos here! Grave You can´t beat a touch of classic Old School Swedish Death metal and not much is better than the mighty Grave! Gracing the dank Inferno stage and sheltered from the sun - this is the perfect atmosphere for this show. A sick set varying songs from the 20 year career including the cracking ‘Into The Grave”, “Deformed”, “In Love” & “Extremely Rotten Flesh” immersed devoted fans. It must be said that the fairly recent inclusion of Tobias Christianson (Dismember) in place Fredrik "Fredda" Isaksson on bass has brought a much more energetic live show to the table - he has so much energy and stage presence you can´t help but smile! (JO)
More band photos here! Electric Wizard Gitarrist Liz Buckingham hid behind her hair, Basser Tas found another way to hide, namely tattoos – is there any free spot left? Clearly the winner of our tattoo competition... the Brits´ cool Doom/Stoner sound with a touch of Psychedelic (e.g. Nightchild, Dopethrone, Funeralopolis) worked nicely as chill out music – in the shade somewhere. (KW)
More band photos here! At The Gates The Swedish Death Metal party had a reunion in 2008 with an extensive tour, stating it would be a one of. But 2010 a “second” reunion was announced. It could be easy to point the finger at the $ sign, but today proved that they weren´t going through those motions and Thomas Lindberg had an ear to ear grin the entire time proving it was for the love of playing. The whole band were full of the energy of the old days. The intro used was the haunting outro from Slaughter of the Soul. Of course the majority of the set was from the aforementioned album; “Slaughter of the Soul”, “Cold”, Suicide Nation”, Under a Serpent Sun”, “World of Lies”, Unto Others”, “Nausea” - but to be expected I guess, but a few nice treats from earlier times were included; “The Burning Darkness”, “The Beautiful Wound”, “Raped by the Light of Christ”. Encore none other than “Blinded by Fear and from the first album (thank you!) “Kingdom Gone”. (JO)
More band photos here! Oranssi Pazuzu Inside the Clubstage building, temperatures were bearable at first. Quite diabolic, however, the photo conditions – if there was light, it came just in red, plus this abundance of fog … The Finns Oranssi Pazuzu gave another challenge with their hooded costumes. Their pretty cool Noise-Death-Grind-Core sounded a bit mushy, and they did not even attempt to make any audience contact – pretty antisocial... (KW)
More band photos here! Spiritual Beggars The so-called side project of Arch Enemy Guitarrist Michael Amott had reached cult status long ago with it´s great Stoner-Rock and turned out to be – as expected – one of my Tuska highlights. The „new“ singer Apostolos "Apollo" Papathanasio, who joined the line-up in 2010, convinced in any aspect – voice, charisma and likeable statements, e.g. „I love Finland“ in Finnish. The setlist contained a nice balance of new CD stuff (“We are free”) and classics, e.g. “Wonderful World”. But then I got too curious about Killing Joke and skipped the last third of the show... (KW)
More band photos here! Killing Joke One of the worst clashes was KJ with Spiritual Beggars this year, but certainly you weren´t left yearning for the other while watching these London “post punkers”. This highly influential band were highly anticipated by many. An atmosphere building intro piece that Ghost have been using made an appearance here too - the music from The Masked Ball from the movie Eyes Wide Shut , then it was down to business. A classic solid gig was delivered consisting of “Requiem”, “Love Like Blood“, “Wardance“, “The Wait“, “This World Hell“, “The Great Cull“ & “Pandemonium”. Jaz Coleman bust out his signature bizarre robotic dancing, donned in the usual ghostly makeup and black attire as standard. He was a powerful presence on stage during this satisfyingly stompy show.
More band photos here! Morbid Angel Everyone of late have had their opinions of the new MA album, and unfortunately the consensus has been mostly negative. So of course fans are waiting anxiously to see what can be delivered in the live setting with new drummer Tim Young (Vital Remains, Hate Eternal) on board. But there is no need to scrutinize as there are still 3 gods on stage and Young delivers well. Things kick off with the best choice “Immortal Rites” and rolls through steadily with “Fall From Grace”, “Rapture”, “Pain Divine”, “Sworn to the Black”. I like very much that 3 songs from the new album are played back to back which doesn´t at all disrupt the flow and is accepted well by the moshers. A classic encore consists of what you would expect - “Where the Slime Live”, “Blood on my Hands”, God of Emptiness” & “World of Shit” so no one in their right mind can be disappointed! (JO)
Jatkoklubi: "Tuskadisko: Mosh and Dance" On our way to the "Tuskadisko" at "Suvilahden Kattilahalli" next to the festival entrance, we walk through the district of Kallio where the bars and clubs are bursting at the seams. Everyone wants to party, and the "Mosh and Dance" even offers celebrity DJ`s such as The 69 Eyes frontman Jyrki69 and Sonic Roots drummer Nalle Österman. Entering the venue, I am stunned: The actually cool location can hold about 1.000 people - but only four lonely hearts (of 10 attendees) are dancing around in the huge venue to classics of The Sisters Of Mercy, Type O Negative and others. But what can you expect if there are 28.000 festival visitors and no flyers were distributed at all, and not one single poster at "Kattilahalli" advertises this event! Also in times of the facebook mania, a minor investment into "non-virtual" promotion would have paid off. No wonder "Tuskadisko" ends already at 1 o`clock, three hours earlier than announced.
However, I try my luck again the next evening, but after five minutes a friend drags me to "Bar Bäkkäri". A good idea, the unofficial "Tuskasupermegarockparty" there is packed. "Kattilahalli" has only six guests, even less people than the night before. It`s just a matter of (good) promotion... (Stefanie Singh)
Saturday July 23, 2011 Some rain during the night had cooled down the hot atmosphere a bit, yet still all clouds, breezes and passing showers were welcomed as a relief.
More band photos here! MyGrain confirmed the good impression I got from their (same-named) new CD and their gig at Myötätuulirock. Not only the band broke some sweat during this energetic show – the crowd did not wait for an invitation to form a Mosh/Circlepit to celebrate e.g. „Clockwork Apocalypse“, „Shadow People“ and „Trapped in an Hourglass“. (KW)
More band photos here! Witchery A band that could have been better by night than day - it seems strange to be one of the opening acts, but nonetheless a great way to kick the spirit back into gear for day two of Tuska. Witchery are remnants from the Swedish band Satanic Slaughter - carrying on in the thrash metal vein. Emperor Magus Caligula (Dark Funeral) recently took over on vocal duties and fits in well, but looks really crap in some poor armadillo suit while the rest of the band just thrash out. Some cool old stuff is played - “The Reaper” & “The Storm” and a handful of tracks from the newest album "Witchkrieg" which was fairly decent. A good fun way to start the day. (JO)
More band photos here! Medeia Well, you could see the keyboard but not hear it, and I found the mushy sound too annoying after 2,3 songs. Therefore I can neither deny nor confirm my STALKER colleague´s impression of the Finns´ new Abandon All CD. Very angry music, where aggressive singer Keijo Niinimaa appears extremely scary. (KW)
More band photos here! Moonsorrow Clashes once again, therefore just shooting some pics of Ville&Co and briefly enjoying some songs ("Tähdetön”, “Aurinko ja Kuu”) ... Inferno tent was overcrowded, fans celebrated the Finns like super heroes.
More band photos here! Tarot Promoting the idea „Pink is the new Black“, Marco Hietala has no competition in our STALKER “worst dressed” contests. He also tells the story behind it – the shirt is a gift by Janne Tolsa, and people who don´t like it can throw something on stage – hence the helmet... Those pranksters put the setlist focus too much on the „new“ (= old remastered) “The Spell of Iron” material (e.g. Dancing on the Wire, Pharao, Never Forever), therefore some of my all-time faves like Rider Of The Last Day were not played… still a well-done Tuska show! (KW)
More band photos here! Katatonia More Sweden rock today with the melancholic Katatonia. Fittingly the skies dull down and it starts to rain as they play. They perhaps don´t always thrive in a festival environment (being more suited to a personal gig) - or perhaps it´s just me - but as much as I love them it is an emotional show as always. Regardless they play a typically great Katatonia show giving us “Forsaker”, “Liberation”, “My Twin”, “Right Into The Bliss”, “I Break”, “Sweet Nurse”, “July”, “ Day and Then The Shade” & “Leaders” (JO)
More band photos here! Wintersun Regarding set, show and audience reactions, this can just be called „a triumph“. Gee whoever wasn´t a Wintersun fan before became converted for sure. Well it´s not too expensive to purchase the entire back catalogue of those Finnish Epic/Pagan Metallers – because guitar wizard Jari Mäenpää, drum genius Kai Hahto & Co released only ONE album so far, in 2004 (!). A show like this explains why they still get festival slots – with headlining potential. They played new songs, too, e.g. The Way Of The Fire, so it´s high time for a new album, guys… (KW)
More band photos here! Church Of Misery Flares, doom, energy and mountains of groove is up next with Church of Misery from Japan. It´s like stepping back into the 70s with these guys in terms of their sound and very obvious Black Sabbath influence (which is a great thing!) - but more sinister as they write and sing pretty much about serial killers. Unbounded energy is released upon the audience, no one can escape the groove. Singer Yoshiaki Negishi is like a crazed loon and bounds about the stage, climbing up on top of the amps and jumping everywhere whilst growling through the songs. He must only be let out of his cage to sing! Without a doubt one of the highlights of this years festival, if you weren´t there you missed out. In one last act of energy one of the guitarists comes back onstage after the set to smash up his guitar. Rock n´ roll! (JO)
More band photos here! Blind Guardian could be regarded a certain highlight even beforehand – as we just mentioned headliner potential... The German Tolkien-Rockers had definitely deserved it, just because of their abundance of ear candy that made this gig appear as „way too short“. Without any special effects, the magic of their music captured the audience, and when you hear hundreds singing loudly „Bard´s Song“ - well, this is a nice gooseflesh moment... The likable fronter Hansi Kürsch and his crew (André Olbrich, Marcus Siepen,Frederik Ehmke) promised to return soon for club shows.O YEAH! The setlist: Sacred Worlds, Welcome to Dying, Nightfall, Time Stands Still (at the Iron Hill), Turn the Page, Valhalla, Tanelorn (Into the Void), Wheel of Time, The Bard´s Song - In the Forest, Mirror Mirror
Then I tried a special stunt – checking out three bands who play almost at the same time...
More band photos here! Enslaved would have been the best choice – unexpectedly, as I hardly care for Black Metal. But this passion, those (Folk inspired) melodies, this epic sound paired with brutality and a portion of Prog, those clean vocals (Keyboarder Herbrand Larsen) contrasting evil screeches/growls (Basser Grutle Kjellson) – those Norwegians were simply captivating! Turned out that the second act Ghost was not my cup of tea (more below)...
More band photos here! Rotten Sound was the third band I wanted to see, and a huge number of people, too – clubstage turned into Sauna. The Finns re-defined brutality - Death/Grind and mega-aggression that almost knocks you over in the photo pit. Deja-vu – Singer Keijo Niinimaa (Medeia) was once again pretty frightening here. Then back to EMP stage to enjoy the rest of the Enslaved gig... (KW)
More band photos here! Ghost have done a really good job of keeping their true identities a secret since they have emerged on the metal scene over the past couple of years. All we know is that they are from Sweden and many have hazard a guess as to who the members really are. The anonymity and mystery gimmick has got them noticed world wide but at least they have some serious kick as tunes to back them up. Or was it the music and not the gimmick that did the trick? Regardless the Inferno Stage is jam-packed (as Enslaved play at exactly the same time on EMP Stage!) as the ritual begins. Dark stage, lots of dry ice and incense is the standard stage set for Ghost and they play seamlessly. There is not much surprise as only one album has yet been released so we get to hear "Death Knell", "Con Clavi Con Dio", "Elizabeth" & “Ritual” amongst others. A truly captivating live show, let´s hope for some new material and soon.
More band photos here! Devin Townsend Saturdays headliner is once more Heavy Devy. He and his Project headlined 2 nights at Tuska 2010, so many could say that to be at 2011 is overkill? Perhaps yes, but there is much enthusiasm and delight as he takes to the stage. Of course Ziltoid/Devin monologue is once again present together with the insane large scale visuals - the product of Devin´s overactive imagination - in which he has super imposed his face onto many images such as Marilyn Monroe and the Teletubbies Sun Face. Devin Townsend fans are very devoted - I myself being very fond of his music. But he has chosen the addition of Anneke van Giersbergen (ex The Gathering) to accompany most of the songs which after a while was rather grating on the brain. But not for Deadhead. But still the Devin magic shines few with emotion and beauty with the following songs: “Addicted”, “Supercrush”, “Kingdom”, “Deadhead”, ”Pixellate”, “ By Your Command”, “Colour Your World”, “Hyperdrive” & the perfect finish with “Deep Peace” (JO)
Jatkoklubi @ Virgin Oil: CHARON A night of big emotions, Virgin Oil totally sold out, the fans of this act from Raahe a motley crowd of all ages and styles. Singer J.P. Leppäluoto, drummer Antti Karihtala, bassist Teemu Hautamäki snd guitarrist Lauri Tuohimaa were in best mood and took the audience onto a journey through time with the pearls of their 5 albums, including hits like „Ride on tears“ and „Colder“ from their last album „Songs for the sinners“, where the audience sang along. But also older tracks like „Bitter Joy“ from 2002 album „Downhearted“ were played, and special guest on second guitar was nobody else than the brother of J.P., who introduced him proudly. A moving moment was also the duet of J.P. and Lauri, after which both hugged each other.
As J.P. noticed the heat in the hall, the females hoped that he might get rid off some clothes, but they had to wait until the encore to which J.P. returned without shirt. Finally, facing a cheering crowd, you could see that the band felt moved, and after all those thank-you shouts, hugs and bows Charon remained on stage for a while to give fans the opportunity of capturing a photo of the last moments.
Farewell, Charon, this night was unforgettable, but also a bit too short with only about 1,5 h showtime... (Maria-Christin Luther)
Sold out Virgin Oil, and pretty much all the visitors came to see the final act of the night: Charon. ... This show is part of a short farewell tour for the fans. The temperatures are high and people are in the mood to have a great experience for the last time with these guys ...Their most known songs are kept for the last part of the set. ...Heart-breaking is the moment where the band starts playing “Little Angel” and the crowd sings along with the band. ... Obviously Charon left us with some great music, too bad this was the end. (Sabine van Gameren)
More about this show here!
A statement of Charon guitarist Lauri Tuohimaa:
„Our last show in Helsinki was amazing. Audience was singing and yelling so loud that it broke my ears more than noise that came from our instruments :). It seemed that people haven´t forget Charon, because Virgin Oil was sold out that night and there were people from many different countries. I think we playd better than never, big thank also to our new guitar player Ville-Pekka Lind, who has played with us since last summer. I wanna thank everyone who were there in this unforgettable night. We didn´t sit in vain in our hot tour bus for ten hours to get to Helsinki :)“
More photos here! Sunday July 24, 2011 Forecasts had promised thunderstorms for this day, therefore I chose the old small but waterproof camera. Which I should regret – because despite more clouds, wind and cooler temperatures, there wasn´t any rain coming at all.
Impaled Nazarene Fans celebrated the Finns so enthusiastically that front man Sluti666 even said things like „are you ready to rock“. Otherwise he kept his announcements in Finnish, so I didn´t understand much – but „Saatana“ and „Perkele“ were used very often... After that I had another Norwegian discovery coming up...(KW)
More band photos here! Kvelertak Having a good time is the name of the game with Norways Kvelertak. Best described as a punk n´ roll outfit with a little bit of a black metal influence. All lyrics are in Norwegian. Unbelievably happy and full of groove, they kicked life into everyone present at this early stage of the day. The singer took a real like to jumping into the audience for a touch of crowd surfing which was fantastic to see, and spent much of the time there, or singing on the ground rather on stage! It was nice to note that each member wore a black arm band in respect and memory for the victims of those attacks in Norway. (JO)
More band photos here! Meshuggah fulfilled all (high) expectations – neckbreaking riffs, complex songs (e.g. Rational Gaze, Combustion, Perpetual Black Second, Bleed, New Millennium Cyanide Christ, Straws Pulled At Random), a crazy front man and a drummer from another planet. In other words – sit down and enjoy (and don´t attempt headbanging, a baaaaad idea in this case). Headliner potential once again... Fronter Jens Kidman surprised with bizarre statements, e.g. that they will play another gig after 23h „in the small park behind this building over there“. Well, a jester – or the result of too much sun? (KW)
More band photos here! Jex Thoth is the name of the female vocalist and also the name of the band with this metal/psychedelic doom group from San Francisco. They deliver a very powerful performance, and Jex has the strong voice to compliment the heavy groove and doesn‘t falter live. She is certainly the centre of all the activity, swirling around in a cloak out of a 70s time warp hippy fest, burning wood and looking like she is a crazed lady who has lost her marbles (nothing wrong there!) and this works perfectly with the music. Many songs featured from the ST album “Jex Thoth” including “Stone Evil”, “ When The Raven Calls”, “Son of Yule” and much to everyone´s delight and cheers the powerful “Warrior Woman” (JO)
More band photos here! Agnostic Front battered their tough Hardcore into the crowd (after an unusual Disco Intro). Not quite my cup of tea but – RESPECT – they seemed to have in-built trampolins, none of them could stand still, so I required many more attempts than usual to capture them (which should have bad consequences). No idea if the crowd indeed formed the „mother of all circle pits“ when songs like Crucify, Dead To Me, My Life My Way were played – I tried to escape the sun. (KW)
More band photos here! Amorphis A great pride of Finland, the wonderful Amorphis have the main stage and the sun blazing down upon them. During the first three songs (“My Enemy”, “Sky Is Mine” & “The Smoke”) there is an impressive pyrotechnics display of flames and explosions to get the heart racing. This of course creates a fantastic atmosphere and a highly enjoyable show continued. Other songs included “Song of the Troubles one”, “You I need”, “My Kantele”, “Silver Bride”, “Into Hiding” & finished up with “House of Sleep” Only one hour just didn´t seem long enough! (JO)
More band photos here! Misery Index offered a lesson in Old School Death/Grind, containing Blast Beats as well as Entombed-like Grooves and Grind attacks. Fronter Jason Netherton entertained with statements like „who wants to go faster?“ and thanked everybody who had not run away when they played old stuff from their Retaliate album. And yes, there was a circle pit, too. (KW)
More band photos here! Black Crucifixion There is a bit of a BM cult treat in the darkness of the Club Stage - Black Crucifixion, who have unbelievably been on the go for 20 years. Only a small but devoted and eager crowd was pulled for this short set and for those there it was a special show. A dark stage steeped in dry ice and cold lighting set things off just nicely They played a fully balls out straight to the point set of old school doomy, atmospheric black metal from the good old days and really, only half an hour was just warming up - but all good things are short and sweet. (JO)
More band photos here! Amon Amarth would not have been my headliner slot choice – as mentioned above. Well, obviously those Swedes have build a huge fan base in Finland and also attracted a big Tuska crowd. There´s nothing to complain about regarding the show or the sound – only the special effects almost totally disappeared in this massive back drop. Fronter Johan Hegg could not help goofing around and kept the crowd going. Unfortunately I could not capture much more of that, as suddenly my camera announced CARD FULL – dammit! (KW)
Setlist: War of the Gods, Free Will Sacrifice, Destroyer of the Universe, Live for the Kill, Live Without Regrets, Doom Over Dead Man, Asator, Guardians of Asgaard, Varyags of Miklagaard, Cry of the Black Birds, Slaves of Fear, For Victory or Death,Death in Fire, Runes to My Memory, Twilight of the Thunder God, The Pursuit of Vikings
The festival overall did not suffer too much from moving to Suvilahti, e.g. gigs in Inferno tent were much more bearable (better „air conditioning“, stage, sound light). Two big stages side by side played alternatively was a good idea, too. The sound at club stage could be improved – and perhaps also promotion for Jatkoklubit/Disco at the festival itself. Not much to complain about, therefore our rating is: 8,5
Jatkoklubi @ DOM What a mess, although I had deleted a few „failures“ to make room on the memory card, the old camera turned out to be pretty useless for DOM conditions (lights, crazy crowd). And sure, this „card full“ thing popped up way too soon again, therefore only a few (crappy) pics, sorry.
More gigphotos here! Many were still on the way from the festival area to DOM after the club had opened, but when Routasielu started, a big crowd had gathered to enjoy almost all the songs of the band´s debut album „Pimeys“, e.g. M.E.V. (Minulle Ei Vittuila) „Enkeli“ and „Loppu“ (naturally played as the last one). On guitar this time Juuso Turkki, who replaced Eero Silvonen for this show (he played in Germany with his other band Casket). Btw, the line up featured also a certain T. Saukkonen (Bass+ Growls) and a certain P. Hanski, Drums …
More gigphotos here! Had never heard of Aimonster before, and those guys from Hämeenlinna turned out to be a cool cover band, featuring two singers, Ami Koivistoinen and Make Kivistö. The first seemed to have text problems – were notes with lyric lines glued to the stage? Sometimes it seemed like that – but didn´t matter at all, those guys had so much fun playing and inspired the audience with Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Sepultura and Pantera classics.
Before The Dawn presented the new line up for the first time, as Lars Eikind (clean vox/Bass, „public speaker“) and Atte Palokangas (drums) had just left the band. The question if and how such a unique voice like Lars´ could be replaced, found a surprising answer – there were no clean vocals at all. Mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen overturned the set list and focused on all-growl-originals, therefore rare pearls like „Fear Me“, „Guardian“ or „Alone“ could be heard live – some for the first time. The brutal Wrath (as opener) even seemed pretty „complete“ without the clean vox.
More gigphotos here! The overall impression of the show was aggressive, tight and flawless – the „new dudes“ Pyri Hanski (bass, also Routasielu-drummer) and Joonas Kauppinen (drums) did a brilliant job.
„Exile“ seemed to have a keyboard sample to „simulate“ Lars a bit, but I have to admit that identifying songs just by hearing them, without those distinctive clean vocals, will be a bit difficult for fans... BUT there are regular announcements in between. When somebody said „good evening“ I looked for the speaker – the drummer? NOOO – unbelievable, it is „stage-autist“ Tuomas HIMSELF speaking!! Do pigs fly nowadays??
More gigphotos here! And although he finds „talking is something for little girls“, he didn´t have any problems to act as BTD „emcee“, he even seemed to enjoy it.
Another surprise, there were 2 new songs, one work-titled „Slow Song“ and „Phoenix Rising“. After 5 years of heavy rotation, „Deadsong“ remained unplayed, as Tuomas wants to have new life emerging from this „dead-song“. Yet the encore was the indestructable „Unbreakable“, enjoyed by the enthusiastic crowd. Summary – a brilliant premiere for the „newborn BTD“ and no need to worry about their future in the biz. Check those guys out yourselves, when they are touring with Insomnium and Mygrain (see STALKER tour dates).
STALKER competition Tuska 2011 – check it out on Facebook!
Jane Oliver (JO), Klaudia Weber (KW) + additions by Sabine van Gameren, Maria-Christin Luther, Stefanie Singh, Lauri Tuohimaa