Pia Sundström, Klaudia Weber, Samira Alinto, Elke Huber
Now for the ninth time Helsinki´s city center was in a state of emergency. All affordable hotels, motels and hostels were fully booked; invasions of band shirts and in every pub (this is, however, always the case) metal and rock was played. Once again it´s TUSKA- time! TUSKA - meaning pain – is hardly comparable to any other multi-day festival because everything´s different here, be it that you can´t camp here but only far, far away from the site or that the official festival day, at the latest, ends at 11 pm. A portaloo hater isn´t bothered by the fact that there are only portaloos because only three minutes away there´s the central railway station, a pizzeria and pubs with clean toilet facilities and they don´t care much about the consumption rule. TUSKA is just incomparable! We´d like to say a big thank you for a nice time and a great cooperation to Elke Huber and Ricarda Schwoebel from Powermetal.de who contributed a couple of reviews and photos to our festival review.
This picture was taken with the acceptance of all football-crazy attendees backstage, although it was forbidden to take pics in the backstage area.
Soccer Soccer anywhere, even backstage at Tuska the fans could follow matches via TV-screen, and many cheered to the successful German team, e.g. HIM-drummer Gas Lipstick.
IMPALED NAZARENE (Radio City Stage)
Outside the fan-queue still seemed endless when IMPALED NAZARENE entered stage punctually, and indeed some dark clouds gathered but vanished quickly. Shouter Slutifer and his crew thrashed an infernal fast gig into the crowd, spiced with... spicy comments. Therefore at „Kuolema Kaikille“the first shower for the fans in the front was due. With their grande finale „Sadhu Satana“ the band made clear who is Nr. 1 in Finnish Black Metal. (KW)
MOKOMA (Sue Stage)
Just their accordion intro (Radetzky March!) had their fans go hot, and within a few Thrash-Speed songs MOKOMA turned the Sue-tent into a Sauna. Singer Marko Annala, as usual displaying his rustic look, didn´t have to invite the audience to sing along. During“Kuu saa valtansa auringolta“they sang even louder than the band... (KW)
FREEDOM CALL (Inferno Stage)
At the same time on Inferno stage FREEDOM CALL had less audience, yet they appreciated this Hardrock Power Metal made in Germany. A convincing show, those harmonic vocals worked nicely; remarkable is Chris Bay´s voice that sounds a lot like good old Helloween. The songs weren´t too well-known therefore the sing-alongs for the audience didn´t quite work, although the choruses were quite catchy. Therefore this round 1:0 for Finland. (KW)
ANATHEMA (Radio City Stage)
I think I slowly understand why ANATHEMA don´t have a deal for over a year now: despite the fact that especially their last albums were predominantly melancholic-dreamy live they regularly scrape together their few faster songs and try to be big rock stars. It´s somehow hard to market in that combination. But at the same time it´s also a lot of fun because every gig is full of surprises. In the front line are, as usual, the three wonderfully curly Cavanagh-brothers Danny (with wetmop hairdo and cool shades), Jamie (the only real longhair) and Vincent (who nowadays passes for a Orlando Bloom look-alike), while keyboarder Les and drummer John linger discretely in the background.
The set starts with the relatively low-key rocking “Alternative 4” four-pack “Shroud Or False”, “Fragile Dreams”, “Empty” and “Lost Control”. The British never really took great pains to come up with a well-mixed setlist. After that they apparently were warmed up and delivered with “Closer” the first guitar-maltreat-massacre (at which Vincent, lying on the floor, created as usual some weird sound experiments) and after that fused the two nasty-rapid songs “Judgment” and “Panic” to an awesome medley. Vincent and guest singer Lee Douglas then put in the ballad “A Natural Disaster” only to then keep on rocking with the age-old kick ass tracks “Sleepless” (from the 1993 album “Serenades”) and “A Dying Wish” (from the only irrelevantly younger album “The Silent Enigma from 1995). When have you last heard those songs live? And if this weren´t already enough oddities at once ANATHEMA closed the show with the PINK FLOYD cover “Comfortably Numb”. You couldn´t ask for more surprise effects!! (Elke Huber – Powermetal.de)
DEATHSTARS (Sue Stage)
A difficult decision during the second confrontation DEATHSTARS versus Suburban Tribe. The Swedes banished martial outfits due to the temperatures at Sue stage, only singer Whiplasher wore a feather scarf during the first two songs. Despite sounding a bit like the great Carl McCoy (Fields of the Nephilim) those Industrial Metal songs didn´t quite inspire live, therefore after the Rammstein-soundalike „Blitzkrieg“ I jogged to Inferno stage. (KW)
SUBURBAN TRIBE (Inferno Stage)
There SUBURBAN TRIBE offered a „best of“-program containing old classics as well as songs from their new thrashier „Revolt Now“ album. Ville Tuomi & Co never disappoint live, and also here thez gave everything, jumped on stage or played a guitar solo with their teeth... Ville is a charming frontman, and this definitely makes Sepultura-Riffing with variable vocals – a bit like Mike Patton – work out fine. Therefore 2:0 for Finland. (KW)
SONATA ARCTICA (Radio City Stage)
In the early evening the sunnyboys from SONATA ARCTICA stood on the Main Stage and spread a lot of good mood with their epic power metal. Even though the setlist is the same as at last year´s summer festivals there´s nothing to nag about. Of course songs from their latest album „Reckoning Night“ dominated their show but also classics like „Full Moon“ or „Victoria´s secret“ were performed and animated the crowd to sing along. Toni, as usual, had the people in the palm of his hand and turned on his charm. At the end they played the obligatory „We need some vodka“ and although you have heard it already a thousand times it´s still fun and so the band left the stage happy and sucking at a bottle of spirit. (MK)
WINTERSUN (Sue Stage)
WINTERSUN provided the first positive surprise at the festival: Melodious Death Metal, emphasis on melodious, plus Scandinavian folklore – that means Viking Metal at it´s best. There´s not much movement on stage as the singer also operates a guitar, but they compensate that with constant headbanging. A wonderful epic „Sleeping Stars“ indicated with melancholic doom what was up with the headliners. (KW)
ARCH ENEMY (Inferno Stage)
Finnish sauna a little different! In the heated up Inferno stage tent the sweat ran like hell at half past seven in the evening. At estimated 45 degrees Celsius and in a crammed tent there was no way to get in or out even before ARCH ENEMY entered the stage. It came as no surprise then that some people and crowd surfers had to be brought out. Not an ideal start... When the band then eventually kicked it off the sound was also like in a sauna – sludgy. The guitars were meshed into an indefinable mass and only Angela Gossow´s voice could help identifying the songs. „Nemesis“ from their latest album „Doomsday machine“ seemed to be the biggest hit of the band in Finland because here the Finns went totally bonkers. Despite the bad sound and the inhuman air conditions – water was sprayed onto the masses but this made the air only thicker – the gig was up until then a big success for the crowd. From then on you have to be content with hearsay because I couldn´t bear the heat anymore but I was told by die-hard fans who held out until the end that actually they were set to play for 45 minutes but because a fan in the front row was hurt and had to be taken to hospital the concert was cancelled. As a conclusion I´d say that a band like Arch Enemy doesn´t belong into a tent and that air supply in tents has to be improved. (SA)
Four ears – two opinions:
Moving on to ARCH ENEMY ! I´ve heard a lot of good things about the Swedes and now I finally have the chance to see them live and this at such a brilliant festival. The music is an awesome mix of brutally-melodically sawing heavy guitars and suddenly almost power metal like solos. The vocals sound like coming from the deepest depths of the underworld and I rub my eyes and look over and over again: yes, this is really a woman behind the mic! Those vocals bring back to my mind that we girls aren´t the weaker sex. The overall appearance and the music of the band is in perfectly combined contrasts and has an addictive effect. From one second to the next Angela turns from sweet, blond archangel to evil „archenemy“. Great, I want more!! (MK)
Like last year there was once again the possibility to play „TABLE HOCKEY“ in the backstage area. Yes, you’ve read right. Like every year there are championships of this sport in Finland with high participation of famous Scandinavian musicians like Dregen from the Backyard Babies. To the anger of the Finns the acting champion is a Swede, as far as I know. There are now talks about whether this „sport“ will get airtime on Finnish television or not. Those Finns...
This picture was taken with the acceptance of the table hockey organizers, although it was forbidden to take pics in the backstage area.
THE SISTERS OF MERCY (Radio City Stage)
And they even disappointed my rather low expectations because they didn´t convince me a couple of years ago at the Mera Luna festival. Here in Finland THE SISTERS OF MERCY even had to abandon bombastic lights due to the weather. And why they had this scaffold on stage, nobody knows. What is more, why singer Andrew Eldritch initially wore an icehockey shirt. Fact is that he didn´t manage to inspire the crowd, his communication was a mere „thank you“ in the final part of the show, and only a couple of times he raised his voice, otherwise he remained somehow gloomy in the background. There could have been just a CD being played ... only extreme die-hard-fans stayed, therefore you could reach the very front of main stage without problems. No worthy Tuska-headliner, not even their old hit „Temple Of Love“ made up for that. (KW)
Remark: We actually could have had more pictures but the band insisted that their tour manager made all photographers sign a 4-5 page long DIN A4 statement before we were allowed to enter the media pit. Because no one had time to read the single-spaced writ we were told that before we leave the pit we had to show all the pictures (what about those with analogue cameras??) and the tour manager would say which pics we had to delete immediately – does someone have a problem with age??? That kind of hassle I had last with Nina Hagen and Marilyn Manson…Embarrassing!! (SA)
Yeah, yeah! We get old and so in the evening, despite going to one of the three after party concerts we were only looking for a bar that wasn’t already full. You wouldn’t believe how hard this is at TUSKA times! It’s also unbelievable that you have to accept queues of up to 100 people for the last night bus and queues of up to 50 people at taxi stands (and we have summer now! It’s way worse in winter...). Accordingly, we finally went to sleep pretty late and completely done!
STAM1NA (Radio City Stage)
An alarm clock introduced the Finnish Thrash-New School Metal band STAM1NA and entertained the slowly increasing crowd with cheerful comments and „vanha paska“ (= old shit). Unlike some of their fans, the guzs on stage acted alive and kicking and competed with Impaled Nazarene regarding the use of explicit vocabulary. The show ended with the track „Kaksi reittiä yksi suunta“ from their recent album „Uudet Kymmenen Käskyä“ that is still climbing in the local charts. (KW)
PAIN CONFESSOR (Sue Stage)
One of the first bands that played on Saturday were the Finnish PAIN CONFESSORs . Aggression with melodic elements, typical Finnish – a solid heavy metal band. Nothing to criticize but it didn’t knock me off my feet either. No highs, no lows – it all sounded pretty much alike. The crowd probably thought the same and parts of the already sparse crowd that had gathered at that ungodly early hour headed to the next bar area. With only one promo and a debut album there’s still room for improvement. (MK)
APRIL (Inferno Stage)
On Inferno stage APRIL offered a mixture between Hardcore and Metal to which an extremely aggressive acting Hakim Hietikko added surprisingly melodious vocals. A real great clean velvet voice! The catchy Metal tunes received cheers from an unfortunately small crowd (still too tired?) (KW)
DIABLO (Radio City Stage)
Still quite early the Finnish DIABLO played on the Main Stage and showed right a way with the opener „Read My Scars“ that there’s no mercy here: murky black metal at its best! In contrast to Stam1na the place was now crammed and vocalist Rainer asked suitably if the guys from aforementioned band had left enough Mobilat® gel to get the old bones going again. Diablo combine down-tuned, sawing guitars with very melodic solos and synths, drums that make you think you’re in a thunderstorm and vocals that are partly grunts, partly clean. There’s something for everyone; for black metal fans as well as for the less gloomily tempered heavy metal fan – in any case a lot of energy! Other songs on the setlist included „Damian“ and „The Preacher“. (MK)
NORTHER (Sue Stage)
It was hot when NORTHER kicked it off on the Sue Stage and this in all respects. At blistering heat the guys exhausted themselves totally. I’ve seen NORTHER many times and also on a lot of festivals but here, in their town the Finns always give a little more than usual. I can’t say much about the announcements because, logically, they were in Finnish and my knowledge of that language is quite limited but judging by the crowd’s reaction there was one or the other knee-slapper among it. The song selection was, with five songs from their latest album “Till Death Unites Us”, not very balanced but there were enough older hits like “Blackhearted”, “A Fallen Star”, “Released”, “Day Zero” and as an encore “Death Unlimited” to have it not mutate to a mere promotion for their new record. Regarding appearance the fans were probably a bit disappointed because Petri Lindroos’ fancy cowboy hat from the performances in 2005 could only be marvelled at in the crowd. The sound in front of the Sue Stage was good and the crowd who was a little reserved with the first three songs (apart from the first three or four rows) even started some small crowdsurf attempts. (SA)
Throwing My Life Away
A Fallen Star
THE SCOURGER (Inferno Stage)
THE SCOURGER could deal with an already warmed-up audience in Inferno-tent which found those Death Metal high speed hymns quite appealing. Therefore the muscular fronter Jari didn´t really have to crack a whip – literally...he also impressed with real evil voice and rustic comments. (KW)
AMORPHIS (Radio City Stage)
I was very excited to see the gig of the Finnish Kalevala band AMORPHIS who, with new singer Tomi Joutsen, go refreshingly back to their roots on the new album “Eclipse”. I actually didn’t have any doubts that the professed “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” fan Tomi number two wouldn’t fail the old classics either but I’d never thought that the guy is that good. Forgotten are the times when ex-fronter Pasi Koskinen hid his face behind his black shoulder length hair and revealed an action radius of a postcard. Tomi Joutsen seemed like he’s never done anything else than standing on the stage, shaking his meter-long dreadlocks to fast sections (of which there were a lot) and interpreting the emotional moments with a devotion in his stylish retro mic that it was a real pleasure to watch him. He even added some grunts here and there to the actually rather growl-free songs of the “Tuonela” and “Am Universum” phase. While with the “old” AMORPHIS “Black Winter’s Day” (however not played at TUSKA) was the only track with a heavier voice now there were grunts everywhere except for the single “House Of Sleep” and accordingly also “My Kantele” was performed in a metal version. AMORPHIS were for me the best band of the festival and I really hope that Tomi Joutsen will bestow us with many more wonderful albums. Brilliant! (Elke Huber – Powermetal.de)
In The Beginning
Under A Soil And Black Stone
House Of Sleep
METSÄTÖLL (Sue Stage)
Sue stage provided another positive surprise with METSÄTÖLL I have never heard of that band, but chanting before they even started showed that those guys from Estonia already founded a solid fan basis in Scandinavia. Bagpipes (live!) introduced their most appealing Folk Metal, sometimes archaic choirs, sometimes Speed Metal. And more bagpipe. Even a tired journalist had to jump up from her just conquered seat... a great band and Tuska-discovery indeed! (KW)
NINE (Inferno Stage)
In the early evening I walk to the Inferno Stage to see what our Swedish neighbours from NINE have to offer. Not much, that’s what I soon found out disappointedly: Bloodhound Gang-wannabe’s with growls or rather screams as if a grown elephant would stand on the vocalist’s foot and refuse to give way only one centimetre. Without exception all songs were build up around simple, repetitive riffs. Knowing that this band has a 10 year old history and four albums under their belt I’m quite disappointed and after half an hour sure that this is just not my cup of tea. No offence, dear fans! Like many others I go away to see their Estonian colleagues from Metsätöll and here you get a full load of fun…
On my way there I had to fight my way through a seagull party that took place around the left behind souvenirs of the festivalgoers. Unaffected by the absolutely numbing stench from the toilets that were set up at this side. Do seagulls have no sense of smell?? (MK)
OPETH (Radio City Stage)
After a mystical introduction OPETH preferred it the hard way: dark Prog Metal, nasty kinky and complicated – a mixture that turned the band a regular guest on MTV Finland´s Headbangers Ball. Their differentiated complex songs and weird harmonies worked also live quite hypnotically. Frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt impressed switching effortlessly between melodious and Death Metal vocals but mainly with his dry humour. Never heard such lack of emotion stating „do you feel all right? That makes me very happy!“ Therefore more reasons to have a smile on your face after the Opeth show. The Swedes proved once again that they play in their own league. The setlist necessarily just consisted of a few songs, mainly from their recent Ghost Reveries album, but also „Blackwater Park“ and „Deliverance“. (KW)
EPICA (Sue Stage)
I was very curious and anxious to see this next band: EPICA! They definitely went for it and these Dutchies, who were playing their first ever gig in Finland, couldn´t have done a better job at making a name for themselves here. At the beginning soprano Simone seemed to experience a small problem with her voice and sounded a bit shaky, but that quickly passed and she adds an impressive expression to the whole with her powerful voice. We get some excellent, epic fireworks that whisk us away to a world of fantasy, with great hymns, hearts-rending ballads, and gothic metal, partly accompanied with a classical harpsichord-sound. Suddenly I noticed Nightwish-mastermind Tuomas Holopainen standing next to me and the poor guy was constantly besieged, being asked for pictures and autographs, which he kept giving cordially and without complaining. At one point the powerful front woman needed a break, during which her colleagues Mark Jansen played a Death cover, the song „Crystal Of Time". The concert exceeded my expectations by far, my cd-collections needs an update! (MK)
KALMAH (Inferno Stage)
15 Minutes before KALMAH even came on stage, there were already cries from the audience: „Kalmah! Kalmah! Apparently the band has a rather active fan club. Inspired by the elated atmosphere in the audience, which was quite infectious, the band entered the stage in excellent spirits. Kalmah plays a sort of melodic black/death metal with beautiful keyboard parts by Pasi Hiltulas, which aren´t so over the top as they are in a lot of other Finnish bands. The choice of songs was rather random and the audience grunted along loudly. The only weak point, aside from the heat and the air inside the tent, which also slightly spoiled the ARCH ENEMY concert earlier, was that the voice of singer and guitarist Pekka Kokko came across rather weakly because of the poor sound in the tent, and was at times completely blocked out by the higher volume of the guitars. (SA)
Bitter Metallic Side
Heritance of Berija
The Black Waltz
Heroes to Us
The Groan of Wind
VENOM (Radio City Stage)
From the very depths of hell... unlike Sisters the day before, my teenage heroes VENOM disappointed neither me nor the Tuska fans. In front of huge Marshall towers a practically unchanged Cronos acted as antisocially as ever, including guitar destruction; yet the new drummer Antton left his kit after the set, unlike Abaddon, without damages. Mantas-lookalike Mykus played quite sick soli, and basically the British trio continues their work with their new material. Those grandfathers of Black Metal and their rough careless sound can indeed still compete with their successors. Unfortunately the opener „Black Metal“ started with micro problems, yet the rest of the set was performed without accidents: Bloodlust, In nomine Satanas, 10000 Days in Sodom, Countess Bathory, Warhead, Don´t Burn The Witch and Witching Hour as grande finale. I just missed my fave Buried Alive... but Venom announced to be back soon. All in all a happy Old- and Once-Again-Venom-Fan cheered together with many who might not have been born yet when the first Venom album came out... btw. Venom-shirts were sold out before the show started. (KW)
Afterparty at Tavastia In the evening it was time for the after party at the legendary Tavastia Klubi. I was expecting most of the festival goers to be too nackered to attend, but the place was absolutely packed! Somehow everyone had some hidden energy reserves tucked away.
The guys from STEEP are the first ones to play. The Finnish duo consists only of a drummer and a bass player, and the whole act is very experimental, really only for fans of the genre... (MK)
Four ears – two opinions: STEEP Steep annoyed with weird bass-drum-growl „songs“. (KW)
Next up is MY GRAIN. This young Finnish band, which has just released their debut album, sounds very convincing. Firm heavy metal, we will definitely be hearing more from this band in the future. (MK)
Four ears – two opinions: MY GRAIN played quite good Death Metal-Nu Metal Mix. (KW)
HUMANGROUND from Estonia is the next band to play, but unfortunately the voice of singer Pille Rand is almost inaudible, so I can´t really say a lot about this band. Their sound is somewhere in the area of death/trash metal. Such a shame! (MK)
Four ears – two opinions: HUMANGROUND from Estonia rather classic Metal, but the female vocals didn´t really stick out.(KW)
The headliner of the evening is BLAKE, who enter the stage at 1 a.m. The voice of singer Aaro is very reminiscent of Glenn Danzig, but the music sounds more like American Rock´n´Roll, or "Dark Country", if there is such a thing. Their most well-known song is "Evil Remains Evil". The atmosphere is still great, everyone is rocking till they drop, but at about 2 a.m. I have to give up and I make my way to the night bus to gather some strength for day 3... (MK)
Four ears – two opinions:
BLAKE however managed to revive the spirits. Great band, Dark Metal, stomping rhythms like a force of nature; added a voice remotely reminding of Glenn Danzig. The BLACK SABBATH cover „Wizard“ fitted in their own material well. And even after 2 h the audience still wanted more... (KW)
You can find the interview Samira did with BLAKE on Friday over here.
Afterparty at Nosturi
First of all, I have to confess that a vital slice of pizza and the never ending search for my crew (they´re like fleas!), led me to miss all but the second half of the last song by the first band United Underworld, which I had already seen at the STRAIGHT OUT OF VENNESLA festival. About those two and a half minutes I can only say that they played their rocky crossover music in their usual line up, but with a second singer and that Nosturi was still busy, but not packed.
After a long very long break to change the set up – I managed to drink two beers, whereas normal people can easily drink seven in that time – the next band to play was GODSPLAQUE. These incredibly long set up changes seem to be the norm with Finnish bands – or in Finland in general – very annoying! But now about GODSPLAQUE. The Finns weren´t in their best form ever, so something seemed to be missing from their very America-influenced stoner rock this time and for lack of the normally band-typical fun factor, the concert felt like it was too long. Apparently the singer of GODSPLAQUE´s didn´t feel that way and hopped back on stage during the gig of the next band and made a small guest appearance.
Quite a few people seemed to share my feeling that Godsplaque could have done without those last 20 minutes, because when the STONER KINGS finally came on stage after another set up change that took way too long, there was only about a quarter left of the people that had been there at the beginning of GODSPLAQUE . Too bad, because – apart from a few jeering comments towards the media and record labels during the song announcements – the Stoner Kings gave an excellent show.
The charismatic front man, the only band member who isn´t Finnish but American, didn´t let on that there was only a hand full of people in the audience. The encore loudly demanded by the audience didn´t come – what a surprise… (SA)
MENDEED (Sue Stage)
As the days before, many fans were still waiting in the queue in front of the area when the first bands started, like MENDEED on Sue stage. In terms of temper, crowd size and punctuality 0:1 for Finland, or Verjnuarmu on Inferno stage... after a dramatical-mystical intro the Scots blew the dust from stage with their Hardcore-Death-Metal-Nu-Metal sound, and many suddenly quite awake fans came running to the gig... the light person who hasn´t much to do on main stage also enjoyed to add visual effects. Within few songs the crowd had doubled, finally almost tripled. Since 1:1... (KW)
VERJNUARMU (Inferno Stage)
Early in the afternoon VERJNUARMU, a band that is difficult to describe, comes from Savo and sings in the local dialect, is scheduled to play. The band members are all dressed up, completely in the style of Lordi & Co. The singer looks a bit like Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas, then there´s a monk, a Grim Reaper and a zombie. The music is somewhat rock/metal, with a dark sound to it at times. I don´t think this project is to be taken very seriously, but nothing against having a good time and a lot of it! (MK)
SODOM (Radio City Stage)
Sunday, 15:30 local time, in the middle of Helsinki, on the Radio City Stage… These thrashers were the highlight of the day for many people and so I wasn´t the only one who was surprised that these prehistoric rockers were scheduled so early in the day. The people who had just got up after a night of partying and had missed the two previous bands Mendeed and Verjnuarmu, received a proper wake-up call with „Blood On Your Lips“ from the new album „Sodom“. That was the only song from the new album they played. This may have had something to do with the new DVD the band is working on and that the concert was being recorded, but it may also have been due to the fans that they mostly played „old favourites“ like „Napalm In The Morning“, their Motörhead cover, „Aces Of Spades“, „Ausgebombt“ etc. They seemed to take into account the wishes of the fans.
The band weren´t too bothered by the fact that they disappeared in smoke every now and then, only drummer Bobby seemed to get a real overdose of smoke at times. I can´t really say a lot about the sound, since I was taking pictures from the side of the stage, but I will quote my colleague Klaudia Weber:“The sound was fat!“. In the middle of the set I almost suffered a heart attack when Tom bade me to come and take some pictures of the audience from the stage… I am not that brave, so I gave him the camera and he took some shots himself – which the audience liked even more.
Have a look here to check out the SODOM-live-photos from the side of the stage, like this one:
The band visibly enjoyed the concert, but they lost track of the time and unintentionally cut their gig short by 10 minutes. The fans didn´t mind, although the shouts for an encore took a while to die down. Despite the shorter playing time: great concert! (SA)
Blood on Your Lips
Outbreak of Evil
Napalm in The Morning
Silence is Consent
Among the Weirdcong
Remember the Fallen
Ace of Spades
The Saw is the Law
GOJIRA (Sue Stage)
GOJIRA from France give us some metal that isn´t easy to put in a category. I always enjoy that sort of thing! Too many bands are so dull. The name of the band is Japanese and means Godzilla, which was the original name of the band. I would say death and speed are the two main ingredients of this project, but they spice it up with elements of almost all the different genres of metal. fast double bass drums, and one of the band´s trademarks, whining, sawing guitar riffs. The band´s presentation is very varied and energetic, accompanied by laser flashes and light effects. Another band that I will remember and whose next concert I will certainly attend. (MK)
SWALLOW THE SUN (Inferno Stage)
I cannot be really objective with SWALLOW THE SUN because I am already a dedicated fan of this Dark Metal band from Jyväskylä. Yet even from an objective point of view it was a great show that told something about the band´s quality and popularity: Way before they started fans gathered in the Inferno tent that was almost bursting later, and after the show the crowd kept for minutes crying for more, until one of the hosts came on stage to explain the tight schedule situation. The opener „Giant“ already caused goosebumps despite the temperatures, a great mix of Doom, Death Metal and catchy riffs: „No light, no hope“, „Deadly Nightshade“ or „Swallow“ were played without addressing the audience, yet just gestures by shouter Mikko (displaying a new look) or mastermind Juha showed that the audience was entirely in their hands... the sun, though, was more stubborn and didn´t appear to be swallowed at all. (KW)
TAROT (Radio City Stage)
The Finns TAROT are another guarantee for a good show. They might have wanted their own „Wings of Darkness“ that day, because bands on main stage had to suffer a lot because of nature´s lightshow. Yet that didn´t affect the Metal veterans´ fun and action on stage, framed by singer Marco Hietala´s entertaining comments. Keyboarder Janne Tolsa added more action running across stage and taking over vocal parts, like their traditional Blue Öyster Cult cover „Veteran of the Psychic Wars“. Amazing how many excellent singers and entertainers are gathered in this band. And the program included all their hits: „Lady Deceiver“, „Angels Of Pain“, „Descendents of Power“, „Pyre Of Gods“, the great hymn „Rider of the last Day“ and finally the fantastic „I Rule“ - this is how Power Metal must sound like! (KW)
TIMO RAUTIAINEN (Sue Stage)
TIMO RAUTIAINEN is now performing without his usual trio. He doesn´t sound all that different, the style still depends a lot on guitars, the lyrics are in Finnish as usual, though the sound has drifted a bit more towards acoustic, with even some slightly American accents. He is a local hero in Finland, but to me he isn´t really anything special. I enjoyed the concert from the strip of grass... (MK)
BURST (Inferno Stage)
The Swedes Burst entered Inferno stage in quite laid-back way but offered quite rough sound. Genre, guess, it´s melodic Death Metal, yet with a lot of Hardcore and Thrash ingredients, quite straight Death Metal concerning older material. Their complex songs from their new CD „Origo“ can rather be compared with Opeth than with In Flames. (KW)
CELTIC FROST (Radio City Stage)
This year Tuska had some big names that were already around in the 80s. The headliner of the last day was the Swiss avant-garde trash-formation CELTIC FROST. Unfortunately I missed the first three songs because of a shoot, so I asked some fans what had happened and they assured me that I had really missed something, since the appearance of Tom Gabriel Fischer and Martin Eric Ain together again on stage for the intro was a one time thing. As I pushed my way to the front, the gentlemen, aided by their new drummer Franco Sesa and tour guitarist Anders Odden, where already rocking and looked much the same as ever, except maybe a bit older. The sound at the Radio City Stage had been excellent all day and maintained its level for the last gig. Some older songs were adapted a bit to suit the modern day and age and they seemed to me to be more impressive and fatter than ever before. As with Sodom, the band relied heavily on the older songs and they only played two songs from the current album „Monotheist“. With some more hits like „Inner Sanctum“ and Synagoga Satanae“ the band ended the one and a half hour party as well as the Tuska festival for this year. Let´s hope this reunion (I can´t stand that word anymore) lasts for a while and the expectations of the CELTIC FROST fans will also be fulfilled next year. (SA)
Four ears – two opinions:
The final act and the headliner of the evening is CELTIC FROST. "They may think we are a bit old-fashioned, but beware, they are mistaken!" – We all remember the Milka chocolate commercial from the mountains of Switzerland. It applies to these Swiss guys dressed in all black. Everything is black, from their clothes to the design of the stage, even the music! CELTIC FROST were pioneers for everything that developed after them in the areas of black, death and trash metal, as well as gothic and they haven´t lost their appeal. One more go at moshing till you drop, rocking to an excellently chosen set list from an endless line of albums, and then the gates close until next year. (MK)
The sound and the ventilation on the two smaller (tent) stages should have been better. The security staff and the other participants were very nice and relaxed, as they were in previous years. There weren´t many big names among the bands, but they were nicely divided from quite big to as yet unknown bands and even though the festival relied heavily on Finnish bands, they were well-selected – although we were oftentimes astounded at the order of the bands. Udo Dirkschneider wasn´t there this time! This is highly unusual, since in some form or the other, bordering on paranoia from our side, he is always there when there is something to do in Helsinki. You could compare it to SAXON and the Wacken festival (although this comparison is a bit meaningless since this year, as an exception, they are not playing at Wacken). we were all agreed about the fact that SISTERS OF MERCY need to retire – a very disappointing performance. The few weak points were the partly poor sound and the lack of ventilation on the Inferno Stage in particular, which spoiled the fun a bit. Apart from that it was perfect and we are looking forward to next year at the 10 year jubilee TUSKA ! We are already curious about next year´s line up.