Location: Different venues (Helsinki)
By: Sabine van Gameren
Beyond the Dream was the first band to play, to open the Tuska madness on this preparty. Virgin Oil gave house to most of the parties attended by Tempelores, It is one of the most gorgeous venues in Helsinki. It has virgin statues on sides of the stage, a balcony and usually comes with a good atmosphere.
Fits quite well with the dark atmosphere that Beyond the Dream sets with their music. The band released their latest album “While The World Sleeps” in Januari (review) and Tempelores was pleased with that so much that we interviewed the band also before the concert, so stay tuned for that as well. Musically, the band hitches a bit on the back of Ihsahn with his progressive way of bringing darkness and doom. Depressive, maybe considered gothic lyrics and keys to bring in the melodic elements to its highlight. The start of this band came with two people on the floor in front of the stage, the rest hanging at the bar, but the band made an impression as by the end of the set the floor is getting quite filled. A good way to start your Tuska!
The second band tried to make an impression with their evil decoration, but somehow did not manage to keep people interested. Buzz Off Evil is a band that seem to have adopted the horror theme into their music, it’s horrorpunk but mixed with some metal elements. Their show surely got a lot of aggression in vocals, but a bit instrumental violence that actually matches with it seems to be too much to hope for. The band tried well, but did not really manage to attract much audience either and most people seem to wait till they are done with their set. At some point they kept changing their appearances a little each song as if it has to match with something, but for an outsider like many of the visitors of the evening it looked totally irrelevant. Nice attempt, but it just wouldn’t work tonight.
Crimfall brought people into Virgin Oil. Their show was quite active, loads is going on and the Viking metallers have their show well prepared, giving a lot of attention to their audience. The female vocals come out strong and are not overdone in any minute, which does the rest of the band justice too. The band seem to work it all together very well. Also the male vocals are strong and match well. This band knows very well how to perform and get a lot of attention, many folk metal fans will like this band as soon as they get to them and that might be sooner than expected!
Ghoul Patrol was a band that struggles with your feelings. On one hand you see that the musicians do have their skills, but the thing is that you expect to watch a band. Instead of getting a band you get a bunch of musicians on stage that stand next to each other trying to stand out most. Who makes the most noise, who gets the spotlight, a fight for a solo and when one person does one step forward, two others go stand in front of him right away. A musical free fight?! Isn’t it suppose to be a sort of teamwork? Thanks for the chaos… but thanks! Let’s hope the guys have better shows in case than this one.
Last band of the evening would not be much better, quite a disappointment. A bunch of drunken Finns on stage under lead of upper drunk Taneli Jarva (Sentenced, Impaled Nazarene etc) performed some metal. Unbalanced Taneli wigwaggled from left to right, unsure if he would collapse or fall of stage. Not completely of the world he was as he was still able to throw his microphone stand to exact the places where people were standing, while his eyes were popping out. Musically it was ok, the band being able to still perform an acceptable sound but after seeing about 75% of the set it felt like time to go. On our way out we found some other disappointed souls leaving. It’s rock n roll but not what people hoped for.
Another night, back to Virgin Oil, starting this evening with a band called Tukkanuotta. They bring Death Metal in Finnish being quite raw and pure. No clean sweeped tunes from these guys but a good grip back to the nasty, older stuff. The band did not exactly brought a lot of fans, but did an interesting job anyway. They did not give the most energetic performance ever but when you are into the Death metal you will surely dig it. See the riffs coming from the two gentlemen on guitar and combine it filthy vocals. Just don’t expect to get up a lot of speed, the tempo remains rather slow throughout their set, which in the end might sometimes kill the joy a bit. One song that will freak everyone out is what they need next.
The band Soulgrind was featured on Tempelores before in 2007, seeing them in a metalbar in Tampere, Finland. Now, almost 3 years further, some new music has been made. What I noticed most is that they have more English songs nowadays which will attract a more international audience. Nevertheless their song “Pakana” which convinced so much the first time did its job well again. The band is very playful on stage and you can see that the band has a good connection with each other and at least enjoys being on stage there. The only thing might be that the band could have brought some more variation in the setlist to keep the people who stand on the border of liking this genre will get sucked into liking their music too. Soulgrind played a good set today and it was no surprise to see that the audience enjoyed this band quite well.
Grendel (the Finnish band, not to confuse with the Dutch industrial band) had played the Tuska afterparties before and so come they brought some people in the venue. The band makes metal since 1999 and have done quite some gigs the last few years. Musically they bring melodic metal with clean vocals and grunt, remaining quite dark within the clean parts still. The band remained their interactivity that we saw last year and they showed some activity on the stage. Quite a different act to see next to Soulgrind, an atmosphere change that takes its time to get into but the band got most of the audience after a couple of songs. They played a good show, but maybe a bit misplaced in time on the schedule.
Mononen was playing first on the last day. I got a bit sad seeing them playing for a quite empty venue, their vocalist looking a bit depressed in his face and attitude, hopeless as if the world was picking on them. Nevertheless the band had a lot of aggression in their music, going towards Death Metal. What was missing in their set was a theme of their own sound. Something that makes you recognize them and say ‘so that is who they are’. It felt like plucked from here and there and melted into chaos. The instrumental parts did not always matched so well with each other and then you start to get the point of the sadness of the singer. Feels not good, is not good. Next time we hope for something better of them.
The Enemy Pilot had performed in this venue about a year ago as well. Not officially part of the Tuska experience, but a few days before that. The hardcore metal act from Helsinki showed us that they improved really a lot compared to what we have seen of them last time. More steady vocals full of power and the instrumental package came to its right as well. As you might expect from a band like this, their show is active and the stage got used at its fullest possibilities. This gig showed that the band is growing and once to watch. Virgin Oil was still outside enjoying the weather while the guys were playing their set, but we pity the fools that have missed them, they missed a good show.
It was time for a El Slimey to play some covers from the known Suicidal Tendencies. The American band was playing at Tuska themselves last year and this year El Slimey wanted to bring a bit of that party back to Helsinki. El Slimey is not new to cover Suicidal Tendencies, they did this at the start of the new year, and now six months later again for the Tuska crowd that came to this afterparty. The singer is not the best and has little problems with breathing and singing, because you can’t do both at the same time. The band plays tracks like: “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow”, “Join the Army”, and “Suicidal Maniac”. The bass sound of the band is very nice and very deep and present during the gig. Overall the band gives a good impression the speed is there but it misses maybe that little American rough rap attitude. The band attracts many people to the front of the stage and gave a powerful show.
The last band of this evening in Virgin Oil was Kiuas, a Finnish band that is rapidly gaining fans. Before they started Virgin Oil’s floor in front of the stage was finally filled with people waiting for the band to start. They released their latest album “Lustdriven” and showed us that they are diven to play. Their energy brought a nice atmosphere in the venue and the people where cheering and applauding from the start. Kiuas is a nice band to end Tuska. The singer of the band, Ilja Jalkanen, shows he has a wide range. His singing, whispering and growling reminds me a bit of Terj Tankian, but it is surely not a copy. I think because of the mix between the vocals and the sound of the band and playing with tempo and loudness where all the instruments can be heard to delicate piano tones they create a sound of their own. The crowd goes a little wild and the band as well, both seem to enjoy this gig while the last minutes of Tuska tick away. Kiuas proved me, that they are a willing band with a high doze of energy ready to rock. Sadly that when their sound faded and the fans screamed for more…also Tuska came to and end.
As final band we moved over to Dantes Highlight to see the band Ajattara. They were pretty far in their set already, so it wouldn’t be fair to base a judgment on that short part only, but the venue was packed with people having a great time so the show worked out well. And then, when they are done the whole Tuska adventure is over. Besides the most wonderful festival days, the afterparties had come to an end too.
Of course we want to thank the organization of Tuska, the people at Virgin Oil and everyone who was with us during the days for making this years’ edition a highlight once again!
More photo’s of the afterparty shows can be found at: sabinevangameren.com
Beyond the Dream MySpace
Ghoul Patrol MySpace
Buzz off Evil MySpace
The Black League MySpace
The Enemy Pilot MySpace
Virgin Oil Website