By: Gamze Öyunc
Finnish heavy metal rockers Ville Laihiala (ex-Sentenced and Poisonblack) as a frontman and his crew of prestigious musicians Aksu Hanttu (Entwine), Sami Leppikangas and Kimmo Hiltunen (ex-Lullacry) founded S-Tool in 2015. It originated from Laihiala´s personal demos and evolved into this project relatively very timely. They have been crowdfunding and recording their debut album for a while now. The rockers decided to make a Finnish tour with their material in hand to measure the temperature of the Finnish rock seas, and I attended the last leg of this mini tour in Tampere, at the famous Jack the Rooster. The Tampere gig was the 8th show of this mini winter tour of the band.
Tampere is a lively city bustling with young people and music enthusiasts as I´ve seen in the crowd in this rock bar Jack the Rooster. We arrived at the bar an hour earlier. The show was sold out and exuberance hit the top point when great rock and metal blared from the speakers before the show. The stage was very intimate enabling fans and the band interact with each other easily. I even ran into my instagram friend in the first row who is an Finnish metal fan, we hugged each other warmly, and felt the delight of the fun night ahead of us full of Finnish rock `n roll. My friend´s husband was kind enough to let me squeeze between them in the first row, we started headbanging to the pre-show songs.
The atmosphere was very candid and friendly, Laihiala came on the stage to accord his guitar, everyone cheered when they saw him and he was all smiles and in a jolly mood, which was a sign of an awesome show waiting for us. The band took the stage after midnight, started rocking with their 1st single “Shovel Man”. The energy oozing from the stage to the crowd was awesome and it felt very positive. As the band agreed later on in the interview after the show, they have been enjoying the 1st fruits of their time together as a band quite a lot.
“Your Despiser No.1”, “Hammering”, “Back to Zero”, “Until The Lid Closes and “Shovel Man” were the most outstanding live tracks and grabbed full attention from the audience. They played 12 brand new songs in total. I kind of expected some covers from the band during their setlist but they were eager for their own material and they wanted to showcase them to the audience for immediate feedback.
Their kickstarter campaign reached its goal and their recordings for the S-Tool album is going on full throttle. After this mini winter tour, we as fans can only wait to hear the album when it comes out even though there is no certain release date for it.
S-tool is scheduled to play at the summer festivals of 2017 so if you have the chance to catch them in festivals all over Finland this summer, do not miss it.