23 September 2023

30-06-2019 Tuska festival

Location: Suvilahti, Helsinki (Finland)
By: Aoife Towell and Sabine van Gameren

The last day of Tuska was a little different. Tiny Tuska took place as well, where the kids could have their couple of hours of fun. It started already in the mall where they could make a namesign and when entering they would be able to get their picture taken, eat some fruit and see the amazing Hevisaurus perform. An unique experience for the next generation of metalheads. As a magazine, we do not post any photo’s of minors, but we did manage to photograph some dinosaurs instead!

Melodic Metal formation Leverage was opening the stage and they were probably the perfect opening for the kids-friendly Sunday. Their music is not too aggresive and is having that melodic singalong touch to it. On the stage they play around in their own way, somewhat modest but never too hold back. Some could hope for some more but the guys are keeping it close to themselves.

The band has not been active for quite some years and thinking back of it, it must have been 2007 that we saw them last. Anno 2019 the guys have a brand new album out. It is called “DeterminUs” of which they played some songs. We liked what we heard, a modern sound meaning that in the inactive years they did not hold on to what was back then but went with time and give us a sound that feels good in this era. Well done.

Well, you can’t accuse the festival organizers of not being youth-inclusive, that’s for sure! The tent for Hevisaurus was packed to the brim, mostly of people whom you could see over the heads of. Parents carrying, wheeling and holding the hands of the future of Finnish metal were proudly joining in with their excited spawn. Cue the dinosaur musicians to the stage to slightly higher-pitched screams than this tent is typically used to. Plenty more curious adults came along to the spectacle to see the dinosaurs banter between themselves, joke with the audience and waddle their tails to their funky riffs and mini guitar solos.

They slightly remind me of a baby Lordi, and not only because those costumes must seriously be hot and awkward on stage! Bear in mind, this group aren’t just child’s play; they have sold over 170,000 copies of their albums, have a game and a movie based on their escapades and are only the second Finnish band honored with featuring on the Hard Rock Café’s international database of artists. Not only that, but they’re able to press their pedals with those giant dinosaur talons; now that’s talent!

In the week before Tuska the band I Revolt launched their new single “Shout Down”. A few of the early birds have found their way to it already and made it familiar, but some other curious minds in the audience were new to it.

The formation from Finland was stoked to play and what comes to notice is that they create a quite massive sound. The throat of Ville is one of the key elements in that. He lays int he brutality we have not really seen so much during this Tuska. While the tiny ones are still stuck at Hevisaurus this gives a nice break for those who seek the heavier sounds. Certainly one of the surprises of the day. Luckily we were able to see quite a bit of their set and we will out them on our radar. Keep it going!

Somewhat of a curveball on the day three line up, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes playfully commented that they were a punk rock band that ended up at a metal festival. And boy am I glad they did! By the time they were on their second song Kitty Sucker, Frank was standing in the crowd at the epicenter of a mosh pit. Song three, Heartbreaker, was given a special dedication to all the women who suffer daily with emotional, physical, sexual and domestic abuse and violence. Not only that, but Frank demanded the crowd create a female-only pit where the women of Tuska could let loose and rock out without fear of being mauled or grabbed at.

The photographers hadn’t even left the photo pit yet, and this guy had garnered so much attention and interest that people’s eyes were glued to him. Each song had an intro – a story – and each time Frank spoke it was either funny, insightful or brilliantly crass. They’ve got being unique nailed down; they know how to do things differently.

Dark Sarah makes a rather different kind of music. It is cinematical, a story or concept behind it. Something one may not easily pick up if you casually walk in but if you dig a bit deeper you will connect the dots. Currently the band is working on album number four, so they are not that new to the scene.

On front, a strong lady named Heidi (nope, not Sarah) giving us some powerful voice combined with a certain tenderness that makes it a perfect combination with the male vocalist, JP Leppäluoto which many of you may know from previous acts like Charon and Poisonblack’s first album. The two of them certainly lead the show, and the music sometimes falls a bit behind that being not much more than a support of the whole while they should have had some more spotlight perhaps. Altogether an interesting show, something different so to say.

Ukrain formation Jinjer has set themselves a name in the past years. With a good dose of heaviness their music is found in between Progressive, Groove and some Death. The mix is quite a sound of their own and with a frontwoman like Tatiana the audience will watch with care. She has a powerful voice and lurks the listener in. The rest of the band is not seeking much of the spotlights, standing a bit more behind on the stage. We would love it if they show themselves a little more also. Recently they released a brand new EP called “Micro” while they are working on some new material as well.

This summer we will come across this band some more as they tour quite a lot and we are curious what a new album will bring for this band.

Palehørse use to be Amendfoil. Somewhen they changed their name, got signed to Indie Recordings and dropped an album on our path. We picked up the album, loved it and played it endlessly by now. So yes, we were looking forward to see this show at Tuska, but unfortunately we got quite disappointed. The vocals were never as strong as we hoped, the album sounded much more powerful than what we were seeing live. Almost like they were running after themselves, always behind. What went wrong?

The place was not too full either… With Amendfoil we went in heavy rain to see them, and then this… no certainly a disappointment.

Extreme black/death metal icons, the Polish Behemoth’s crowd was made up of scavengers looking for space. Fans flocked to the sunny main stage, gagging at the bit for the dark drawls and yearning for the withering riffs… And Behemoth more than delivered. Effortlessly they deemed the festival theirs and threw flames across the stage, pelting through the air and incinerating all in their wake.

They created their own circle of hell in those moments and clearly felt right at home there, accompanied by large agreeable chants. The execution on stage was nothing short of epic, their application hits all of your heaviest metal cravings with ease. Iconically controversial, built for live performance and skillfully creating their own breed of ambience, you can’t help but be enthralled by their magnitude. Between the fire shapes, the creepy vibes and compliments to the Finns on being the heavy metal capital of Europe, they played Daimonos, God = Dog, Sabbath Mater and Lucifer, all to rapturous finesse. 

“We’re from the U.S. and we’re fucking crazy!” was how Halestorm introduced themselves to the audience of the final show of their tour. Relentlessly pushing the limits of each note, each kick, each scream, they grabbed the crowd by the balls and took them on one hell of a ride.

Lzzy’s raw, authentic and powerful vocals didn’t hint at wavering from tiredness as they tied up their travels, and what a woman to represent females in the metal community. Creative in their genre with appeal to the masses, Halestorm can do no wrong and command the attention that they deserve. New track Chemicals showcased their seemingly limitless possibilities, but we also got the belters such as I Am The Fire, Freak Like Me and finally finishing on I Miss The Misery. Halestorm’s passion is infectious and any show of theirs is always too short.

The whirring of helicopter blades descends upon the festival, turning heads and signifying the arrival of The Hellacopters. Headlining the final day of the festival, their comparatively chill old-school rock ‘n’ roll vibe synced with the sunny evening wind down post-madness. Playing a massive set including Carry Me Home and Toys And Flavors, they saved the best ‘til last with By The Grace Of God, I’m In The Band and (Gotta Get Some Action) Now!

Soaking in the enthusiasm of the fans that stayed late for their slot, the Swedish rockers bounced about on the imposing stage, punctuated once only with a pause where frontman Nicke Anderson told the audience not to hurt people in the mosh and just to enjoy the show for what is is: a fun rock ‘n’ roll concert. That said, the entertainment continued on and it was good vibes for the rest of the show. A poignant end to Tuska 2019 with the helicopter whir bringing the stage and festival to an exhausted yet brilliant end. 

Review of day 1
Review of day 2


Tuska festival