03-07-2022 Tuska Festival

The article below is a bit of a special one. If you have read the articles of day 1 and day 2 you must have seen the editors note that I added there. If not, here it is:

Tuesday before Tuska Tempelores supporter of day one Marian van Gameren, mother of editor Sabine (me writing about and photographing this festival), passed away. Before she died she expressed clearly and repeatingly I was to go to Tuska and take the photos and write this review. As it was her last wish for me, I got on that plane with the blessing of my family but not without pain, emotions and inner conflicts. If you have seen me, greeted me and I have not responded or did not look too cheerful please bear in mind that this was why. My work at Tuska kept me from thinking and indulge in sadness at that point and was shielded me for the dark clouds for a while. Thank you all for understanding and hopefully you enjoyed reading the above.

Rest in peace mom.

In order for me to be home in The Netherlands on time for the cremation I had to go home a day earlier than planned and add to the chaos at the airports across Europe and the fact that I last-minute had to book an expensive flight home I had not much choice other than take the one on early morning of Sunday. It made me sad to see I could not bring our readers a complete Tuska story this year. Then I decided to appeal to the one thing that makes Tuska special: Friends.
A couple of Tempelores friends have been writing and photographing for us on Tuska sunday so that we could still tell you how it was. Let’s read that.


First we will add text from Daniel Picón. Daniel is writing reviews for Tempelores but had chosen to purchase a ticket and enjoy the festival in private. Luckily he was willing to share his views on the day. Photo’s that are added here are made by Marco Manzi. We suggest you check out his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MarcoManziPhoto


Sunday at Tuska had a shorter schedule than the previous days ending at 10 pm with Deftones’ closing performance. At first glance I thought that it was a bit odd that a nu-metal band that achieved its peak success in the early 2000s would be closing a festival like Tuska, but I noticed a similar pattern across other festivals in Europe, apparently nu-metal is having a nostalgic comeback, I was very curious to see the crowd’s reaction to this band later on.

For my schedule I chose the following bands: Sonata Arctica, Devin Townsend, High On Fire, Kreator, Jinjer and finally Deftones.

I arrived at the famous festival area in Suvilahti surprised to see a very short queue at the beginning of the day. It took me like 10 minutes from waiting in line, getting checked to listening to the first Sonata Arctica song on the tent stage. I have already seen Sonata Arctica a number of times, but it was exciting to see them perform post covid, I was very happy that they added “The Cage” from the 2003 album “Winterheart’s Guild”, Tony Kakko, is not reaching the same sustained high notes as he did 20 years ago, but he’s still delivering these songs with a new refined energy. I was surprised to see him engaging with the audience both in Finnish and English, just makes you think how welcoming and inclusive Finns are of other nationalities, thanks Tony.

For my next band I chose Devin Townsend, how could you not? He was one of the deciding factors for me to actually go to Helsinki and visit the 3rd day of this festival. I have to confess and say that I have not been following Devin’s career, I have always kept an eye on him from the sidelines so to speak, but I’ve always been very curious to see his live act.

I was not super familiar with the material with the exception of Kingdom and Love?, during the last song the crowd went fully ballistic by going from standing statues to complete mosh pitting maniacs in 1 second. I had a great time getting to know Devin’s live material, now I have some homework to do and start consuming his material a bit more diligently.

For the third band I chose “High On Fire”, there was an issue with this time slot and the reason is that Stratovarius was playing at the same time at another stage, I was struck by the fact that they were playing at one of the smallest stages, yup Stratovarius, one of the key players in power metal that go back to the 80s, they should be a Finnish national treasure in my opinion, even though I have a lot of respect for them, I have seen them many times and I wanted to see High On Fire, which I did, for almost 10 minutes. I honestly got bored, it’s very difficult for me to walk out on bands, especially popular ones like High On Fire, but oh well, I had to get some rest, because the best was yet to come.

Next comes Kreator, as a kid I was a huge Kreator fan, to this day they are my favorite thrash metal band. I found myself reminiscing on my teenage years singing the choruses to “Violent Revolution”, “Enemy of God” and “Phobia: out loud. The stage antics were definitely upgraded at this point, pyrotechnics were being fired up to the rhythm of “Phantom Antichrist” and “666”, This latter song he introduced in classic Mille Petrozza fashion by talk growling in an intense way. He acapella screamed out loud the following lyrics “The world is in flames. But we are united. Under 666, burning in the sky” I remember the crowd being like huh? Made me think, man, metal can be cringey at times. That thought was put to rest when the riffs came in. Honestly, I’d love to see Kreator stop all this satanic nonsense and just get fully political, I think it suits them better, it’s more punk which is more thrash, that’s just me though.

Next up, Jinjer, yes the Ukrainian band with the amazing female vocalist that sings like an angel and growls like a demon, can’t believe I just wrote that, but anyway yes, that band, everybody at this point should know them. I wanted to see what they had to say about the whole Russian invasion, they mentioned it once and then that was it, they pretty much just continued playing their songs and getting the whole thing over with. I can imagine how difficult it must be to be touring around Europe while your country is getting demolished and crushed. Regardless of the hardships they must be going through personally, they delivered a solid show, Tatiana is just a professional, her ability to do soft passages and straight away do harsh vocals so cleanly is just a feat to behold, reminds me of Opeth back in the day, which I guess she would take as a compliment.

Alright, time for Deftones, for the past 15-20 years I have been keen on telling people all about how the early 2000s sucked and nu-metal is absolute garbage. I was ready to start hating them. But as soon as they started playing I recognised some of the songs and I was taken back to my teenage years, when I began skateboarding, skipping class, having my first drinks, smoking my first cigarettes, doing all the rebellious teenage things. And then I remembered, I actually learned the “My Own Summer” riff on the guitar over 20 years ago. Damn, did I actually like them back in the day and I have been too embarrassed to admit it? Anyway, I let go of all these labels and categories that often distort reality with simplifications that might push an opinion through a lens or funnel that has that opinion built into it. Next to me I saw the most stereotypical metal dude with long hair, a battle vest with all the classic Metallica, Megadeth, Kreator, etc patches, rocking to “Digital Bath” and I got it, it’s twofold though; nostalgia sells and metal is getting more postmodern.


The next part we want to add is from Klaudia Weber. Klaudia is the editor of Stalker Magazine and for this year she had some of her crew doing the Tuska report and had she bought a ticket to enjoy the festival in private. Yet, when she heard about the situation she was willing to write about her Tuska Sunday experience as well as share some of her cellphone photo’s.


Day 3 is usually drawing less crowds – no sign of that when I arrived for the bigger acts, huge crowds for both Sonata Arctica in the tent and Gloryhammer on Infero stage – and the latter truly must have felt like „Universe on Fire“. However, at this time the queues everywhere were quite short in comparison and there were still seats available at my favorite terrace to follow the main reason for my attendance quite comfortably.

Devin Townsend delivered once again a string of ear candy, spiced up with stand up comedy. For example, he promised a deluge of semen and tears after this last show of a 3-month tour… hopefully THAT was a joke… He treated us with more unwanted information, eg on family life and sources of bad smell. Occasionally he delivered jokes and pranks even in the middle of a song. But hey, we love the Deadpool of Metal exactly for that. And indeed, a festival camera shot proved it, there WAS someone wearing a Zeltoid costume in the audience!

High on Fire offered aggressive Thrash Prog and some evil groove of an unplanned drum and bass solo – it felt the technical problem was solved a bit too quickly. Great gig! Meanwhile, outside, Stratovarius had drawn an even bigger crowd than Gloryhammer, despite the scorching heat. Looking for some shade I discovered there was no queue at Kvlt stage, unlike the previous days. However, Humavoid and their weird Black Metal Avantgarde was sooo not my cup of tea. Luckily there was shade to be found elsewhere, e.g at the Tuska art exhibition.

Stam1na reportedly had seen the biggest wall of death ever the day before. Well, from my spot I’d say that Kreator competed in terms of enthusiastic audience, wall of death and moshpit size… Instead of this huge fire show they should have brought a water fountain spray extravaganza, though. Those frequent Tuska guests ended their Thrash show with classics like Flag of Hate and Pleasure to Kill.

Lähiöbotox is a politically incorrect Rap Metal phenomenon, featuring Finnish lyrics – Beastie Boys meets Pantera. This Helsinki act seemed to be quite popular indeed.


However, like most of the other festival attendees, I was drawn to the show of Ukraine band Jinjer – the first time the tent was waaayyy too small. As if their sheer presence at Tuska wasn’t enough of a political statement, the lights focused on blue and yellow hues and many fans showed their support in desplaying Ukraine’s national colors on shirts and as warpaint. Do I need to mention that the show was simply awesome? Jinjer thanked Finland and the fans for their love and support – “we want our home back!!” was the battle cry for ending their set.

And this was it for me, as unlike the majority of this days’ audience, I was not really into Deftones and pretty tired already. Plus, my personal favorite headliner had played on Saturday 🙂 Thank you, Tuska 2022, and hopefully see you next year.

PS: It seemed the „sustainable clean Metal festival“ target worked out nicely – cannot remember seeing Tuska area that clean all weekend!


Some more photo’s by Marco Manzi:

Cryptic Hatred
Cryptic Hatred
Gloryhammer
Gloryhammer
Rebellix
Rebellix

Links:

Tuska Festival