23 September 2023

02-07-2023 Tuska festival

Location: Suvilahti, Helsinki (Finland)

The last day of Tuska starts a little later but has plenty of good bands ahead. Ghost is headlining, which promises to be interesting.

Our day starts in the tent were Imperial Triumphant is kicking off. This is an American formation making a combination of Death/Thrash with some avantgarde elements. And this all combined with some costumes. The band has been around since 2005 and currently tours with their album “Spirit of Ecstacy” which is their fifth full length release. The trio is not having much issues on their quest to amaze the early risers at Tuska. Besides the costumes the band is quite theatrical in their movement. So wherever they are on the stage, they will not go unnoticed. But the good thing is that the act is not distracting too much from the music. They have a lot of vehemence within their sound and are in no way comparable to the theater acts of powermetal formations like Angus McSix for example. Good riffs pass by in high tempo, making these guys a great start of the day. Do not miss next time they are on a schedule!

Irrational Cause was opening in the club stage. The band is making Metal core and they have been working hard on their debut album that recently released. Good place to let us hear some tracks we would say. They gave us an active show, which we schedule wise could not attend fully unfortunately but a first impression is made. Sure, the band is not having a very unique own identity just yet, but shows that they have a good idea of what they want to go for. What these guys need is a bunch more shows and some years on the counter, so let’s see again in time!

Lorna Shore is the hype of the summer we would say. And maybe not just the summer but much before that. The guys are popular and that shows when they are ready on the mainstage. Last year the guys released “Pain Remains” and it seems that it scored quite well. Described as Symphonic Deathcore the do fit in line with various other bands this Tuska.

Personally, it was a bit hard to find why exactly people fall for them as it seems not to stand much apart from various other acts. Sure the guys know what they are doing, they have some good riffs on hands and have a certain eagerness that makes it interesting to watch, but still…
In the end it does not matter, Lorna Shore reigns today and has the audience eating out of their hands. A good show.

Back we go to the club stage for another local act to present themselves. This time it is Dreamtale that performs and they have a rather full stage. The Melodic Power Metal band is bringing seven members so its a full house. Last year they released the album “Everlasting Flame” and the band has more on their discography to choose from.

Despite a full stage the band has no issues with bringing a show. The two vocalist have some nice interaction going on and eventually everyone finds their space on stage. Some interesting parts on guitar are filling in nicely the moments were the vocals are holding back, you can see the guys have played a bit longer together than previous acts on this stage.

The next clash had us a bit surprised. It was Electric Callboy vs Xysma and we assume the hypa hypa round the Germans was a bit too much for you, which is why were send to Xysma instead. A band that once started as a Finnish Grindcore formation but nowadays seem to have gone into a more psychedelic, 70’s direction. Interesting enough the guys have a very laid back approach to their show. Some easy going performance, not too wild, just some good vibing music with a bit of passion behind it. The majority of the audience seem to have gone for the party next door/stage though. The Finns have their album “No Place like Alone” to promote, which came out in March this year. Although not with enormous crowds, we suspect they managed to convince some of the audience at least.

Up next we were able to see a short bit of the set of Vermilia. Vermilia is a Finnish Black Metal formation with some pagan influences. Now the stage looked stunning when the band plays, but the looks ain’t everything. We have some mixed feelings on what we have seen. The cleaner vocals were not so great so to say, but when the lady upfront goes a bit more raw it seems to work out better. She clearly has a vision of her act and it seems to work well, but here and there it needs some polishing we would say. The audience though, seem mostly fine with it all. Good for her. Maybe we were just unlucky with being able to see only the first few songs schedule wise.

We made it in time to see The Hu, a band from Mongolia presenting us some Folk Metal with traditional instruments. It is a bit strange phenomenon on the mainstage as they appear to be a rather static formation in their show, but the various musicians all put in their own piece to create a rather rich sound. The audience is enjoying it greatly, it is obvious that the way these guys bring something unique is contributing greatly to their success. When the guys bring a Metalicca cover to the field the biggest success is reached, a classic that many recognize even if you have not heard of this band before. So, a culteral enrichment later we can say we have our fix for Folk for today. A good show that will bring a smile to those who are not into the genre as well.

Symphonic Black Metal formation …and Oceans had surprised us with an outstanding album earlier this year, so it was out of the question that we would go and see them. Luckily our dearest readers voted for them as well in the poll. We made it there on time, a full house was waiting for the guys. And of course this new release was having some tracks played here live. The vehemence is key, the guitars combined with bass lay an atmospheric basis where vocals are coming in to put the highlights onto it.

Towards the end of the set, we get the keys brought closer to the audience by keytar, an interesting touch that we don’t see often in this genre. The audience was going wild for them, it seems they are one of the most popular acts we have seen here in the clubstage and we get it. After a good release it is good to see the music works live just as nicely. Definitely a highlight.

Ghost is closing this year’s Tuska. Now, the fact they were coming was already seen early at the day as the mainstage grew a catwalk overnight. Perfect for a band with hollywood allure we would say. And that Ghost is. It’s like you are watching a movie or a musical maybe. Including a lot of wardrobe changes, which would put Beyoncé to shame. Ghost does not like to take it small. Everything is done grand. A lot of musicians on the stage, a lot of show. Sure the guys have had a lot of backlash from fans and frienemies the past year’s but it is interesting to see how they don’t seem to stop doing what they want to do. The catchy tunes played are sand along easily by the many dedicated fans who came out here today, some who have been queuing all day. At some point a reincarnation of an older Ghost takes place and the band takes it up a bit. Suits them just as well, but when the glitter and glam returns it is clear what Ghost is willing to give. Nothing but show and spectacle, whether you like it or not.