25 May 2024

29-06-2014 Tuska Festival

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

Pooring rain and a mean wind were around this day. That is Finland too but it did cause that the day started quite slow.

Amendfoil - Tuska Festival 2014Doors open and not a whole lot of people running in. The stages and fenches were getting prepared for the wind, the rain driving people to seek shelter in tents and clubstage. Such a pity, especially for the first band on the stage Amendfoil who had only a handful of people in front of them. Some queueing for frontrowspots for one of the bands playing later and an occasional fan or friend. The guys just released a debut album called “Skyline Escape” which they brought to our attention here. The band has a strong and solid base, the guitars are laying down a heavy base, but keep the melodics in it. Some quite clear vocals and catchy refrains make that the music of the band flows easily. It’s sad to see that they had to suffer from the weather that causes the lack of new audience for them, a band to keep your eyes and ears on!

Amendfoil - Tuska Festival 2014

Powerwolf - Tuska Festival 2014With a sometimes comically Satanic approach to power metal, Powerwolf’s painted faces and extravagant outfits paraded on stage to Sanctified with Dynamite furiously. Unfortunately for the Inferno stage openers, Sunday’s weather had taken a turn for the worse and the harsh elements were spoiling their surroundings. The stage’s material had to be slashed to handle the gusts of wind and the unrelenting wetness deterred a bigger crowd, not to say that a large one wasn’t there anyway for the power metal five-piece. Also played was We Drink Your Blood from 2011’s album Blood of the Saints and Resurrection by Erection from 2009’s Bible of the Beast. The band, active since 2003, obviously enjoyed themselves despite this weatherly annoyance and performed with gusto and at least pretended to be having fun. A good one to catch for a little bit of eccentricity, but far from my choice picks of the line up.

Powerwolf - Tuska Festival 2014

Ego Fall- Tuska Festival 2014One of the most remarkable acts of the way must be Ego Fall. The band makes Mongolian Folk Metal and has surprisingly many fans awaiting them. Fans who made signs for them, fans who adore the band. And what the guys bring is definitely something to put your attention to. From the quite straight forward metal the band has in the basis they expand with the use of Mongolian instruments, unfortunately not along, and interesting vocal techniques. That gives it a bit swing, that little thing that makes it a bit different. Yet the band never loses any vehemence while at it, Folk Metal but with plenty of power. The guys are a bit overwhelmed seeing the response they get, with some struggles to explain themselves in English the band want to show some gratitude, but the words are not even needed as the audience cheerfully applauds for them. An act that has a dedicated fanbase here and probably won the hearts of many more with their excellent mix of styles making Ego Fall.

Ego Fall - Tuska Festival 2014

Insomnium - Tuska Festival 2014Promoting their latest album released this year Shadows of a Dying Sun, the Finnish melodic death metal group Insomnium attracted a big crowd and gave them back a kick ass performance. There is an underlying zeal that I associate with their music which I can’t quite put my finger on and I definitely got that vibe from them live too. I do get the feeling that Niilo, Ville and the two Markuses have built themselves their own little place just on the tip of their Finnish peers which is theirs alone, and are slowly cementing their role as staples of their genre. With half of their fiery set list based off of their 2014 record, they balanced this with 2011’s The Only One Who Waits, 2009’s Down with the Sun and 2006’s The Killjoy amongst others. This was a largely celebrated performance which was a highlight on an otherwise grey and dreary day.

Insomnium - Tuska Festival 2014

Diesear - Tuska Festival 2014Back in the clubstage where Diesear was ready to play. Were Ego Fall had a dedicated fanbase, so have these Taiwanese guys. Musically they are more found in the Melodic Death corner and the band leaves no time to throw in some brutality. That combined with some interesting riffs make that the band does not have to put in a lot of effort to win the audience. The band seems very driven to perform and that results in a performance that is full of passion and energy. That energy does not end at the edge of the stage but turned out to be contagious and seeing the audience get affected from it to. The band has a little bonus with the shitty weather outside, while many are seeking shelter for the wind and the rain, these guys from Taiwan have the chance to impress an even larger audience. They manage to amaze us with their enthusiastic performance and hopefully the band can tour some more in Europe as these 30 minutes are practically a bit too short to get to know them.

Diesear - Tuska Festival 2014

Shalom people. Orphaned Land is ready to play Tuska festival. The band from Israel makes Doom Metal and comes to the stage very calmly. That is basically what the whole performance is, the band makes a very relaxed impression. And the band seem to have the peace(ful) theme all over them, as well in music, as well in words as well as in their show. The band released their latest album in 2013, but is more about celebrating the 10 year anniversary of “Mabool – The Story of the Three Sons of Seven”, an album that brought the band much of their name. Although the band has a special tour for it later this year, the guys cannot left the anniversary go unnoticed today. And with all respect, the album is one that many adore. As a show you will probably not get the wildest thing, but that is not what Orphaned Land is about anyway. It’s music to listen carefully and that what the fans do. Can they hold on to many new fans, not so much, many were leaving after a few tracks. But when looking at what the band brings they played an excellent show.

Orphaned Land- Tuska Festival 2014

Orphaned Land- Tuska Festival 2014

Church of the Dead - Tuska Festival 2014A rainy day saw the sheltered club stage packed to the gills and Church of the Dead was no exception. Old school death metal filled the grounds but with what can only be described as a very unique twist to it. Alternative elements of punk spilled into their music and the large crowd seemed very receptive. The vocals (Jukka Pihlajaniemi) I found to be particularly impressive with the strength and fullness powerful enough to distract from the outside showers and take you to another world. Currently signed to NightLust records, Church of the Dead are native to Helsinki and have three records to their name; Stay Out of my Grave, Terror Tales and Rave to the Grave. I was pleasantly surprised by this group live and would definitely make the effort to see them again, particularly in a non-festival environment.

Church of the Dead - Tuska Festival 2014

Satyricon - Tuska Festival 2014Satyricon, a loved band for many festivals but today they appeared a bit mean. Making fun of those who could not stand the weather no more, while hiding for the rain at the back of the stage most of the time is not really making good ground with people out there.
As it has been a while since we saw a new release from the guys they are giving us a highlight of their career, a best of, starting with “Now, Diabolical” where many take the opportunity to sing along. Especially in the beginning of the set the guys don’t show themselves from their best side, we have seen them many times by now and the enthusiasm seems a little disappointing today. Yet when the band comes halfway their set they seem to get a bit more into it. A newer song passes by, “The Infinity of Time and Space” from the 2013 selftitled album and after that the band seem to be a bit more energetic. Closing it off with tracks like “Mother North” and “K.I.N.G” we received our dose of Satyricon for today. A set that does not brought many surprises but good for those who adore the classic ‘hit’ Satyricon songs most.

Satyricon - Tuska Festival 2014

Speedtrap - Tuska Festival 2014As the closing act for the weekend at the Club stage, this group were another favourite of my entire Tuska experience. Vocalist Jori Sara-Aho has a voice that comes completely out of left field and rivals the likes of Bruce Dinkinson. Despite some youth to their members, their sound is mature, extreme and very strong. In fact, I’ve been listening to them since I got home. My choice song for the moment is probably Battle Cry, but to be honest you can take your pick. While these guys are honest to their ancestors in such speedy heavy rock, they bring a fresh approach with a confident edge to their work. You also wouldn’t think that their line up just got turned upside down, with two new members and one switching instruments from within. Despite this strange hiccup, the final goodbye of the indoor area was tight, succinct and all the climax a girl could hope for from a good old-fashioned rocking out.

Speedtrap - Tuska Festival 2014

The quality of the weather-beaten Inferno stage had deteriorated as the bad weather continued through the day and into the evening. However it would seem that Neurosis took more offense to this than even their own fans who had turned up. Standing several metres back from the front of the stage, the band had opted for protecting themselves from the spitting sky and essentially hid them and their equipment from the (light, by now) rain. The expectant attendees of the front rows were suddenly left with poor vision and simply a boring show where the band members barely moved and looked the size of dolls. Having said all of that, the crowd was overly enthusiastic so surely they were doing something right. Their music was catchy, they played skillfully and there was still a good atmosphere. I hope there’s a really good reason behind their weatherly avoidance when other bands battled through it, but I won’t hold my grudge. It stopped as soon as I got dry.

Neurosis - Tuska Festival 2014

Emperor - Tuska Festival 2014Closing this festival was the big name of Emperor. With a wild past with several member in jail Emperor had been laid to rest for some time and line up changes have been going through to keep the band going. In 2001 the band was laid to rest completely but reunited for some anniversary gigs. Nowadays the band is known as the legends of Black Metal, finally getting back to stages for a few selected festivals of which is Tuska is one of.
After an intro the band comes on and start playing “Into the Infinity of Thoughts” a song that sets people of right away. What comes to notice is that the band plays quite on their own islands. Each has its own space, little movements are made and not a trace of communication is made. Yet the band plays all these tracks super tight and strong. Frontman Ihsahn does not share much words between the tracks but keeps the tempo into the set. As a closer the band plays “Inno A Satana” which was to expect as the band was playing the anniversary show of album “In the Nightside Eclipse” released 20 years ago. The whole album was played but the band did play an encore, three songs of which one was Bathory cover “A Fine Day to Die”.
Altogether it was amazing to see Emperor together on stage again. Many may not have expected the band to hit the stages again, but luckily they did. A fine way to close your Tuska with a great piece of Black Metal history.

Emperor - Tuska Festival 2014

Emperor - Tuska Festival 2014

Another edition has died on us. A whole new year for Tuska is there again. The organisation made a little joke by selling Tuska alarmclocks. Wake us up when it’s Tuska time!!

Photo’s & text of following bands by sabinevangameren.com:
Amendfoil, Egofall, Diesear, Orphaned Land, Satyricon, Emperor

Photo’s and text of following bands by Aoife Towell:
Powerwolf, Insomnium, Church of the Dead, Speedtrap, Neurosis

Read more about Tuska at Day 1 & Day 2.

Tuska Official