STEELFEST – Villatehdas – Hyvinkää, FINLAND – May 20-21, 2016
Guess what, winter is over, and you know what that means? Festival season. Better put on my drinking boots.
DAY ONE: Crack, cocaine, karaoke? Don’t remember. (AKA interesting stuff in plastic bags)
Friday: Cannibal Accident, Ceaseless Torment, Freedomination
As a fledgling member of the badass crew of Enslain, I’m more than honored to write my first gig report for the magazine. Read on if you’re curious; enjoy if possible!
I have to admit I was beyond excited on Friday evening, even before the bands started playing. The overall atmosphere in Bäkkäri was already promising – dark clubroom, preparing the gear and instruments, metalheads everywhere, you name it. Oh, and some insanely good beer too, courtesy of the festival’s namesake, Humalove Brewing. Don’t forget the beer. Continue reading
See, here’s the thing. I’ve been to, and written about the legendary event that no one who has ever attended seems to have any memories of having been on – the event in question being Finland’s student metal group collaborative cruise Akateeminen Heviristeily. So, we don’t really want to hear me write your average, everyday report about how the two bands (Nuclear Omnicide and Noumena) were, how everyone felt already drunk when said bands were playing because the boat was rocking heavily (literally and figuratively, and probably everone actually was drunk already by that time at 10pm when the gigs ended), or to tell more stories about me and my friends’ drunken escapades on our voyage to Tallinn, which most of us didn’t survive to disembark to.
Instead, I decided to try a more novel approach, and since our little community is so connected to each other, I thought, why not have a chain interview, where each person who’s asked a question must ask someone else the next question, with the purpose to be for people who know each other to ask things that expose funny, embarrassing or very metal stuff about each other, and then see how far the chain can endure. And here’s what happened. Read away, and laugh at your comrades and cohorts. To their face, next time you see them. Continue reading
Til Dovre Faller Metal Fest – Dombås Hotell, Dombås, Norway – September 19–20, 2014
While the third Thursday of September saw most gig-hunting Nordic numskulls pack themselves into Close-Up Båten to sail between Sweden and Finland along with Bolt Thrower, Katatonia et al, our compass was pointing at Norway instead. Since our first Til Dovre Faller experience in 2012, a September visit to the land of expensive beer and jaw-dropping natural scenery has become a cherished Enslain tradition, thanks to the fest’s reliably intriguing band roster, uniquely gorgeous and cozy setting, and the welcoming and friendly atmosphere among the annually returning crusaders that we feel proud to have become a part of. Continue reading
Dark River Festival – Honkala Biathlon Stadium, Kotka – August 15–16, 2014
Our excursions to Dark River’s one-day wintry offshoot Dark Winter Festival and the main summer shindig in 2008 had been unforgettable experiences, and not just because of the hilarious inebriated mishaps that took place, but largely thanks to the festivals’ weird yet cozy setting and laid-back atmosphere. We vowed to return, but with Dark Winter seeming to have skipped the last couple of years, and Dark River consistently managing to overlap with our other festival plans, it took six whole years for us to find the right time to come back. The line-up wasn’t the deal-breaker, being a similar mixed bag of nationally recognized quality and local talent as on previous years, but getting to take another bite of this quaint little event while spending time with some rarely seen friends from the area just sounded like the most fitting way to finish off the Finnish festival summer. Continue reading
Jalometalli Metal Music Festival – Raksila, Oulu – August 8–9, 2014
Having served as the arena for eight summers of noble Northern metal mania, the Club Teatria building inevitably fell under the demolition hammer in early 2014, forcing the festival to look for a new home. Luckily one was found slightly closer to the city center, as this year saw Jalometalli debut the sport-concentrated Ouluhalli area. The line-up had also been put together upholding the sterling standards we’ve grown to rely on – with the reunited Dark Angel shining as the brightest gem in the crown, next to stellar live acts such as King Diamond and Triptykon, as well as a fair amount of other solid metal matter – and so the second weekend of August was welcomed with the expectation for a fistful of killer gigs, enjoyed among the most passionate headbangers. Continue reading
Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Suvilahti, Helsinki – June 27–29, 2014
With frantic festival fun at Steelfest, Maryland Deathfest and Kilkim Žaibu having already given our summer a busier start than might be healthy for the body or the mind, Tuska managed to sort of sneak up on us. Despite still feeling weary after our travels, there was no postponing Helsinki’s heaviest weekend of the year, filled with metal, mates, malts and madness. While the line-up of the 2014 edition didn’t come with a promise of erection-inducing exclusivities or first-time fantasmos for me, it still held several familiarly solid names from Finland and abroad, some more rarely seen acts, and a few touches of exotica, adding up to a varied platter of extreme music that I didn’t have to send back to the kitchen. Continue reading
Steelfest Open Air – Villatehdas, Hyvinkää – May 16–17, 2014
Festival summer 2014 commenced with the third public edition of Steelfest, an extreme metal gathering that originally started as an insider event of mere locals, but took the leap towards the big boys’ league in 2012, and has since become an underground force to be reckoned with. Especially now in the absence of Hammer Open Air, Steelfest’s line-up revolving strictly around different variants of black and death metal branded them as an integral player on the field of Finnish summer festivals, proudly standing separate from the grey mass of more mainstream-oriented events. While their roster was again a fine representation of the different shades of dark, there was a shortage of pure thrash this time, but it seemed like even the narrower spectrum had enough draw, as Tiketti’s website was showing the “yellow light” on the tickets already a few weeks before the D-day. Continue reading
Toxic Holocaust & Exhumed – Nosturi, Helsinki – March 19, 2014
This cold and (at least weather-wise) miserable Wednesday evening marked the only log bomb that Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed’s over a month-long European Invasion dropped on Finnish soil. Having already caught both bands a few times during their previous visits, there was no long built-up tension in the air for me, but as 2013 had seen a fresh full-length from the Portland predators as well as the San Jose slaughterers, I welcomed this clash of West Coast wackos with relative excitement. Continue reading