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.
09 Feb 2017 – HEXVESSEL, DEATH HAWKS, KAIRON; IRSE! – Tavastia, Helsinki
Hello, Tavastia, my old friend.
I’ve come to see some bands again.
This time ‘cause a zine is softly asking,
Gave its promise of good times writing.
And the vision was planted in my brain:
you’ll have fun,
in the realms of reporting.
It was a cold evening with the brightest moon almost full. I was walking towards Tavastia alongside me the feelings of excitement, joy, and this being my first gig report ever: fear. Fear of not being able to enjoy the gig while trying to get somewhat decent photos AND actually remember something worth writing about afterwards.
Other medias do Throwback Thursdays. But Enslain… well, we do Throw-up Sundays. Classy, I know.
After a weekend of heavy metal [and heavy boozing], our corpses have little strength for much more than being slothful Sunday slugs, but we’ve conceived of a way to come together to the Enslain waterbed office as a grumpy group of gremlins – which I will call the “Spew Crew” – and hate on songs we’ve (mostly) never heard before. Sorta like an acrimonious levyraati.
The first time was by accident. Having no energy to even choose albums to listen to, I played my personalized Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, only to learn that most of it was detestable, derivative dog droppings [or perhaps everything just kinda sounds that way when you have a moody, melancholy hangover]. Normally, I only like to publish content that promotes music that’s worth being heard, but… this idea was just too fun! And since the comments and the reviewers are anonymous, we’re safe to say whatever we damned well please. You’re welcome. Sorry.
A week ago, a handful of us Enslainers had a planning session [otherwise known as “we drank beer”] at Enslain Headquarters, and we noticed that a curious and relevant musical affair was being held early that Wednesday evening; curious because it was apparently occurring at a “squat” somewhere nearby, and relevant because several friends (crust punk pummellers Pelkotila from Helsinki, and powerviolence à la Tallinn-based Sociasylum) would be performing at the event. We collectively decided that it sounded just peculiar enough to warrant our interests… and it was BYOB, so it wasn’t much different than what we were doing prior!
Performing a satanic ritual onstage is such a good way to spend time with your sibling, isn’t it?
Helsinki Black Mass in Ääniwalli was an event I couldn’t miss. Not just because of the excellent lineup, but also because of the tasks awaiting me – the very gig review you’ve just started reading and, this time, taking photos. Sometimes life is full of surprises. Even the venue was quite a surprise, since I’ve always connected Ääniwalli with electronic music rather than metal. This time, luckily, this place hosted six black metal bands. Continue reading
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
My love affair with FEAR FACTORY takes me way back to high school [yes, that was millenia ago…] when Demanufacture revolutionized the mainstream metal scene with their machinistically precise locomotion and anti-“machine” propaganda — and, of course, those sporadic clean vocal interludes that pierced the drilling battery with profound emotionality. These were my teenage idols, and going backwards and discovering their debut Soul of a New Machine also played its part in opening my horizons to more extreme music. Yet, the following decades saw my heroes developing into more “jumpy” directions, and struggling with complications in their rank and file… and I began to lose connection.
Fast forward to 2015, and Fear Factory’s suddenly got a reinvigorated line-up with integral members Burton and Dino still leading the pack, the promise of a “Demanufacture” anniversary tour, and a release called Genexus, with material compellingly reminiscent of their later 90’s outputs. So, despite some reluctance and cynicism, I figured, fuck the what, let’s time travel and see if I can plug back in to this machine!
Judging from the result of this interview, our directions and impressions about music have significantly forked, and the conversation got borderline combative at times – in a respectfully provocative way, of course. Burton tolerated my jestful acrimony and answered with eyebrow-raising candor, making for a deviant and delightful discussion.
After their gig, which was a total shock to the system, [I nearly lost my frikkin’ brain when they closed with “Martyr,” and I’ve got a lump to prove it…], I think it’s safe to assume I’ve plugged back in to their upgraded machine.
For fans of of progressive metal and phenomenal bass playing Mike LePond needs no introduction, for the uninitiated he’s the virtuosic bass player of Symphony X, Silent Assassins, and Heathens Rage. We met up at the Tampa stop of Symphony X’s co-headlining tour with fellow New Jersey natives Overkill to discuss Symphony X and his other musical endeavors. Continue reading