Tag Archives: Helsinki

TAAKE: 27 APR 2018, KORJAAMO

As summer inevitably crawls closer, cold and harsh black metal is the best way to spend an evening in withdrawal from the sun.  Especially if the performing band is none other than the legendary Taake from Bergen, Norway.

My expectations were high, and the closer it was to the show, the more impatient I was getting.  But fast-fowarding ahead, the gig fulfilled all my expectations to say the least, so it was definitely worth the wait.

Just like during their last show in Helsinki, Taake were supported by Finnish bands; this time the warm-up acts were Väki from Tampere and Hexhammer from Helsinki.

Väki could be described as your typical opening band: slightly repetitive but far from boring, their set helped the audience to immerse in the mood of the black metal evening.  Even though the sound suffered at first, it improved throughout the gig and the vocals were made more audible.  Though the venue was still far from crowded, the audience was already clearly having a good time.

After the sinister pagan metal atmosphere Väki created onstage, Hexhammer brought forth their black ‘n’ roll vibes to Korjaamo.  The gig’s overall ambiance was not really something one could expect as a support to Norwegian black metal, nor was it something I would usually listen to – and such a change from what I mostly listen to was an interesting one.  One of the best things about Hexhammer’s gig was the bass lines, audible and powerful throughout the gig.

When the opening bands were done, the long-awaited headliner made sure to mesmerize the crowd with an aggressive black metal storm.

Taake (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Not every black metal gig includes such intense interaction with the audience. Well, Taake’s gig did and Hoest, the mastermind behind the band, had seen to it.  With the dedicated (one could almost say: possessed) frontman handing the mic out to the audience, giving fist bumps, holding fans’ arms (or almost hugging them) and more of the like, the gig was literally in-your-face.

The eerily melodic intro which preceded “Jernehaand” from the newest album opened the show.  And what a show it was… Taake drenched Korjaamo in northern darkness at its finest.

Taake (Photo by Marco Manzi)

If the first song hadn’t gripped the crowd yet, “Nordbundet” surely did.  The song from Noregs Vaapen, stunning as it is on the album, was an experience beyond words played live.

The night went on with “Bjoergvin IV” from the early material.  A classic from the album of the same title, beginning with roaring black metal cacophony and moving smoothly to a far more melodic part, was just as perfectly balanced as the Norwegian masters can do.  “Inntrenger” was to be played next, and the Kong Vinter madness didn’t end there, and “Havet i Huset” with its incredibly danceable passage rocked the hell out of the venue.  It could be seen also among the enthusiastic crowd, who were clearly having a great time.

Taake (Photo by Marco Manzi)

“Orm,” the only song from Stridens Hus which had been played that evening, ensured the setlist included works from all of Taake’s discography.  After all, the band has been around for 25 years, which Hoest didn’t forget to mention.  In light of recent controversies, a cancelled US tour and the Stockholm gig being moved to a secret location, the frontman made sure to praise the Finnish attitude as well.  Those who were at the gig surely remember both the musician’s words of approval and the cheering audience appreciating his words.

Taake (Photo by Marco Manzi)

The first song from Taake’s debut album was left for the end – “Nattestid I,” more melancholic than the band’s latest material, made just as great of an impression as more aggressive songs from the newer albums.

With the set drawing to a close, “Doedsjarl could be heard.  This song from Taake’s self-titled album sung by Hoest and the bassist V’gandr was definitely one of the concert’s highlights.  And the evening’s last song was “Myr,” unmistakable with its banjo solo.  With the setlist stretching to 12 songs and the concert lasting nearly an hour and a half, the Taake gig was entertaining beyond words as well as professional and delightfully dark.

Full photo gallery by Marco Manzi here.

Taake (Photo by Marco Manzi)

STEELCHAOS: 10 – 11 NOV 2017, NOSTURI, HELSINKI

Let the chaos begin

The month of death calls for a proper festival. What could work better than two days filled with metal’s most extreme genres?  Last year lacked such an event, and this year definitely didn’t disappoint with its obsidious offering of SteelChaos. With the announced lineup reaching from raw through oldschool black metal and extending to a few death metal groups, the festival looked extremely promising. Continue reading

MAYHEM, DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT, BARSHASKETH: 24 OCT 2017, NOSTURI

When it’s cold and when it’s dark, the freezing moon can obsess you…

Regardless of many who would prefer Mayhem to end with the death of its former frontman and of the even larger group of people complaining about Attila Csihar’s emotion-loaded performance, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety was a gig I didn’t want to miss.
Another very positive side to Mayhem’s October performance in Nosturi was the autumn mood at its best: misty mornings of the last months of the year, evenings getting colder, deathlike trees and the northern landscape looking wonderfully grim. Continue reading

Tuska 2014 – Thrash all over Norwegian has-beens

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

The Agonizing Glory of War (and Death Metal)

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Suvilahti, Helsinki – June 28–30, 2013

Thursday

The third Tuska in Suvilahti announced itself with quite a bang, as among the first revealed bookings were two legendary names whose return to Finland had been eagerly awaited for years and I had yet to witness in the flesh – death metal warmachine Bolt Thrower and the master of heavy metal horror King Diamond.  As time went on, the rest of the bill didn’t shape up to be quite as mind-blowing as this flaming start might’ve fooled some to expect, but it’s still safe to say that the organizers managed to pull together the most exciting Tuska line-up in years.  At least I caught myself looking forward to the last weekend of June with atypical exhilaration. Continue reading