Hopefully returning for 2021, Helsinki’s Tuska Festival is one of the greatest musical events in the world. Gojira has been added to the bill, joining other headliners Korn, Gojira, Deftones, Devin Townsend, Bodom After Midnight, Insomnium, Mokoma, Beast In Black, Symphony X, Eluveitie, Jinjer, Lost Society, Belzebubs, High On Fire, Perturbator, Oranssi Pazuzu, Vltimas, Gaahls Wyrd and more to be announced. Gojira returns, along with Korn and Deftones as headliners from the previously canceled 2020 event.
Hot on the heels of their major announcement of their return to activity, Faith No More has confirmed additional European Festival headline spots for next summer. The band will perform at Helsinki, Finland’s Tuska on June 28 and at Madrid, Spain’s Mad Cool Festival in early July. Hopefully the bad will see fit to bless us with new music as well since the band released their comeback album Sol Invictus (Ipecac Recordings) in 2015. Continue reading
Body Count performed at the Tuska Festival in Helsinki, Finland on June 29th. Also at the festival was Dave Lombardo, on tour in Europe with his hardcore supergroup Dead Cross. Watch Body Count perform a medley of Slayer classics ‘Raining Blood/Post-Mortem’ with Lombardo on drums in this fan filmed video shared by Body Count’s Ernie C from his Instagram account. Continue reading
Finland’s Tuska open-air metal festival is celebrating their twentieth anniversary in a very cool way. Continue reading
Myrkur has generated lots of attention, and seemingly Amalie Bruun, primus motor, has received threats to her life for being a female musician doing the post black metal thing. It seems to be the ultimate blasphemy to certain individuals, that probably haven’t been there from the inception of the scene nor have they understood the rebellious primary foundation of the initial scene, where most of the legendary figures embrace both musical diversity and experimentation. I must admit to first seeing it as yet another cash-cow of everything that is black metal, like most things these days, it seems. However, with the release of her début album, M (Relapse), she won me over. Therefore I really wanted to catch her full set, as this would be my first exposure to her music in a live setting. Sadly, we didn’t manage to be at the festival site until Myrkur were in the middle of their set. Yet, even from afar, in between all the bustle from festival-goers elsewhere on the site, her angelic voice penetrated and created a welcoming atmosphere.
Gojira were simply incredible! It’s not the band I have played the most, although I became a fan around From Mars To Sirius (Roadrunner). But as a live band they are simply amazing! The level of musicianship, the songs’ ability to balance brutality and catchiness… It’s simply one of the best live bands in the metal genre these days, just like Behemoth. Both bands are able to create this energy that just makes the audience feed from it for the entire time the show lasts. With a set consisting of twelve songs, and with a good variation of songs from all their five albums, the show had a little for everyone of their fans. But maybe the most spectacular about the show was seeing them perform ‘Stranded’ live for the first time. That song manages to take some minor details and create an enormously catchy extreme metal song.
The mood was entirely different as we entered the tent stage again to catch Swedish gloomsters Katatonia. The band used to struggle live, but has since the mid 2000’s also become a live band worth catching. Their new album, The Fall Of Hearts (Peaceville) is really good, and it was nice to get to hear a couple of songs from it. The only negative aspect of the show was really that it didn’t last long enough, and that they neglected their back catalogue somewhat. Then again, they played ‘Nephilim’, and ‘In The White’, two personal favourites of mine, and two songs I never had expected for them to play. And of course the band played the hits, and by saying that, I am thinking of ‘My Twin’, and ‘July’.
Finishing off the Tuska experience: Children Of Bodom. Actually they seem to be more about calling themselves The Children of Bodom Hate Crew these days, which makes Alexi Laiho slightly come across as an emo boy at 37 years of age with mascara and nailpolish and an attempt at the teenage rebellion thing going with his image. Musically on the other hand the band are rock solid, and if you enjoy seeing keyboards tilted forwards to show off solo skills or you enjoy endless solos more reminding of power metal than extreme metal, I’m sure this would be the show for you. I, as you might have figured out, think Children Of Bodom are a bit too cheesy to my taste. I enjoyed my sixth serving of muiku immensely more than this last Tuska headliner.
WORDS BY PÅL LYSTRUP
PHOTOS BY TJ FOWLER PHOTOGRAPHY
Saturday was hot, and very very bright, and somehow the head had felt better. With a yearning for some sunglasses, it was time to get to the main stage and catch Primordial’s set. The band where one would think it was a solo performance with some backing musicians, but it has always seemed like nobody minds Alan Nemtheanga stealing the spotlight. Seven songs with what one can only assume is filled with the struggle of Irishmen and dissatisfaction with modern times – of course without any countering solution, but at least in ‘Bloodied Yet Unbowed’ what seems to be a defense and rationalization of black-and-white thinking.. But it’s good fun! And who were we to ever expect intellectualism or deeper psychological self-awareness from extreme metal, and to most of us I expect the intellect to seek out food for thought elsewhere.
Next up was Tsjuder, the festival alibi for true Norwegian black metal, anti-life anti-human, so on and so forth. Right from the start no energy was saved as the band kicked off their set with ‘The Daemon Throne’ and ‘Slakt’. What from afar looked as a tent crammed to the brim with people actually turned out to be a half empty in the front towards the stage. Apart from the disappointment in terms of turnout, it didn’t seem to have any effect on the band, who kept the audience on their toes throughout their entire set. In terms of putting on a proper show the trio may have fallen short though, compared to other bands. Not that primitive black metal was ever about putting on a show – or so they would probably claim –, but three guys in makeup on a large stage lacks a little in terms of the visual aspects.
Back at the main stage Anthrax was about to prove that age is no limit to putting on a good show. As someone said: “I’m amazed at how they still have all that energy and jump and run around on stage as if they were still teenagers”. Indeed this was true, the band were on fire! Yet, it was somewhat special to have crossover thrash metal legends on stage for ten songs, when one fifth were actually covers. Then again, their own songs included ‘Indians’, ‘Caught In A Mosh’, ‘Madhouse’, and they did finish it all off with ‘Among The Living’. As this for some reason was my first time experiencing the band live, I can’t say anything else than that I would sure like to be able to experience it again sometime. On our way to catch Anthrax we were also able to visit the smaller Inferno stage at the other side of the festival area. On stage Jess And The Ancient ones were seemingly pulling of a great gig, but staying at the smaller club scene was not an option when Anthrax were set to perform, as much as the Finnish band recently released a great album.
Finishing off the second day of the festival were none other than Ghost, the band that have grown to mega size over the course of just three albums. The melodic rock had people come from all sorts of places to catch the band live, at least judging from the people I was able to talk to before, during, and after the show. Where the first album was a bit more on the hard rock side of things the music has also taken a turn towards the more poppy. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that love songs about the devil seems a bit far out there, and almost completely surreal. The lyrics could just as easily have been about the more worldly concepts of love, but I guess the satanic stuff makes it a little more mysterious, or something like that. I think it’s starting to become slightly cartoonish by now. That the weather turned full on Marvel with thunder and lightning as they finished off their set only seemed even more fitting.
WORDS BY PÅL LYSTRUP
PHOTOS BY TJ FOWLER PHOTOGRAPHY
Former Immortal front man and international black metal icon Abbath (Olve Eikemo) debuted his new band with his namesake, Abbath, this past weekend at the Tuska Festival in Helsinki, FI. Video from their set can be seen at this link and below:
Abbath is joined by King Ov Hell (Tom Cato Visnes from Ov Hell, Gorgoroth, God Seed) on bass, and Baard Kolstad (Borknagar) on drums. The band played a set of mostly covers, all of which Abbath had a hand in writing and a new song ‘Fenrir Hunts’, likely to see release on the new Abbath album due out in 2016 from Season of Mist. The band is already planning a busy 2016 to support the release, and has been named a headliner of the the 2016 Blastfest in Oslo, NO
Abbath’s set list from Tuska Festival
01. Warriors (I cover)
02. Battalions (I cover)
03. Fenrir Hunts (new song)
04. One By One (Immortal cover)
05. Tyrants (Immortal cover)
06. Cursed We Are (I cover)
07. In My Kingdom Cold (Immortal cover)
08. Hordes To War (Immortal cover)
09. Withstand The Fall Of Time (Immortal cover)