There’s no way around it. By day three, you start to really feel the weariness. Last day of Tuska was no exception. Tired, spent, waiting for another barrage of concerts to hit the overworked, jaded senses. You’re always unsure about the outcome, but Sunday did bring about some eye openers. All pics are once again provided by Eija Mäkivuoti. Day three! Go!
Danish black metal siren Myrkur has been subject to extensive debate, most of it being based on retarded rhetorics. Thankfully though, Amalie Bruun and her companions produced a captivating concert at a very early hour. Bruun appeared as a lost, solemn deity, in constant white light as she summoned enchanting clean singing and primal high-pitched screams. Her line-up remains a bit of a mystery, I think Teloch was doing the guitars mostly, although Bruun also had a few moments with the axe. Plenty of half-baked assumptions had been made prior to the concert; you just can’t go to a show with a clean slate anymore. In the end, Myrkur had me convinced, whether it be black metal, norse metal or whatever, the show had loads of chilling atmospheres.
From breathtaking Nordic atmospheres to stomping U.S. brutality! Hatebreed was high on my list of bands to catch. Hardcore music is made for live situations, which clearly reflected the balls to the walls energy of the band, just as the rain started to pour. My knowledge of Hatebreed and hardcore in general is rather limited, but I was positively surprised. A healthy mix of thrashing madness and hardcore smackdowns with chief Jamey Jasta taking the charge, demanding that you rethink the situation and how things need to change worldwide. Also fairly early in the day, there was a great energy at the concert with several moshpits taking place, undoubtedly functioning as a great purge for the people involved.
Diablo’s performance at Tuska was perhaps my most anticipated concert at the festival this year. Having been a huge fan since 2005, I was pumped prior to travelling to Finland. I finally got to see them, although I was quite exhausted at the time the band took the stage. First thing noticeable was the muffled drum sound, which made the rhythmical aspect of the performance ridiculously heavy in some moments and inaudible the next. The atmosphere was great though. The band was on home-turf, this could be felt. Diablo aren’t a band that has had significant crossover success, but in Finland they are treasured. Marko Utriainen’s lead guitar playing in tracks like “Isolation”, “The Call”, Symbol Of Eternity” and “Mimic47” elevated my worship, he’s a guitar god now in my humble opinion. Beside the occasional sound bumps, I had a great time immersing myself in some Finnish niched groove metal!
I’ve wanted to catch Gojira for many years. To put it simple, this band’s show was a fucking stunner! I might not be all that familiar with their discography, having only listened to “From Mars To Sirius”, “L’Enfant Sauvage” and the recently released “Magma”, but it just so happened that a lot of the material played was from these albums. Incredibly focused onstage, renditions of “Silvera”, “The Heaviest Matter In the Universe” and “L’Enfant Sauvage” sounded near perfect. The fact that these guys have been together since the mid-nineties (back then performing as Godzilla) is reflected in the performance, ultra tight no matter the dynamics involved, be it full on death metal blasting or off kilter progressive tempos. If you’re a fan of music, you owe yourself to witness the controlled powerhouse performance of this band.
Katatonia’s concert was also my last one this time around. Last time I saw them was in Copenhagen, when celebrating the ten-year anniversary of “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”. The area was packed. Finland is a stronghold for this band; the music sits perfectly with the Finnish people. As expected, there was much focus on the new album with “Old Heart Falls” and “Sanction” already becoming crowd favorites. Some old school doom metal was unearthed in the track “Nephilim”, thumbs up! The ever humble and soft-spoken Jonas Renkse was surprisingly animated and in a rather good mood this evening, the rest of the band seemed a bit auto-piloty; they’re not a festival band per se as these melancholic sounds are much better fitted at more intimate surroundings. Closing with “Forsaker”, I was left with a different kind of satisfaction. Good job, but I’d rather catch this band in a smaller club or a cathedral. On a side note, I did have a pleasant rendezvous with Mr. Renkse later that evening. Very talkative, he told me that a Faroese bottle of booze was residing in the band’s rehearsal space in Stockholm (something me and a friend had offered back in 2011), truly a proud moment. I could leave Helsinki with some sense of glory haha!
That’s a wrap! Tuska Festival 2016 confirmed my suspicions of being way too old for this mayhem. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy it, had plenty of great concert experiences, met loads of interesting people, a few lonkeros and jalovinnas, great success. Special shout out goes out to Niklas Nuppola of Tuska Festival / Finnish Metal Events for accreditation, Eija Måkivuoti for accommodation and being my festival companion, Nina Rata for vouchers and A.A. Nemtheanga of Primordial for the 3.AM booze soaked wisdom.
Extreme Metal Voyager digital domains: