Finlands Tuska Open Air Metal Festival (shortened ‘Tuska’ which means ‘pain’ in Finnish) is one of the biggest metal fests in Northern Europe. This was the 17th time it was held and during the three metallic days it gathered over 20 000 visitors. With such amazing headliners as Dimmu Borgir, Anthrax, Emperor, Satyricon and Children of Bodom you don’t need to wonder why. I got the opportunity to enjoy this all during Friday and Sunday. Unfortunately I had to miss such bands as Anthrax and Metal Church but little birds tweeted all bands kicked some major ass during Saturday as well.
Friday started up with Ensiferum on the main stage and Psykoanalyysi on the Club Stage. Next one on the mainstage was no other than legend himself mr. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals who blasted really cool set with some Pantera songs (A New Level as an example) included. During the day in Club Stage I checked glimpses from the really nice Manala Comedy stand up acts and bands such as Battle Beast and Santa Cruz. Also the second main stage Inferno Stage had Poisonblack and Nails who gave really nice and tight sets.
Next on the main stage was highly anticipated Children of Bodom who gave steady and really entertaining stage show. They had a barbeque theme (‘Bodom Beach Barbeque’) on stage with a pickup truck, friends doing actual barbequing and serving alcohol to band members. There were also some fans sitting in a sofa. Band seemed to have a great time and so did the audience. Great show, great setlist, simply amazing!
Next was legendary Carcass. They delivered their death metal set to wild audience with older songs and best cuts from their new album Surgical Steel. My personal favourites ‘This Mortal Coil’ and ‘Heartwork’ was played also. Yet again it was a bit disappointing that on main stage Dimmu was already starting their show while members of Carcass were still leaving stage. None of that removed the fact that Carcass played one of the best shows in this fest!
Dimmu Borgir started with fast and furious ‘Allegiance’ with explosions and stage was set to a black metal feast! With many songs from ‘Death Cult Armageddon’ and ‘Gateways’ from the previous album made my evening perfect! The set ended with classic ‘Mourning Palace’. Great way to end up first night of Tuska! Those who still had the stamina and guts could still attend to many Tuska after clubs in Helsinki.
Sunday was terrible, but only in weatherwise. It kept pouring the whole day. It was cold and windy but to a true metal fan it’s just a minor thing and can be fixed with a right attitude. Also when most of the crowd are made of Finns it doesn’t bother that much. At least it didn’t snow…
Sunday started with another stand up comedy act to warm people up and next was the mighty Powerwolf. They, from all the bands, can warm up a freezing crowd. And surely they did. This was their second time in Finland and once again they performed with crazy attitude and delivered an amazing show.
In the Club Stage you could witness bands from China (Ego Fall) and Taiwan (Diesear). It was their first time in Nordic countries and small glimpses of their performances proved them as true gems. And Speedtrap which was pretty awesome!
On the mainstage was Satyricon’s turn. The rain was now pouring more than ever. I talked with some people before the show and we agreed that when Norwegian black metal band plays, it has to rain. Satyricon performed with confidence. I was hoping to hear ‘Phoenix’ from their previous album but unfortunately it was not included tonight. However I was not disappointed at all. Good sounds and very enjoyable show!
Emperor ended the day and the whole Tuska 2014 festival. After seeing such bands as Powerwolf’s and Children of Bodom’s very hyperactive performances and corpse paint faces from Dimmu Borgir and others, Emperor gave more minimalistic stage set and performance. One colleague said ten years ago a black metal band couldn’t perform with nerdy eyeglasses, a white guitar and a ponytail. He was probably right but luckily times has changed and Emperor can prove through their music they truly know their shit. What a great show (with a Bathory cover) to end this great fest. I’m pretty sure the whole 24k people was not disappointed throughout the weekends delivery.
Tuska is extremely well organized and despite the rain everything worked really well. Due to laughable restrictions, laws and never ending rules in Finland it is really hard to organize any kind of happenings so thumbs up! Only complaint goes to a price of beer which was seven euros, I mean come on, what is that? Still I hope to witness this all also on next year!
View Tuska Festival bands gallery
Article by Pete Alander – Copyright 2014 © Heavy Music Artwork. All Rights Reserved.