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Steelfest Open Air 2014 - Day II - 5/17/2014 - Villatehdas - Hyvinkää (FIN)




Clearly the more interesting of the two days, my Saturday began with the return gig of Mustan Kuun Lapset, not quite in their original line-up, since the original singer/guitarist wasn’t a part of the band anymore. They sounded good enough though, even if most of the gig was spent talking with old friends instead of focusing on the music. The most different band of the festival, Urfaust, played a truly trance-inducing gig, comprised of howls, growls, guitar walls and some varied drumming, with even a red pope singing on stage for a while. A great gig made more surreal by the fact that they were playing outside in the beautiful summer sunshine. I for one would’ve loved to see them in the darkness of the inside stage, where their music could’ve really bloomed, like in Tuska.


Mustan Kuun Lapset


Next up was the debut gig of Desolate Shrine, a Helsinki death/doom band. Crushing riffs interlaced with some faster bits, it had a mood all of its own. The two vocalists sounded really great together with their different styles, bringing a further degree of heaviness to their already heavy as lead sound. Due to a rather badly timed dinner break, I mostly missed Aeternus. What I heard was really interesting, though. A blend of death and black metal kinda reminiscent of Zyklon with brutal low growls, yes please! I should’ve eaten during Necrophobic, since their lack of original ideas or any substance was overwhelming. Constant blast and EVIIIL songs about demons, how do these guys come up with their mind-blowing material *end sarcasm*.

Desolate Shrine



At long last my own personal favorite, Vader, took the stage in front of a sold out Steelfest. This was at least the third time I saw them, but never have they been quite this energetic or sounded this awesome. Having heard a lot of shoddy bands earlier (due either to playing or mixing) they really nailed it this time, all instruments were clearly distinguishable while still having loads of distortion. They started with Wings and continued with Sothis, what more could you ask for!? A huge pit finally erupted, seemingly having gathered strength during the entire festival. It’s easy to see that Peter has been at it for over 30 years, his ability to connect with the audience really getting the metalheads going. The setlist, too, was pretty close to optimal, with mostly really old songs like Carnal and Dark Age, but also showcasing Where Angels Weep from their upcoming album Tibi et Igni. First a fake ending to the gig, where some of the more gullible members of the crowd already left, and a face melting This is the War. Though to be fair, the newest drummer James had some doing to manage the insane drumming of Daray. Close up the show with the Imperial March as an outro and you have a pretty goddamn fantastic gig.


The conclusion of this year’s edition comes with Primordial, which has been visiting Finland very often lately. And that is a very good thing. The band has been very active live in these last few years, and the time for the successor of “Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand” will be soon approaching. But for now let’s dwell a little more on these powerful songs from the latest, excellent records, and indulge in this live show. If there is something that Primordial really manages to do well, is to bring out the passion and “soul” out of each and every song they perform. I am always amazed at how good their singer is in bringing these aspects out and capturing the complete attention of the audience. Proof of this is the fact that almost nobody was yet leaving the place to take the night trains or busses, unlike in the previous years, but most people stayed till the very end.
From the opening with “No Grave Deep Enough”, followed by songs like “Lain With The Wolf” and “As Rome Burns”, the fans get deeper and deeper into the show, which seems even too short, as often is the case when something is really good. After “The Coffin Ships”, the obvious notably absent song, concluding the night and the festival, is of course “Empire Falls”.
So the Irish 5-piece nailed it once again, and I might be slightly subjective here, but for me this was the best gig at this year’s Steelfest (also one of the few I could follow as a whole)!
(Primordial by Marco Manzi)


Overall, the festival was really well organized, once again. There wasn’t a single member of the crew who I talked to who wasn’t helpful and happy. There were a few things to complain about though. Many seemed to have a problem with the fact that the outside stage’s front area was not for people with drinks. This was, however, due to the ever stricter alcohol regulations of Finland, and not really something the organizers could do anything about. My major complaint was the complete lack of a water place. There was some water sold, but having a summer festival with black-clad people trying to see how many pints of booze they can ingest in the shortest possible time and no free water sounds like a potentially lethal combination. When I asked a member of the crew about this I was told that the city of Hyvinkää that had previous years provided water in a tank had simply refused this time around. Kinda weird, but maybe the Satanick Hordes were more interested in the availability of other liquids, anyways.

Photogallery links:
Saturday all bands: Steelfest – Saturday 17.05
After-party: Suicide Machine
All festival: Steelfest Open Air 2014

Report a cura di Markus Karppinen - Photos by Marco Manzi, Nikky Holmes

Archivio Foto


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