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Tuska Open Air 2014 - Day 3 - 6/29/2014 - Suvilahti - Helsinki

By far the most different Tuska day, due to the heavy rains. In my eleven years of Tuska this was the first proper rainy day, even if we had some showers a few years back. It was a strange reminder of how synonymous great weather and Tuska really are. Even if the first two days were among the warmest and nicest of the summer, it was eerie how the atmosphere of the festival changed on Sunday. This wasn’t only a bad thing though, as the rainy industrial area resonated really well with the bands.

Insomnium (Radio Rock Stage): As I couldn’t make it in time for Powerwolf, my first band of the day is Insomnium. The guys have a good fan base, and you can clearly see it despite the weather. Unfortunately for me this time the show doesn’t really take off, and after a few songs (which actually suit the gloomy weather), I decide to go take shelter from the rain. I guess you have to be in the right mood for this kind of music, and the early hour on the schedule doesn’t favor that.
(by Marco Manzi)

Orphaned Land (Inferno Stage): Surely the most original band of this weekend, Orphaned Land was here in Finland for the first time, and got a good welcome from the Scandinavian crowd. The middle eastern melodies and folkish tunes makes for a more cheerful atmosphere than the previous band. Their set is equally divided among the last three records, with the exception of El Meod Na’Ala. One can say whatever, but these picturesque guys have been one of the most interesting acts this Sunday, if anything because they stand out with their unique style.
(by Marco Manzi)

Church of the Dead (Club Stage): One of the main gigs of this year for me, since I’ve been following these guys from their humble beginnings and now they have grown enough to play at Tuska. The inside area was completely packed and there was even a proper indoor pit. They played a really good set, with the main emphasis on groove and brutality. Both the guitar sound as well as the precision of playing is one of the things that really stands out, along with the morbid vocals. Easily the day’s best gig, though they didn’t really have that much competition. It’s easy to agree with bassist Poutanen’s closing words “Death Metal is NOT dead”.

Satyricon (Radio Rock Stage): Satyricon started off kinda lame, but they kept getting better. The rain was at its hardest during their gig, and it gave the gig a certain edge that couldn’t have taken place had the weather been as warm and sunny as the previous days. Still, after a while they started to sound boring and the rain drove me inside.

Speedtrap (Club Stage): Speedtrap offered a welcome break from the weather, and they weren’t half bad. This being speed metal, the songs were fast and the vocalist sang as high as he could. Not really my thing, but the sheer intensity of the last song made it hard not to approve of these guys.

Neurosis (Inferno Stage): The odd one out on Sunday, just looking at the stage set these guys apart. They had all their stuff put as far back as possible and with no backdrop you could see the buildings behind the stage. This gave their gig a certain urban and industrial feeling which suited their music. The songs they played seemed to go on forever, alternating between beautiful parts and crushing monstrosities of riffs. Still, this being the first time I heard their music I never quite got the hang of them. Their set was still very much unique compared to the other bands this Tuska, and yet another band that really benefited from the grayness of the weather.

Emperor (Radio Rock Stage): For a lot of people, seeing Emperor and hearing them play their classic In the Nightside Eclipse album was the highlight of Tuska. Ihsahn is always welcome here in Finland, where he performed last year at this same festival with his own band, and at the keyboard we find also Einar Solberg (Leprous, Ihsahn live).
I who haven’t really ever listened to Emperor tried to get the most out of this unique opportunity. The beginning was quite rough, with the mix being all over the place and the songs just sounding like generic black metal. It took until the midway point of their set until the mix and songs got any better, so there was plenty of time to appreciate the wonderfully extravagant light show the main stage could offer. The rest of the set contained highlights like Inno A Satana and Bathory’s A Fine Day to Die. This last song in particular seems to be the best way to conclude this show and wrap up the whole festival.
Still, the gig was, for me, at best ok. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t quite grasp why this band has been so influential and revered by so many. It was still a nice end to another good Tuska and it was fun watching so many Emperor fans being so beside themselves with joy.

Report a cura di Markus Karppinen - Photos by Marco Manzi

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