Tag Archives: moonsorrow

Festival Report: Saturday 1.7 at Provinssi, Seinäjoki

As usual, Provinssi offered a large variety of artists and bands in various genres during three days’ time. Some of this year’s drawing cards in rock and metal were The Killers, Airbourne, The Hives, In Flames, Danzig, Children of Bodom, Sabaton, Moonsorrow and Amaranthe.

Let us begin with the bad news. It was my intention to get to the festival area in time for Moonsorrow, but I was delayed and did not get to hear more than about 20 minutes of the gig. I apologize for this inconvenience. However, I did like what I heard from the band even though I only heard a part of one song in addition to the lengthy end song Ihmisen Aika (Kumarrus Pimeyteen). In my opinion, Moonsorrow is one of few bands that can use Finnish lyrics in a decent manner. Sadly, now I do not know what songs the played.

There is something with the Viking(/black) metal that Moonsorrow plays that works really well live, but I cannot pinpoint what it is. Moonsorrow played at four o’clock this time, and I think their show would be more suitable for later in the evening when it is a little darker. On the other hand, it does not really get dark at all this time of the year as long as the weather is clear, so the difference would perhaps not be significant. I hope that I will get the chance to see a complete set from Moonsorrow soon.

Swedish Amaranthe plays frequently in Finland and I have seen them live many times although it is not really my kind of music to listen to otherwise. Anyway, they are always good live and their music is such that it is very catchy in a live context. The band seems to be very popular in Finland and therefore always attracts a large audience. Their live show is very professional. This time Amaranthe played songs such as Maximize, Boomerang, The Nexus, Amaranthine, That Song and Drop Dead Cynical.

I have heard most of these songs many times now, so it would be nice if the band could update the setlist and play some more unusal songs. I will also repeat my complaint from last weekend, since I think Amaranthe could skip the encore and just play all the songs without the late break to go off the stage. Otherwise, I enjoy seeing Amaranthe every time because they play and sing very well. Furthermore, the audience seemed to like it a great deal and the atmosphere was great during the set.   

I do not have any relation to Danzig, and it might be that I have not even heard any other songs than Dirty Black Summer and Mother before I listened through what the band played on their last gig. I did not expect much from the Americans since they got some really shitty reviews of their gig in Sweden on Thursday. However, I think this was a fairly good performance. Danzig came from the states only to play at Bråvalla in Sweden and at Provinssi, so it is possible that they were jetlagged at their first gig in Sweden. Yes, vocalist Glenn Danzig does not sing very well, but I do not think that anyone really expects that from him anymore. On the other hand he did show some energy this evening, and he was angry in the beginning of the set since something was not right with the vocal sound. He made this very clear by knocking around one of the speakers in front of him a little.

Danzig opened with SkinCarver and also played songs like Twist of Cain, Devil on Hwy 9, Godless, Last Ride and of course both Dirty Black Summer and the last song Mother. The highlight for me was How the God Kills, and many in the audience seemed to enjoy the song as well. A very annoying thing during Danzig’s set was the fact that nobody was allowed to take any pictures, not even with their phones. Apparently, Danzig has some own strange rules about this since it did not apply to any other performances. The annoying thing here was that the security guards run around to stop people from taking pictures or filming during the set. I could not see that it said anywhere that it was not allowed, so most did not know about this. This prohibition is absolutely ridiculous and absurd from Danzig’s part, and I have no idea what the purpose of it is.

In Flames. Goodness gracious, where do I start with this? I have seen the Swedish band several times these last years and I know it is a brilliant live band, but this time was just crazy. The moshpit emerged during the second song Alias, after a slower beginning with the interesting and great Wallflower from the newest album. It then went on for the rest of the songs, and turned into massive pit on command from vocalist Anders Fridén during the last kick-in-the-balls-song Take This Life.

I do not know how they do it, but In Flames’ sound is just so unbelievably massive live. I cannot think of any other band that manages to create such a crushing soundscape and it makes In Flames one of the best live bands currently around. The band included songs like Deliver Us, Where the Dead Ships Dwell, Only for the Weak and the always awesome Cloud Connected, in addition to the already mentioned ones. Fridén also brought his son onto the stage and the band played the song Here until Forever, which is dedicated to the kiddo. This was an emotional and well performed song. In conclusion, In Flames crushed and the audience went nuts.

Provinssi was a huge success this year with a total of 65 000 attendants on three days. 25 000 visited the festival on Saturday. It usually rains when I visit Provinssi, but this time the weather was fantastic, which probably contributes to the high attendance. The best thing with the festival is the audience since the atmosphere is always great and people are not afraid to express their feelings towards the music through a certain type of motion. I have a feeling that I will be there next year as well, and I look forward to know the selection of bands already.

P.S. I could not find any relevant pictures for this post. Sorry about that.

Tuska 2012 Club Gigs: Moonsorrow, KYPCK, Before The Dawn, Ghoul Patrol, October Rust

Tuska Open Air is the pride of the Finnish metal world. Recently it has changed its location from greenish Kaisaniemi park to the rough industrial Suvilahti area, easy to reach with the Helsinki metro. While Tero was the one in charge with the festival atrocities, I made my way again to the club gigs that happen after each of the festival days. The official Tuska festival afterparties are well known today as “continuation gigs”. As the blue Nordic summer night (rather like evening/dawn) sets in, hundreds gather to form queues at the popular venues Virgin Oil and Nosturi.


However, Helsinki is ever-restless especially in summer, and so the metal parties started early in the week, on Thursday, with a double event night: BARREN EARTH in On the Rocks and an acoustic gig with GRENDEL in PRKL Club. Although unrelated to Tuska, these were sure highlights for the following reasons: musicians who know how to do their job, a laid-back fun-loving crowd, good drinks and very fine locations in the heart of the capital city. Well, the metal celebrations in Helsinki did have a good start!

BARREN EARTH is a supergroup that also played at Tuska within a short time notice, as they were asked to replace a band on the bill. So, there were two chances to see the members of Moonsorrow, Swallow the Sun and Kreator. Their progressive death mix features the stunning vocals of Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow the Sun), who can switch easily and beautifully from black to death and to clean vocals.

MOONSORROW is remembered by many as one of the top gigs in Tuska this year. Although I have considerably lost interest lately in their heathen metal, I totally enjoyed the gig for its dynamics, fiery atmosphere, and good band & fans communication. It was what every fan and every artists desire from a gig. Virgin Oil is one amazing indoor venue and it was packed on its two levels with enthusiastic fans. It was something any metalhead would have enjoyed, be they a MOONSORROW fan or not.

Tuomas Saukkonen/ Before the Dawn
Before the Dawn

Saturday night, Nosturi pulled the crowd towards the Western shores in Helsinki, in another industrial/harbor setting. It was time for a well-thought-out doom metal night, to be started with SHAPE OF DESPAIR in slow, desolate, eerie tunes melting in darkness and stillness. Nevertheless, we were set for a big change. BEFORE THE DAWN was in and was a welcome surprise. As we couldn’t have the promised BLACK SUN AEON formula complete due to a member’s illness, mainman Tuomas Saukkonen brought his other band on the Nosturi stage. Thus he broke the all-doom bill for the night and delivered his nice gothic/melodeath act. A fortunate change for many, no complaints – the guys revived the place and infused it with their energy. Melodicity lacked though because Lars Eikind, former bassist in charge of trademark clean vocals, was no longer in the band. However, people around were very pleased with the demonstration of skill. Tuomas focused on the band’s latest album. A very fulfilling gig, and the words of praise were not just a few.


Next in line was KYPCK, the doom act featuring SENTENCED man Sami Lopakka and his fabulous riffle-shaped guitar. The band performs songs only in Russian and I must say the combo is quite catchy live and not as rough or unpalatable as would be expected. Born as a supergroup, KYPCK delivers rather solid tunes and can even inspire a pretentious and experienced crowd as we had in Nosturi to headbang.

J.P. Leppaluoto/ October Rust

At the end of the weekend, OCTOBER RUST playing Type O Negative was one hell of an evening. Must say it is a quite incredible feeling when you meet a lot of new friends and old ones as well, or people you simply knew from somewhere, all in the same location for the same gig. And this one had a different feel to it – no more brutality and gloom, but pure rock party, cheer and smiles. I’m glad I went to see this, not only for the vocal’s presence (J.P. Leppaluoto – HARMAJA, ex-CHARON, one of Finland’s best frontmen and a sex symbol if you ask the ladies), but also for the grab-a-drink-and-sway-around action. Lovely. J.P. spoiled us with his deep sensual, velvety, yet bitter voice, infusing passion in every Type O song in the show. His mates were bassist Lauri Porra, known for his work with STRATOVARIUS and for the blood ties with classical composer Jean Sibelius.

Mind you, it was hard to leave Virgin Oil after such an exciting Tuska finale, but at least there are the memories, the pictures and the friendships.