The hottest and blackest festival in Finland!
2010 line-up: Barren Earth, The Arson Project, Testament, Insomnium, Rytmihäiriö, Tarot, Pain, Swallow The Sun, Satyricon, Ihsahn, Obituary, Devin Townsend, Blake, Sotajumala, Torture Killer, Hypocrisy, Crowbar, FM2000, Survivors Zero, Armed For Apocalypse, Kamelot, Overkill, Bloodbath, Nevermore, Turmion Kätilöt, Finntroll, W.A.S.P, Trigger The Bloodshed, Warmen, Cannibal Corpse, Nile, [Amatory], Megadeth.
Tuska was sold out again this year. With 33 000 tickets sold it was still very peaceful again this year, and the few policemen in the area could only sweat in their full blue outfits. The same three stages were present as before named Radio Rock Stage, Sue Stage and Inferno. This was the last year for the festival in Kaisaniemi though. In 2011 it will be held in Suvilahti, Helsinki, with better festival improving opportunities. In my books that means the festival is going to get bigger, but we'll see what happens next year.
The metal fans were treated with amazing weather this year. It hasn't been this sunny and hot there ever. Other festivals around Europe haven't been this lucky, they've been drowning in the rainshowers this year. It was so hot in fact, that some bands reminded their crowd to drink plenty of water instead of the devilish, drying alcohol. I doubt many listened though.
As before, RockUnited mostly checked out the melodic acts, but once in a while we find ourselves from strange company. TESTAMENT isn't the surprise act in this story though. The American thrash band works for a large group of metal fans, and their second visit in Tuska was again popular, the early daytime set didn't bother anyone and the festival grounds were packed. The group was in great shape, blasting a set that was familiar for everyone at the scene, many old songs being the highlights of the one hour set on main stage Radio Rock. Even some circle pits and wall of deaths were seen during their set.
Throughout the whole Tuska festival the wind was blowing the sounds all over, so the best places for best sounds were in the middle of the stage area. The vocals were the hardest to hear, but when TAROT started their set at 4.15 pm, vocals were probably heard by any deaf dude. Not giving the whole vocal credit to Marco Hietala this time though, the band had brought their choir along from Kuopio that competed together with Hietala on the Finnish choircompetition Kuorosota on tv last year. Hietala jokingly called them häirikkörykmentti, a group that "disgraced" them all on tv. His choir came second on the competition. The same show was seen in Ruisrock the following weekend.
The show was very powerful with the choir, accompanied by Luca Gargano (ex-Ari Koivunen) and Tuple Salmela doing his parts of course, but the setlist wasn't their best. "I Walk Forever", "Crows Fly Black" and "Rider Of The Last Day" were heard at least, all from different albums, the first one from their latest "Gravity Of Light".
PAIN followed after Tarot on Sue Stage in a covered tent. It got pretty hot inside under the blazing sun and a packed tent. Like Tarot Pain played an hours set and their set wasn't the best either, I've seen better ones. The performance was very tight though and the guys even rampaged onto a threesome headspin on "End Of The Line". Also "Dancing With The Dead", "Expelled", "Same Old Song", "Don't Care" and "Shut Your Mouth" were heard.
Back at the main stage SATYRICON started their hour and fifteen minutes of brutal screams. This is one of the surprises I told you about earlier that we checked out. Well, at least some. Satyricon are a good live band that we've seen before. The daytime didn't serve them too well though. Such a brutal band deserves darkness for company, and the great lighting was also useless under the sun. This was the bands second gig in Helsinki in a short time, and vocalist Satyr wondered why. Not a hard guess really, 'cos they're very popular here. Drummer Frost was first seen on stage in his mask, and it took a while before the set could get started, backed by an intro. Sadly the sun wasn't the only spoiler for the gig, also the wind lowered the live intensity that Satyricon are at their best. The set was quite poor visually, only the trident micstand and one mask was seen.
DEVIN TOWNSEND was the Friday main band, giving the first performance ever for the whole "Ziltoid The Omniscient" -album. He was a very awaited guest here filling the whole area. Finnish metalheads appreciate his talents very much, and he's concidered to be a genious in whatever he does. The screens on the side of the stage showed the alien Ziltoid speaking between the songs and mocking even Devin himself. This sidestory was fun to follow throughout the show and even guitar battle was seen between Devin and Ziltoid.
On his own Devin's band was as intense as when he visited Finland with Steve Vai in 1994 on "Sex & Religion" -tour. Devin himself was also as intense, and his facial expressions as mad and possessed as always. His enthusiasm for this special performance was really showing and the crowd loved him. Ziltoid also came into flesh during the show in the form of a mask on a band member, and another colourful addition was the "Planet Smasher" performed by Testament singer Chuch Billy. "Hyperdrive" was this shows hit.
Devin Townsend also performed on Saturday, now with his Project band. He hadn't lost none from his hyperactive presence from yesterday and the whole show went pretty much in the same mood as the day before. For us the main act was KAMELOT, who we've witnessed many times before, but among what Tuska has to offer they were the closest you could get to melodic metal with clean vocals. The guys arrived to the festival already on Friday and watched a few bands live. Their show was spoiled by the wind like for so many others, but again the sounds got better if you relocated into the middle area.
Kamelot had been working on their ninth album "Poetry For The Poisoned" with special guests Simone Simons (Epica), Gus G (Ozzy, Firewind), Björn "Speed" Strid (Soilwork) and Jon Oliva (Savatage), and to choose a setlist from such large album catalogue isn't an easy job. Kamelot has a lot of powerful songs though, so they can't go very much wrong in their set. One new song found its way to the setlist, and on the first listen all I could say was fans won't be disappointed with "Poetry". It was pure Kamelot all over, although the band claimed the new album has new influences too.
The show was as hyper and hot as they come with Kamelot, pyros heating up the front rows even more than the sun and the band being on the move most of the time. Vocalist Roy Khan didn't drop his long coat in this heat either, although people were shouting him to take it off. Those shouts might not have reached him. One of the highlights for malefans was the beautiful Amaranthe-singer Elize Ryd, who was doing the female vocal parts. Khan and Elize duetted in a very romantic and beautiful setting in "The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)". A great show once again from the band, and the half-packed area was pleasantly very noisy for the band.
Set included: Center Of The Universe, The Haunting (Somewhere In Time), When The Lights Are Down, The Pendulous Fall, The Human Stain, Karma, Forever, March Of Mephisto
For the fans of OVERKILL and NEVERMORE the night wasn't over yet, but I'd had enough for the day. Having seen those bands a few times already I predicted some asskicking, these trashers are usually wild on stage. Later I heard though, that Nevermore was quite dull with performance, what a shame.
TURMION KÄTILÖT is a band that has caused a lot of chaos in the Finnish press. It had been a while since we last saw them live, so we wanted to check them out in Tuska, but they were way too popular. The Sue-tent they played in was bursting at the seams with the mass of people it was holding in, so we decided to pass that fun.
W.A.S.P. was our next goal, and much easier one too. They played on the main stage for an hour, which isn't much for a band that has been around for three decades. But they managed to play a very tight set, and were better than the last time we saw them. Blackie Lawless' vocals were in good shape and the band was very vigorous and captivating, as they usually are.
In the short set they decided to perform a couple of songs squeezed into a medley. The beginner "On Your Knees" went on straight to "The Real Me", and the middle part of the set saw another medley with "Hellion", "I Don't Need No Doctor" and "Scream Until You Like It". Their guitarist Doug Blair was having a bad day. He was so concentrated on his solo, that he stumbled on the microphone stand and fell on the stage, only to continue his solo like nothing happened. He also knocked his head backstage ending up bleeding, but managed without any serious injury. "I Wanna Be Somebody" was justly the song to wrap up their show. The Finnish crowd was very loud all through the show, but this song still holds a high place among W.A.S.P. fans, so the noise doubled during the song. The band left seemingly happy of the noisy welcome.
WARMEN were a much waited band in the Inferno-tent. They don't gig too much and you never know who they bring on stage as guest vocalists. This time after starting with an instrumental song "Japanese Hospitality", Timo Kotipelto was the first guest to perform two songs , "Eye Of The Storm" and "Spark", which he did with his usual poses and sang with a relaxed feel. A female singer followed. Jonna (ex-Nylon Beat) also did two songs, "Goodbye" and "Black Cat", and she sang pleasantly. She was also complimented as the most beautiful woman on the whole festival by Janne Wirman (keys). Janne seemed to be full of energy and jokes today, he mostly spoke between the songs and was smiling a lot.
Pasi Rantanen (ex-Thunderstone, Joe Doakes) sang most of the songs though. He did three songs, one of them turned out to be surprisingly popular among the crowd, a Journey cover "Separate Ways". Strange how such music still isn't seen in Finnish stages performed by the original bands, 'cos these bands have a crowd of their own too. The other two songs were "Lying Delilah" and "Fallen Angel". Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) was the most popular singer of all Warmen guests. His piece of "Somebody's Watching Me" was as funcrazy as heard on the single, and Laiho looked wacky enough for the songs in his Hawaii t-shirt. Great gig from Warmen and it would be cool to see them live more.
CANNIBAL CORPSE interested at first after Warmen, but I couldn't get any juice out of these growlers. All the songs seemed to repeat themselves and I've seen much more brutal acts than these, even without growling vocals and that's something! NILE didn't impress me either, so I waited for MEGADETH to start. The last time I saw them was in Sweden Rock 2005, where they played a decent set, so I wasn't expecting too much tonight either. Megadeth closed this year's Tuska, playing an hour and a half, and Dave Mustaine surprised us nicely this time. Although the start wasn't too good for Mustaine vocally and the sounds weren't too good at first, they got better quite fast. Shawn Drover (drums) and Dave Ellefson (bass), who's back with the band, performed together a few times, Mustaine stepping away from the spotlight. The line-up with Chris Broderick (guitar) worked well live.
Megadeth are still popular in Finland and they've been visiting here since their first album starting from early 80's, and because of Mustaine's Finnish heritage, they always had a strong fanbase here. Celebrating their 20 year old Rust In Peace -album, rumours had said that Megadeth would play the full Rust In Peace -album, but only shortened versions were heard. Mustaine seemed very happy to be here again, and although not speaking too much between the songs, after the show the whole band greeted their fans on stage for a long time, Mustaine also speaking with a warmth I've never heard him do before. They were the biggest band performing today, the noise and the sea of hands proved that.
Setlist: Wake Up Dead/In My Darkest Hour, Headcrusher, Trust, Angry Again, Skin O' My Teeth, Holy Wars, Hangar 18, Five Magics, Poison Was The Cure, Tornado Of Souls, Dawn Patrol, A Tout Le Monde, Sweating Bullets, Symphony Of Destruction, Peace Sells...But Who's Buying.
See you next year in Suvilahti!