Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trip report: Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2012

Okay, I'm back from the party and a trip report will follow. So, this was my eighth Tuska in row and tenth altogether, and also the second time it was at Suvilahti instead of Kaisaniemi, as we'd grown accustomed. By default, the setting was less appealing than Kaisaniemi: no shade, no lawns to sit on; but not entirely without its perks, as the bars of Kallio were within walking distance and so was my favourite fastfood place, Vegemesta. But in spite of the shortcomings I was there again, and again for all the three days. And it was worth it, goddammit!

On Friday, I arrived just as Saint Vitus were beginning their set, which consisted largely of material off their new album, Lillie: F-65. They didn't, however, abandon such old favourites as "Born too Late" and "Look Behind You", and with their no-nonsense style of playing, they got the crowd warmed up pretty well. If there was something wanting, it was tracks off Die Healing, which I think is hands down their best album.

After Vitus, it was time to hit the beer area and save our poor ears from Trivium's shit. While enjoying our overpriced, watered down beers, we accidentally missed Demigod, but made it to the 3rd stage in time for Arcturus. And it was glorious! I am only familiar with one of their albums, La Masquerade Infernale, but the rest of the material, despite its strangeness, came naturally to these ears and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And the damn pipes on ICS Vortex! I mean, goddamn! I knew he could sing from the couple of Dimmu Borgir albums I've heard, but Arcturus's material allowed for a wider range of styles and display of skill. And did they say they're making a new album? Seems like I may have to see them again some day.

After Arcturus, it was time to get out of dodge before Megadeth would hit the stage, since they were fairly disappointing two years ago and didn't interest me all that much. Therefore, we went out for some beers, followed by Gaf and Ghoul Patrol (and Moonsorrow) at an afterparty. Without going into more detail, both G-bands were awesome, and we were knackered enough after them, that we skipped Moonsorrow, but I'm sure they were pretty awesome too, as they usually are.

Saturday began with hurrying up to make it to the festival area in time for Anaal Nathrakh. We ended up missing one or two songs from them, but the rest were enjoyed by me, and I've got to catch these guys again when possible. And to think a week ago I hadn't heard even a full album from them. This will be remedied in the near future.

Next, it was time to grab a bite to eat while being exposed to Amoral, followed by Mokoma. They didn't really grab my interest, but didn't disgust me either. Then, while waiting for Napalm Death, we took a peek at Horna and Textures, who didn't really grab my interest either.

Napalm Death, however, were on fire. It was exhilarating to watch these old bugger, especially Barney, tear the stage and perform the rare feat of making an hour long grindcore set seem short. Add them to the list of acts I've got to see again if/when possible.

A 15 minute breather later, it was time for Afgrund to hit the stage. The last time I saw them, they were still a trio, but splitting the duties of ex-guitarist/vocalist Andreas Baier to Armin Schweiger (vocals) and Olli Nokkala (guitar) did wonders to their stage presence. The audience turnout to the "remote" 4th stage wasn't staggering, however, but we few who witnessed Afgrund were the lucky ones.

My blastbeat quota fulfilled for the day, we set out in search of beer, which we found in Hilpeä Hauki, also meeting Kari Kankaanpää, the vocalist of Solothus, in the process. The beers were so good we decided to skip Behemoth and call it a day.

Sunday's agenda consisted of Baroness and pretty much nothing else. We arrived while Apocalyptica were onstage, but the appeal of the band is lost on me. Therefore I went to the merch stand to get me a sweet Skeletonwitch shirt, after which we went to catch the first 10 minutes of Skeletonwitch's set before it was time to go see Baroness. I'll have to make up for skipping them the next time they're around.

And then Baroness. Awesome, but I didn't expect anything else. 3 new songs from the upcoming double album, Yellow & Green, and a handful from Red Album and Blue Record crowned my festival experience, and after they were done, it was time for me to turn my attention to my own upcoming gigs and head out to our rehearsal place.

I didn't happen to take any photos this time, so here's a picture of a guy with a large beer.
At least it was better than Carlsberg Copenhagen...

And uhh, yeah, I managed to see Ramin Kuntopolku once! Fun!

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