Tuska 2010

Kaisaniemi, Helsinki, 2.-4.7.2010

Tuska – which means “pain” in Finnish, absolutely correct after those 3 days of intense heat – was once again proof how popular Metal in Finland really is. Totally sold out, that means 33.000 Metalheads gathered in the heart of Helsinki. Unfortunately next time it won´t happen in Kaisaniemi Park, but in the harbour area of Suvilahti – hopefully also there this nice family-picknick atmosphere could be maintained.

(In case links and text illustrations no longer work, check the interactive galleries at the end of the text)

Friday July 2,2010

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Barren Earth (Sue stage)
Most of the people were still in this huge queue outside the area, but still this all star band with Mikko Kotamäki – Vocals, Olli-Pekka Laine – Bass, Sami Yli-Sirniö – Guitars, Janne Perttilä – Guitars, Kasper Mårtenson – Keyboards, Marko Tarvonen – Drums gathered quite a crowd. Which cheered enthusiastically to this Prog Melo-Death garnished with Sami´s detailed guitar work. Keep an eye on them! (KW)


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Testament (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Those US-Old-School-Thrashers took off with The Preacher and More Than Meets the Eye, but the crowd appeared to be a bit lame. Testament needed half of the gig to warm them up, and ancient hits like Over the Wall, Disciples of the Watch and Into the Pit to get the party going. Finally the agile and good-humoured Chuck Billy conducted a huge Wall Of Death which I preferred to view from a safe distance via monitor walls. The only downer: they didn´t play Burnt Offerings… (KW)


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I had been looking forward to Melo-Deathers Insomnium (Sue stage) but unfortunately my expectations were not quite met. The sound was bad, and visually there was not much to see. Their melodic DM stylish Sound created a special sinister atmosphere which compensated for the stiff stage acting. Musically (The Killjoy, The Harrowing Years) there was nothing to complain, and they were not responsible for the sound problems. And the enthusiastic crowd didn´t mind. (ms)


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The Finns Tarot (Radio Rock Main Stage) featuring singer and founder Marco Hietala were another act gathering a huge crowd. Marco´s voice in particular was brilliant, but also the rest of the gang delivered first-class Melodic/Power Metal (Crows Fly Black, Calling Down the Rain, Pyre of The Gods, Rider of the Last Day) and a lot of fun, which made Tarot along with Pain one of the highlights of this day. I Walk Forever was vocally supported by a choir from Kuopio. (ms)


Pain (Sue stage)
In the tent the audience reactions were more energetic, no wonder, there was no danger of dehydration and sun stroke. Pain delivered a grandiose show with so much energy that nobody could stand still, e.g. „Same Old Song“ attracted crowd surfers. The Swedes developed their live skills by many years of touring, and on this festival day they were definitely one of the best bands in the billing, with a huge enthusiastic crowd. (ms)


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Swallow The Sun (Inferno stage)
Once again those Finns were first-class, acoustically. Visually they literally disappeared, first because of an overcrowded tent, secondly because of stage-effect overdose. An attempt to give the illusion of a cooling haze? Nevertheless, the guys and the girl – guest vocalist Aleah – gave us some nice gooseflesh with melancholic songs, e.g. These Woods Breathe Evil, These Hours of Despair, Don´t Fall Asleep or The Giant.(KW)
PS: If you want to know how the band looks like without the fog, check out Dušan Hýl´s photos of their show with KATATONIA in Prag, CZ, here .


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Satyricon (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Oslo´s black metal/rock & radio friendly Satyricon, whether “sold out” or not with their recent rather mainstream style, are great at what they do. Satyr is born to be a front man, perhaps even chatting too much between songs! Nevertheless, this immaculately turned out band open with the cold, relentless Repined Bastard Nation and take us through a set mostly from Now, Diabolical with the (maybe too) infectious K.I.N.G, N.B and The Rite Of Our Cross. A few tracks from latest album The Age Of Nero with The Wolfpack, Black Crow On A Tombstone & Die By My Hand. Only a few dips into early material unfortunately, and the guys encore with the haunting Mother North. (JO)


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Obituary (Inferno stage)
One of the most successful American DM acts, the pioneers, on such a small stage? Given their energetic and frantic live shows and their huge popularity, there must have been a very good reason. So, if you managed to shove your way through the ´determined to stay put´ bodies, and actually get inside the tent you were witness to a very hot & sweaty ordeal. But at least you could see something then. Sounded good still from the outside… These guys definitely know what they are doing, since 1985, and do it to perfection; you heard such classics as Slowly We Rot, Final Thoughts, Slow Death, Evil Ways, Dethroned Emperor and The End Complete. (JO)

Devin Townsend – Ziltoid The Omniscient (Radio Rock Main Stage)
A world exclusive: Devin Townsend is playing the musical like concept album from 2007 Ziltoid The Omniscient from start to finish. It´s about an E.T called Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9, he comes to planet Earth looking for the ultimate cup of coffee (all perfectly reasonable so far?).

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So, Hevy Devy brings this to the stage with pre-recorded monologue from the character Ziltoid, starting off with The Venga Boys playing ´We Like To Party´ as an intro. Ziltoid verbally abuses the audience for some time until Devin comes along. They argue for a while (including a guitar duel) and then the full band actually starts playing. Through all this ridiculousness though, you can still appreciate the genius of Devin, and the heaviness/beauty of this music. After the Planet Smasher is summoned (played by Chuck Billy, Testament), ZTO is followed by Colour Your World, The Greys and Deep Peace (from Terria CD). Easy to be left confused if you´re not a fan perhaps. If you are, then you are left with a smile… (JO)

Who wasn´t heading home yet after a festival day, could choose from many “jatkoklubi” offered in four clubs (Tavastia, Nosturi, Dante´s Highlight, Virgin Oil); one of the highlights was the Ronnie James Dio Gala on Friday at Tavastia. Well-known singers, like Marco Hietala & Tuple Salmela from Tarot , Ari Koivunen (Amoral), J.Ahola (Teräsbetoni) Antony Parviainen (Machine Men), Pekka Ansio Heino (Brother Firetribe, Leverage), Patrik Eriksson and Asim Searah (THE NIBIRUAN) performed all those hits made famous by Dio, assisted by an All-Star Band and further guest musicians. Vocally J.Ahola and Antony might have done the best job, and this evening might have been something the master himself had enjoyed, too. (SM)


Saturday July 3,2010
Blake (Sue stage)
turned the area into a Rock party and might have been one of the highlights of second Tuska day. Those legendary Finns convinced technically and made all those smile whose musical roots are in the early 90s Rock ‚n’ Roll … (ms)


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Sotajumala (Sue Stage)
convinced a rather select crowd with their skilled aggressive sound and a front man who acts like a madman. A sip of firewater, then blessing the crowd – and then shouter Mynni and his crew turned all hell loose, with “8:15”, “Luut sinusta muistuttaen” or “Kuolleet”, and they also provoked a Wall of Death.(KW)


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Crowbar (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Somehow I missed the indeed heavy trademark, Basser Todd Strange, when those guys from New Orleans entered the stage. Kirk Windstein (git+voc), the last founding member, had gathered a new crew; Steve Gibb (git), Pat Bruders (bass) Tommy Buckley (dr). Still very heavy their Doom-Core, uniting lava-riffing, aggressive and passionate HC vocals and sophisticated drum work. The audience easily forgave this 14 year hiatus on Finnish stages, spirits were high in a packed tent, and security crews had a lot to do with crowd surfers and mosh pits. They didn´t play the classic Broken Glass, unfortunately, but e.g. New Dawn, I Am Forever, Planets Collide – dedicated to Peter Steele (RIP),, and finally a dedication to Ronnie James Dio (RIP) – All I Had I Gave. (KW)


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Hypocrisy (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Peter Tägtgren fans get now some more action with the indescribably great Hypocrisy. A Taste Of Extreme Divinity was released in 2009, 4 years after Virus – a very long awaited release therefore. Maybe it was just a well needed rest, and it shows on the strength, freshness & greatness of this new album of which Weed Out The Weak is played. Peter makes reference to something Abbath of Immortal said 3 years ago at Tuska in the same situation, exclaiming ” F*ck The Sun!!”. All members hold up well though and play a devastating show, with Peter´s vocals on top form screeching and gutturally growling through Pleasure Of Molestation, Let The Knife Do The Talking (introduced as a ´love song´), Warpath, A Coming Race, the slower and pretty emotional Fire In The Sky, Eraser and Killing Art. (JO)


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Devin Townsend Project (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Although Devin Townsend has been popularised through Strapping Young Lad, most releases are from his solo project material, which is quite a contrast to the violence of SYL, offering progressive metal, layered sounds capes, folk and ambience amongst other styles. This is not to say it doesn´t get heavy, there are moments of riffage and anger also to be found here. Again on the main stage today, he seems pretty pleased to be back for another attack on our senses. The first 3 songs are from the new album; Addicted, Supercrush and Numbered. You can´t help but be transfixed on Mr Townsend, he has such a powerful presence, jolting with his guitar with every riff and pulling such ridiculous facial expressions. The set spans the entire career: Truth, Deadhead, the wonderful Gaia, the beautifully intricate & transitional Earth Day (which lasts for almost 10 minutes), Seventh Wave and Life, a very satisfying and special concert for any fan. (JO)


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Survivors Zero (Sue stage)
alias Tommi Virranta – Vocals, Sami Jämsén – Guitar, Jani Luttinen – Lead Guitar, Tapio Wilska – Bass &Vocals, Seppo Tarvainen – Drums had bad luck, a cancelled US tour, but their home audience cheered to them frantically. Papa Wilska was the one who added some witty comments to their Old-School-Death-Thrash ( “Scavengers of Christ”, “Lucifer Effect”). (KW)

Kamelot (Radio Rock Main Stage)
had no luck with their sound, and the overall atmosphere suffered. Unfortunately they never found the right mike settings for Roy Khan, who did not abandon his coat despite the heat. They performed e.g. “Center of the Universe” and “The Haunting”, vocally supported by Amaranthe singer Elize. (SM)

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Kamelot were another audience magnet, because Finns love Power Metal, and secondly those Americans delivered a first-class performance. Yet once again there were sound problems, and violin parts could hardly be heard. But fans nevertheless cheered to the hits of the current album „Ghost Opera – The Second Coming“ . Cool Show! (ms)


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Overkill (Sue stage)
A real treat for thrash fans, one of the old school masters, on the go since 1980 with impressive 15 albums to boast from the entire span of their career. If you could not get a place to watch – crammed into the tent of Sue Stage, there was plenty of great viewing to be had from the grassy hill behind. Not only are Overkill exciting & awesome to witness live with Bobby Blitz´s highly energetic stage antics, they sound fresh and young still to the day. With so many songs to choose from, a great selection is offered: Bleed Me, The Green & Black, Hello From The Gutter, Coma, Hammerheart, Ironbound, In Union We Stand. And there is no way Overkill could do a show without the magnificent Elimination, during which he stage dives into the audience. And then finishes things up with F*ck You (Reprise). (JO)


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Nevermore (Radio Rock Main Stage)
should be the headliner of this day, but if they really deserved that slot remains the question. They performed a technically solid show and managed to inspire once again the exhausted audience, there was a huge pit right in front of the stage. The Thrash Metal fans seemed to know every single song, and the band surely knows how to play them even in their sleep, therefore no criticism here. All in all Nevermore delivered what was expected and could defend their headliner status here.
Then another festival day was over and the party continued in the park. Despite the merciless heat, there were no bad vibes, and also the security crew remained exemplary and friendly.. (ms)

Sunday July 4, 2010
A great gig by Turmion Kätilöt (Sue stage): First Raaka Pee bad-mouthed our neighbours, then those Suomi rocks-Sweden sucks chants led to “Verta ja lihaa”.

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The show was pretty Dance/Techno focused this time, more like their records. Spellgoth was totally covered in latex and even wore an additional beak-mask. Plus a rope around his neck. Fetish fans surely appreciated that. After half of the program he took of the shirt, but much more to see was only in the end when Pee found a victim – who displayed his noticable bruises afterwards. (GK)


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Finntroll (Inferno stage)
had Sauna conditions right from the beginning, and I still wonder how people could survive in this tightly packed tent, and even cheer to their heroes´hits, like Nedgång, Slaget Vid Blodsälv, Nattfödd, Trollhammaren, Under Bergets Rot and Jaktens Tid, until the verly last Troll-growl. Keyboarder Trollhorn in his fur coat must have suffered, too, still he found the strength to propose to his girlfriend in the middle of the show… (KW)

W.A.S.P. (Radio Rock Main Stage)
return once more to Tuska: A strange, pre-recorded hurried medley is thrown out before onstage arrival of the members, one by one.

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Extravagance is the style of front man, 53 year old Blackie Lawless, who is sporting the usual skin tight, all bumps revealed leggings, rubber long-sleeved shirt with shiny metal wrist attachments in the shape of circular saws?! And of course the well preened, immaculately dyed, black hair, still living in the 80s style wise it would seem. Performance wise, he has passed his day vocally as he strains to reach some of the notes. The bassist and guitarist help along with vocals, harmonising on most of the choruses. But W.A.S.P are mainly about the fun elements and enjoying this show rather than being critical, and they kick off with On Your Knees and playing all you could want (asides from Animal, which B.L refuses to play these days) with Love Machine, Wild Child, I Wanna Be Somebody, I Don´t Need No Doctor, Hellion, Sleeping In The Fire, Babylon and The Idol. (JO)


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Warmen (Inferno stage)
Children Of Bodom Keyboardist Janne Warman unites many Metal stars in his solo project, e.g. little brother Antti (git), Mirka Rantanen (dr), plus guest vocalists Timo Kotipelto (“Eye Of The Storm”), Jonna Kosonen (“Goodbye”) and Pasi Rantanen (“My Fallen Angel”). No wonder the tent was full despite the rather progressive music (Japanese Hospitality). Finally, dressed in a Hawaii shirt, COB band colleague Alexi Laiho performed the Rockwell-Cover “Somebody´s Watching Me”. (KW)


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Cannibal Corpse (Radio Rock Main Stage)
Luckily, today there´s no need to squeeze your way through the masses, as Cannibal Corpse have the luxury of the main stage. Although, there is also something strange about watching a controversial group (banned from performing in some countries) blast out a violent assault of bile in the staggering heat & blinding sunlight. Nevertheless, this doesn´t deter anyone, as there are moshpits & wind milling aplenty, egged on by Corpsegrinder´s signature, non-stop helicopter style head banging – who just keeps going somehow despite the heat. Musically, there is a great set on offer: Scalding Hail, Unleashing The Bloodthirsty, The Wretched Spawn, the sinister I Will Kill You, Make Them Suffer, A Skull Full Of Maggots and Scattered Remains, Splattered Brains. Of course, for the encore it´s Hammer Smashed Face which causes a violent burst through the fans, and finishing off with Stripped, Raped & Strangled. (JO)


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Nile (Sue stage)
A piece of passionate classical music really adds atmosphere and excitement: Nile, one of the heaviest & most technically complex bands on the bill this year, are eagerly anticipated. Mastermind Karl Sanders writes songs inspired by his obsession with Egyptology, art, religion amongst other things, musically you can hear some middle eastern influences. They play as you would expect, seriously and tightly (e.g. Kafir, Sacrifice Unto Sebek, Execration Text, Ithyphallic, The Essential Salts, Sarcophagus). Although you can tell they also are enjoying the experience, from time to time Mr Sanders breaks into a satisfied grin. They finish with 2 ultimate Nile songs, Annihilation of The Wicked and Black Seeds Of Vengeance. (JO)


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Megadeth (Radio Rock Main Stage)
The intro created a grim vision of a totalitarian future, a la „Escape from L.A.“, then Shawn Drover (drums), Chris Broderick (lead git) and Dave Ellefson (bass) – the long-time and recently returned Megadeth companion – entered the stage, and finally master Mustaine himself, kicking it off with two of my all-time-faves (Wake Up Dead, In my Darkest Hour). Because of the 20 anniversary of “Rust in Peace”, the setlist contained many more classics (e.g. Holy Wars, Hangar 18, Tornado of Souls, Trust, Sweating Bullets). “Headcrusher” from the new “Endgames” album remained the only quotation of the last 5 more recent albums… one of the reasons I appreciated this Tuska show more than their Sauna festival gig 2007 (see our STALKER report)

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Some things to notice: Mustaine remained pretty silent first and changed guitars with every song, the outfit only once – from white shirt to black t-shirt after Dawn Patrol. Then he finally took over to cheer on the audience until he found it satisfying (“now it sounds like a civilized country”). For me as an old fan it´s like „Dave Mustaine is god“, and god doesn´t really require vocalist skills. Well, still it was better to hear the crowd singing the tender and touching A Tout Le Monde, because Mustaine´s slight voice problems were most noticable here. The Finnish audience was basically very keen on singing and even added a nice rhythmic “Me-ga-deth” chanting into the tune of “Symphony of Destruction”. When they rounded up the set with Peace Sells, all hell broke loose, and Dave even blew a kiss to the crowd he found “great”. It seemed that he and his crew felt very reluctant to leave Tuska stage… therefore, please come back to Finland soon! (KW)

Attention, attention, now finally our latest
STALKER photo competition: Evil Santa, Tuska 2010
Be honest, isn´t it totally creepy to imagine that this guy sneaks into your house at night thru the chimney?

1. Kirk Windstein (Crowbar): ho-ho-ho HOLY SHIT!
2. Mynni Luukkainen (Sotajumala): dressed in red, but that wasn´t enough to win the title
3. Aleksi Munter (Swallow The Sun): absolutely evil, yet without the beard only 3rd place

Unfortunately disqualified: Papa Wilska (Survivors Zero): He simply doesn´t look evil!

Text: Jane Oliver (JO), Klaudia Weber (KW) + Grit Kabiersch (GK), Sandy Mahrer (SM), Markus Seibel (ms)
Fotos: Jane Oliver, Klaudia Weber + Pia Sundström (Pain, Cannibal Corpse), Grit Kabiersch (Turmion Kätilöt)

All text illustrations as interactive gallery:

Festival photos:

megadeth (24) Kopie

Contributors

Klaudia Weber

Klaudia Weber

reckless and merciless dictator, so KNEEL!
In other words, editor-in-chief, translator, website and ad admin, “Jane of all trades” – – –
addicted to books (everything between Lord Of The Rings & quantum physics) and music, mainly Metal made in Finland. Furthermore, there’s painting, drawing, movies, theater… so you can expect some variety on this website too.

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