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Jalometalli 2008

Jalometalli, one of Finland´s most renowned metal music festivals, took place for the seventh time in the city of Oulu, located about 600 kilometers North from Helsinki in Club Teatria, a former meat-packing hall. There were two stages: one inside and the main stage right outside. Because of such a small area it didn´t take much effort to move between the two stages. Luckily the weather turned out to be sunny and warm so it was nice to sit outside as well.

Saturday´s line-up was clearly more black metal orientated whereas Friday was possessed by major American old school metal acts. Although hearing some complaining about ticket prices, 45 € for one and 58 € for both days and 23 bands seemed decent. (MT)

Interactive photo gallery at the bottom

Friday 15.8.2008

Because of messing up all schedules I had chance to check only a small part of this old thrash band´s act. The touch of years of playing together hasn´t vanished anywhere and I couldn´t sense any of that normal weak orientation for stage work which usually bothers reunions of old bands. You know the sight “After ten years in office I´m back on stage.”, right? In other words, these guys are tightly back in business. (LM)

Pantheon I
The emerging Norwegian group Pantheon I revealed their grandeur on the indoor stage. A warm and organic sound of a cello added to the blast beat, dark guitar riffs, beautiful melodies and raucous vocals really caught the attention. As a fine mixture of Death and Black Metal, there were plenty of catching rhythms and absorbing melancholy amongst the songs. And added to above-mentioned, they looked good on stage. Definitely have to go and see them live again. (MT)

Sadistic Intent
The following mainstage act was Sadistic Intent. Nuances of European metal melted in traditional American sound made their music a fascinating combination. The alternating tempos and structural changes on tracks kept metalheads alarmed during the show. The band was formed in 1987 in Los Angeles and has released several cult EP´s but not a single album so far. (MT)

The Godfathers of Metal caused conflicting feelings about the need of this reunion. (This year´s Jalometalli was really about “legendary” bands) Well, not even a reunion because on stage was only one of the original godfathers. Sadistic Intent worked professionally as a background band and as far as I can see replaced the old composition better than fine. In one way this arrangement eases up bands logistics, because you have to carry just only one package of spikes and leather –gear when these two bands are on tour together. The audience took band fanatically and maybe that´s the only thing that matters. Even though from my point of view some legends should just let be legends. After this act it was my time to fade out in to the Friday night. (LM)

“We don´t care what you say… Fuck You!” What a blast! The American thrash legend Overkill was undoubtedly the most awaited band in Jalometalli and a perfect headliner for Friday. This was their first show ever in Finland and totally worth every compliment. Considering the fact that the band was formed in 1980, they radiated activity on stage and were in incredibly good shape. The 90-minute playtime seemed to be way too short for the cheering and infatuated fans who remained hungry for more. (MT)

Saturday 16.8.2008

Kalmah, the local pride, played an energetic show on Saturday afternoon. The audience got to indulge in the remarkable melodies matured in swamps of North. The weather was benign and it supported the cosy atmosphere of the second day. Infrequently touring Kalmah has recorded five studio albums. The latest one “For the Revolution” was just recently released in US and Canada by Spinefarm US. Hopefully they will do more live shows in the future. Long live the Swamplord! (MT)

The second day continued indoors with a straightforward act of Desaster, an old school black-thrash quartet from Germany. Been on the scene for 20 years appeared as a really assured and speedy performance. After the festival season Desaster will head to Brazil for a five-show-tour subsequent to releasing a new album “666 – Satan´s Soldiers Syndicate” earlier this year. (MT)

What should I say about this Finnish black metal band with two bass players and an inconceivably vivid mainman… Very entertaining! Everything is possible on a Barathrum gig, so you never know what to expect, but this time the horde concentrated mostly on playing. It was obvious that at least some people would had liked to hear more hilarious yarning by the vocalist Demonos Sova, but except singing he only exposed some private parts instead… (MT)

Sotajumala was Saturday´s first act I saw and their quite generic but quality death metal was quite nice kick start for that day. What can I say? Mynni is a charismatic front man and playing worked well but technical song structures unfortunately take their share from stage energy which this kind of music definitely demands. That´s why I rather listen to my death metal from records. (LM)

If you want to carry image of an evil black metal band and keep that theatrical aspect in your show, then you should do it properly and avoid Mayhem´s way. From a viewer´s viewpoint that image did not reflect to me from Mayhem´s one part “corpse all the way” and rest quite basic metal wear. Without going into music itself I expected a legendary black metal show from a legendary band, and this was not even close to one. (LM)

At first sight of this band I expected some lame old and tired version of Led Zeppelin, but these guys the owned stage right from the moment the first song was counted in. It could be sensed that band really had fun on stage. All players are different individuals, when it comes to the looks and all blended in perfectly. And big props for singer´s moves! I was wondering where the audience vanished after Mayhem, but maybe it was time for a fill up brake. Anyway it was big mistake for them and they just missed one of the best acts of this festival. (LM)

“You wanna start singing by your self without the guitar? Sing Mother North for me, c´mon!” Satyricon- The absolute highlight for a great part of the crowd rocked the festival as Saturday´s headliner. The circumstances were perfect for a pleasant live show experience: a decent-sized and not too crowded venue, a dark night and neither rain nor heavy wind. The sounds were good, the varying lights contributed to the mood of each song and the band succeeded in keeping up a special dynamic and intense vibe throughout the performance. The set consisted of both new and old tracks and opened with “The Pentagram Burns”, one of the most impressive songs on “Now, Diabolical”. According to Satyricon´s website, the new album “The Age of Nero” is completed and will be released on November 3rd. It will be followed by a European tour opening in Stavanger, Norway on November 12th and closing in Hamburg, Germany on December 20th. Do not miss that! (MT)

Another positive novelty but totally wrong band for last act of the evening. I have no idea why the organiser has chosen to end the festival with depression when everyone should be emptying the bar and having fun rather than fall into moody decreased drunkenness. The show backed up the musical aspect perfectly with Soviet Union´s army gear and Teatria´s bare surroundings supported the show and highlighted the pressuring feeling. Some things just belong to specific clubs and Kypck is totally worth of checking out in that kind of occasion. After seeing nude male “beauty” reaching up to stage I was ready to flee and charge myself for next day´s long drive back home. (LM)

7th Jalometalli proved it´s functionality once again. Expertise gained during years secured that schedules worked fine and the lines in the bars weren´t too long. Bar area was divided fine between in and out areas and passage to both areas from in to out was a positive thing.
Bands were well selected and bands which play at every festival were gladly missing. Next year´s plans give hope that this kind of line stays in the future as well. Two same sized stage arrangement worked well. The only thing that could be complained about (and festival organizers cannot do anything about that) is the fact that in and out stages give different kind of base for bands as it comes to sounds and feeling. But when you organise bands right it doesn´t matter. I like the atmosphere of Teatria´s inside which suits fine for use as club event or as festival. Out stage´s feeling is nicely different for “normal” festival stage, but you still get more genuine festival feeling from that compared to in stage. Over all feeling was highly positive, and if you haven´t been there before you should definitely take a trip to the northern capital next year. And after all the bigger festivals this is just right for the fading summer season. (LM)

Lauri Mailasalo (LS), Meri Tikkala (MT), transl. K. Weber

photos: Pia Sundström, Meri Tikkala

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski

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