Festivals / EventsLive

Hellsinki Metal Festival 2023: Brilliant premiere

11.-12.8.2023, Helsinki, Finland

What I heard, I wasn’t the only one feeling a bit sceptical about this – another Metal festival in the city center, besides Tuska, and parallel to other popular ones  (Saarihelvetti, Dark River Festival), considering that some traditional Finnish Rock/Pop festivals bit the dust due to poor ticket sales … and how to solve a pending traffic & neighbourhood disaster when Metal will be blasting in and around the Ice Hall area?

Plus, there was a portion of bad luck handed out only days before doors opened: a headliner (!) cancelled (Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske fell ill), and a pending storm disaster (which luckily wasn’t as bad as expected) had organizers cancel the big Open-Air-Konzert feat. Depeche Mode on August 8…

Well, what can I say – CONGRATULATIONS to the organizer team for this pretty much perfect festival weekend!


Despite all the difficulties, it became a huge success in pretty much every aspect: Fantastic weather conditions, great bands from a variety of Metal genres, fantastic sound, sooo many fans and all of them sooo happy, a media delegation feeling appreciated and taken care of … perfect view to the outdoor stages, sufficient seating areas, a variety of food and drinks, surrounding vendors in a safe and protected area indoors, plenty of sanitary facilities out- and indoors, no traffic chaos – what can I say, EVERYBODY I talked to had only words of praise, and I assume the bands felt the same. I’ll be gladly attending the next one in 2024 – which has by the way sold out the Early Bird tickets  already, so better make reservations now 🙂


apocalyptica (59)

The Festival Friday delivered an impressive line-up, featuring the headliner Apocalyptica filling in on very short notice – GREAT! My personal highlights of this day were the veterans  VoiVod and Clawfinger – I was surprised to remember so many of their ancient classics to shout along …  The audience flocked to Sodom and Stratovarius, but Blind Guardian beat them all, being basically the Co-Headliner. You might have wondered if it’s even possible to top that – but yep, those Cello-Metallers did it with a fiery performance in every aspect. Please, invite Lost-Society Samy Albanna  more often for guest vocals (e.g. Sepulturas Refuse-Resist)!

One of the disadvantages of being alone covering three stages at a festival – it’s pretty much impossible, you need to ditch something. In my case it was almost all of the Black Box performances, which featured mostly Black- and Doom bands. Afterwards I heard that I should have watched this awesome All-Girl-Act Asagraum … thanks to Tina’s assistance, I can at least offer a fews cell phone snapshots, plus a few of Chamber of Unlight, Batushka, Benighted, Dark Funeral.

That was the reason I decided to check out the Black Box more often on Festival Saturday and it was worth it, e.g. watching the Doom veterans Pentagram and those Elektro-Metallers Priest, yep, this is how I like my Metal to dance to. And their shows had a nice slot in the program, I didn’t miss my personal highlights of this day, Before The Dawn, Bloodred Hourglass and Samael. This huge crowd watching I Am Morbid surprised me a bit, however, this was still no contest to the headliner of this day,  Emperor. Simply awesome performance. Despite planning to, I felt too tired to check out the fiery festival wrap up gig Watain – thankfully Sander took some pics for us. And I also had to decline the After-Show-Parties at On The Rocks and Korjaamo, which offered a fantastic program…

Summing up: Let’s hope Hellsinki Metal Festival is here to stay, it’s worth to put it into your holiday calendar!


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. MA Master of Arts, English and American studies & Media communication = completed two full studies parallel within 5 years; very proud of my achievement - a bit later in life thanks to a scholarship - as a working class girl in a highlyconservative-romancatholic nation...