Tuska Festival Day 1 Review

July 14, 2019

Featuring Arion, Marko Hietala, Wheel, Power Trip, Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Alien Weaponry, Swallow The Sun and Amorphis

 

M E D E I A  (Helsinki Stage 13:30-14:15)

 

Are our festival openers on the Helsinki stage. They provide a good hardcore death metal sound whilst jumping around and mixing between both. Pleasing the audience with a quick blast of songs they are satisfactory festival openers.

 

A R I O N (Radio Rock Stage 14:15-15:15)

 

They take the stage and quickly jump into some power metal riffage. With hints of thrash and occasional experimental approaches to songs they provide a great insight into who they are and why you should be excited about them. Wonderful high pitched vocals and some excellent technical guitar work is provided in much quantity. Further showcasing of Arions talent's is some good crowd interaction and singalongs with the audience in their set. One of the best songs of their set is Last Sacrifice. It's epic, an anthem I thought it was a set finisher but they continue on with a Ballad a few more songs before finishing to a well deserved ovation 

 

M A R K O - H I E T A L A (Helsinki Stage 15:15-16-15)

 

A very 1970s man with a very 1970s metal influence. A pioneer of folk and symphonic metal. A long time member of Nightwish and Tarot. Let's just say his resume is rather fantastic. Here's Marko Hietala with a recently released solo album Mustan sydamen rovio. 
 

He plays stage front with bass in hand as lead vocalist. His sound is akin to 70s hard rock and metal with a fantasy theme. A throw back to the original beginnings of metal such as Rainbow, Priest and Deep Purple. His music is rather ballad like with a folk infleunce he is well known for. Album opener Isanni Anni and Kivai catch on with us in the crowd well.

 

Hietala gives what we presume to be very funny stage banter in his native tongue between songs. Eventually he decides to noise up us English speakers visiting the festival from abroad by stating the English lyric version of his latest album will be released 'next year!' He is a very funny entertaining funny man.

 

He ends his set and tells us young ones with a hint of sarcasm and a cheeky smile, "go out and enjoy some metal now". Absolute legend.

 

W H E E L (Inferno Stage 17:00-17:45)

 

An Intensity with long dooming stares to audience from sound check to the end. They make the stage their own. 

 

They sound intense like drone or doom with exciting speed changes from a progressive rock/grunge influence and clear thought out vocals. 

 

With a softly sophisticated sociopath English frontman and menacing Finnish band members behind him this is an act that is a rather frightening experience.

Out of the warm sunshine and in the dark inferno 3rd stage of Tuska they provide a tremendous show. Deserving of the loud reaction from the large crowd gathered to witness the spectacle. 

Their last song with the big drum is the best song of the set. 

For fans of Between The Buried And Me, Mastodon, QOTSA and other prog metal

 

P O W E R T R I P (Helsinki Stage 17:15-18:15)

 

We move to the Helsinki stage to catch the last 30 minutes of Power Trip. They provide high octane awesome Thrash. Moshers galore as the festival area has filled up as it's 6pm now on Friday and we're all ready to play rough. 

They play an enjoyable set satisfying the many thrashers in the audience looking to let off steam or have a good warm up before Anthrax. 

 

A N T H R A X (Radio Rock Stage 18:15-19:15)

 

Awesome as always. Always Got The Time to get Caught In A Mosh. They are legends. I'll leave out reviewing them here as I want to focus on reviewing bands I've not heard of before. They played their biggest hitters and provided a fantastic time for all thrashers, nothing more to ask for.

 

D I M M U - B O R G I R (Radio Rock Stage 20:15-21:25)

 

Norwegian Black Metal legends and pioneers of Symphonic Black metal too. If you want to investigate them look up their live Blu Ray release, Forces Of The Northern Lights Live with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo.

Tonight they play as a band and without an orchestral ensemble. It's just as awesome. Just as beautifully dark, heavy and dramatic as you'd expect them to be.

 

A L I E N  - W E A P O N R Y (Inferno Stage 21:00-22:00)

 

Quite varied in styles and sounds. What I'd try to describe as death core or groove metal, a some points thrashing and at other points having some Djent / post metal riffs. Lots of build ups and singalongs to their set-list tonight. Some break downs too, which lets the crowd get in some good headbanging. 

A band with a few tricks up their sleeve, when it seems they are slightly repetitive they are not far away from trying new trick to catch your attention again. Certainly in my 30 minutes of seeing (only half their set) I knew I'd have stuff to write about. Personally I'd say they were one of the best and more interesting bands to catch tonight along with Wheel.

 

S W A L L O W - THE - S U N (Helsinki Stage 21:25-22:25)

 

With alien weaponry Finishing we head we leave the Inferno stage for the final time tonight to catch the last two minutes of Swallow The Sun. They play lovely progressive metal. I ended up only catching them for 20 minutes so I couldn't really judge how they were.

 

A M O R P H I S (Radio Rock Stage 22:30-00:00)

 

The festival headliners for Friday night. I've heard of Amorphis before but have only occasionally investigated. I stopped taking notes on my phone and decided to enjoy their show in full. I was kept interested by the show but this band wasn't really for me that night so I'm going to finish up reviewing. Hearing Black Winter Day in Finland though, that was absolutely fantastic. The Nordic crowd were ecstatic for that one.

 

*Thank you for reading
Review by Stefan Taylor
@AspergerMemos

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