All posts by Ossi

Sentenced_interview

Piss on the Graves – A “Tribute” to Sentenced

Dance on the Graves: A Celebration of & a Tribute to Sentenced – The Circus, Helsinki – January 10, 2015

When Crimson came out fifteen years ago, I was a clueless pre-teen living in the backwoods of Lehmijärvi, only starting to take my first dips into the vast dark pool of heavy metal music. Being at an impressionable age, heavy consumption of the album – along with the cover-seasoned reissue of Frozen and the Greatest Kills compilation – served as my gateway into Sentenced’s funereal world. The last two albums that followed didn’t hinder my enthusiasm either, and further explorations into the band’s earlier works kept them in regular rotation even during times when I could hardly be bothered with much else than black and death metal.

Traveling out of town for a gig – let alone a festival – didn’t feel like a simple task for a minor small-towner, so when the Northernmost Killers lowered their coffin into the frozen ground with the extensive Funeral Tour in 2005, I somehow managed to let it pass me by. Talk about (guilt and) regret! Seeing the Sentenced cover band Forever One at Nummirock ’07 and ’09 was about as good a substitute as I could imagine, as those Southern Ostrobothnians nailed the sound of the originals in a stunning fashion. It’s too bad that they apparently called it quits as well a few years later, but I guess that makes my two encounters with them seem all the more special in retrospect, and merely milking a tribute band concept for years on end would seem somewhat cheap from a group of skilled musicians anyway.

So, with close to a decade having passed since Sentenced’s last appearance on stage, I warmly welcomed another opportunity to hear their everdying tunes live at the release party of Matti Riekki’s (mostly known as the editor-in-chief of Inferno Magazine) brand new biographical book Täältä pohjoiseen: Sentencedin tarina, as the event date was announced in late 2014. Despite the first given details being quite vague, I knew it wasn’t going to be a reunion, with my trust in the integrity and honesty of Sentenced being too firm to think that they would betray themselves and their followers by digging up the corpse after having already given it the most proper burial. As more specs surfaced, it was revealed that some of the band members would be climbing onto the stage, but only for an interview, followed by a lengthy tribute spectacle from a specifically assembled line-up of rising talents from the Finnish metal underground. Now this was starting to sound like a night I couldn’t afford to miss. Continue reading

Til Dovre Faller 2014 – Small Fest for Big Nuts

Til Dovre Faller Metal Fest – Dombås Hotell, Dombås, Norway – September 19–20, 2014

While the third Thursday of September saw most gig-hunting Nordic numskulls pack themselves into Close-Up Båten to sail between Sweden and Finland along with Bolt Thrower, Katatonia et al, our compass was pointing at Norway instead. Since our first Til Dovre Faller experience in 2012, a September visit to the land of expensive beer and jaw-dropping natural scenery has become a cherished Enslain tradition, thanks to the fest’s reliably intriguing band roster, uniquely gorgeous and cozy setting, and the welcoming and friendly atmosphere among the annually returning crusaders that we feel proud to have become a part of. Continue reading

Dark River 2014 – Finnish Festival Summer’s Final Throes

Dark River Festival – Honkala Biathlon Stadium, Kotka – August 15–16, 2014

Our excursions to Dark River’s one-day wintry offshoot Dark Winter Festival and the main summer shindig in 2008 had been unforgettable experiences, and not just because of the hilarious inebriated mishaps that took place, but largely thanks to the festivals’ weird yet cozy setting and laid-back atmosphere. We vowed to return, but with Dark Winter seeming to have skipped the last couple of years, and Dark River consistently managing to overlap with our other festival plans, it took six whole years for us to find the right time to come back. The line-up wasn’t the deal-breaker, being a similar mixed bag of nationally recognized quality and local talent as on previous years, but getting to take another bite of this quaint little event while spending time with some rarely seen friends from the area just sounded like the most fitting way to finish off the Finnish festival summer. Continue reading

Jalometalli 2014 – Diamonds and Rain

Jalometalli Metal Music Festival – Raksila, Oulu – August 8–9, 2014

Having served as the arena for eight summers of noble Northern metal mania, the Club Teatria building inevitably fell under the demolition hammer in early 2014, forcing the festival to look for a new home. Luckily one was found slightly closer to the city center, as this year saw Jalometalli debut the sport-concentrated Ouluhalli area. The line-up had also been put together upholding the sterling standards we’ve grown to rely on – with the reunited Dark Angel shining as the brightest gem in the crown, next to stellar live acts such as King Diamond and Triptykon, as well as a fair amount of other solid metal matter – and so the second weekend of August was welcomed with the expectation for a fistful of killer gigs, enjoyed among the most passionate headbangers. Continue reading

Tuska 2014 – Thrash all over Norwegian has-beens

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Suvilahti, Helsinki – June 27–29, 2014

With frantic festival fun at Steelfest, Maryland Deathfest and Kilkim Žaibu having already given our summer a busier start than might be healthy for the body or the mind, Tuska managed to sort of sneak up on us. Despite still feeling weary after our travels, there was no postponing Helsinki’s heaviest weekend of the year, filled with metal, mates, malts and madness. While the line-up of the 2014 edition didn’t come with a promise of erection-inducing exclusivities or first-time fantasmos for me, it still held several familiarly solid names from Finland and abroad, some more rarely seen acts, and a few touches of exotica, adding up to a varied platter of extreme music that I didn’t have to send back to the kitchen. Continue reading

Steelfest 2014 – The 3rd Strike

Steelfest Open Air – Villatehdas, Hyvinkää – May 16–17, 2014

Festival summer 2014 commenced with the third public edition of Steelfest, an extreme metal gathering that originally started as an insider event of mere locals, but took the leap towards the big boys’ league in 2012, and has since become an underground force to be reckoned with.  Especially now in the absence of Hammer Open Air, Steelfest’s line-up revolving strictly around different variants of black and death metal branded them as an integral player on the field of Finnish summer festivals, proudly standing separate from the grey mass of more mainstream-oriented events.  While their roster was again a fine representation of the different shades of dark, there was a shortage of pure thrash this time, but it seemed like even the narrower spectrum had enough draw, as Tiketti’s website was showing the “yellow light” on the tickets already a few weeks before the D-day. Continue reading

Living Exhumations from the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction

Toxic Holocaust & Exhumed – Nosturi, Helsinki – March 19, 2014

Exhumed’s sadistic string section: Bud, Matt & Rob

This cold and (at least weather-wise) miserable Wednesday evening marked the only log bomb that Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed’s over a month-long European Invasion dropped on Finnish soil.  Having already caught both bands a few times during their previous visits, there was no long built-up tension in the air for me, but as 2013 had seen a fresh full-length from the Portland predators as well as the San Jose slaughterers, I welcomed this clash of West Coast wackos with relative excitement. Continue reading

Return to Dombås: Til Dovre Faller 2013

Til Dovre Faller Metal Fest – Dombås Hotell, Dombås, Norway – September 27–28, 2013

Norway in September

Norway in September

Our first venture to what must be one of Norway’s smallest and most obscure metal gatherings had been among the most elevating experiences of 2012, so returning to the scene of the crime was an obvious choice. Having hyped the excellence of this event to most of our more adventurous festival-going friends, we had managed to recruit another crusader among our ranks for this second round, expanding our (almost) Finnish flock into a trio. Continue reading

A festival called Jalometalli

Jalometalli Metal Music Festival – Club Teatria, Oulu – August 9–10, 2013

Teatria Slayerized

Thursday

Just like the year before, one of the acoustic Sytyke summer clubs at Nosturi’s downstairs served as our capital area Jalometalli foreplay, this time featuring the particularly alluring twosome of Mörbid Vomit and The Crescent. Despite the harsh reality of our traditionally fuck-ass early Friday morning flight to Oulu, there was additional cause for mild celebration on this Thursday evening, as a few dozen boxes of Enslain #11 had just arrived to our headquarters earlier the same day, and hadn’t come out of the pressing plant looking like total shit. Continue reading

Lutakko Liekeissä 2013: J-Town is burning down.

Lutakko Liekeissä Festival – Tanssisali Lutakko, Jyväskylä – August 31, 2013

Lutakko Liekeissä 2013

Despite being arranged already for the 8th time, our paths hadn’t led us to Lutakko Liekeissä before, probably because of the roster’s heavy emphasis on the punky and alternative side of things, as well as its relative remoteness for us southern slackers. However, this year the festival caught our eye with the combination of two of my long-time favorites, Xysma and Rytmihäiriö, accompanied with a couple of other interesting metal and punk acts. Taking place at J-town’s most prominent rock venue Lutakko, with one stage inside and another one on the yard, the event packed sixteen acts into one day, starting in the early afternoon and finishing after midnight. There was no age limit to enjoy the music, but each stage had an area sanctioned for alcohol consumption in its proximity, providing a decent view. Continue reading