The eighth annual Metalorgy was held this year as a three-day tour. In addition to Helsinki, where the event has traditionally been held, the debauchery was brought to the people of Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä. The tour culminated on its final day at Nosturi in Helsinki on February 13th, 2016.
Full gallery HERE!
Before we touch on the gig itself, it’s worth mentioning that the marketing in social media could have been a whole lot better. Facebook had two different (official-looking) events, only one of which had showtimes, and neither of which had any mention of the evening’s warm-up band, Crimson Sun. It’s quite clear that fans and potential fans alike had missed out on the show due to this poor planning on the promoters’ behalf.
The doors opened on time at with Crimson Sun, our primary target of interest, opening the evening half an hour later. The band hit the stage to kick things off with “The Storm,” the first track off their debut album, to the young and curious crowd of about seventy people, while most of the of-age early birds hung back in the bar area. The second song, “Clockwork Heart,” managed to get some hands clapping. The light technician also woke up during the title track, “Towards the Light,” setting up a nice visual look, but the mixer was not paying the same attention, making the band sound pretty raw, especially during the chorus where the keyboardist, Miikka Hujanen, couldn’t quite nail his lines on tempo. In spite of the brutal mix, however, vocalist Sini Seppälä’s strong stage presence and rock-solid pitch was still worthy of respect.
Crimson Sun continued with “Enter the Silence” and the debut’s killer song, “The Spark.” The band kept their speeches to a minimum, clearly having faith in the quality of their material. After “The Spark,” the audience was willing to applaud them considerably louder than before, and since the venue was still half-empty, it was easy to catch snippets of random conversations, all with a positive tone. Before the second-to-last song, “Awaken,” Seppälä thanked the audience for showing up early (“You’ve been awesome!”). The band concluded their set with “Memories Burning,” which stirred considerable action from the audience.
Crimson Sun has a ton of potential: the songs are catchy, Seppälä has great stage charisma and a phenomenal voice, the band plays well together, and hey, there’s not exactly an abundance of high-quality Finnish melodic metal at the moment. Having seen the band twice in equally challenging circumstances – the first gig being at On the Rocks with approximately twenty people in attendance – and seeing the grins on the audience’s faces, I’d say that a year later, Crimson Sun has moved up the ladder considerably!
1. The Storm
2. Clockwork Heart
3. Towards the Light
4. Enter the Silence
5. The Spark
7. Memories Burning
The second band to hit the stage were the ones behind the MetalOrgy tradition: Fear of Domination. It’s a shame, but the last time we caught one of their shows was at Nummirock 2014, and I remember the pyrotechnics and stage show being a bit overdone. Today, the crowd was still fairly small, though more people had shown up after Crimson Sun’s set had ended. The first song we heard was the band’s title track, “Fear of Domination,” which got the front row singing and jumping. It was nice to notice that FoD has dropped the theatrics and pompous pyrotechnics, instead trusting solely in their music. From the latest album, Distorted Delusions, we heard “Organ Grinder,” “Paperdoll,” and “Legion.” During the songs, we saw how the band really connected and had fun which each other (and gave some eye candy to the audience), and Saku Solin’s middle speeches were entertaining; he has always been able to get the crowd going.
After that the band introduced two new songs, “Adrenaline” and “Messiah,” from their upcoming album, Atlas. Playing new songs during gigs can sometimes be risky, but the audience seemed to be thrilled to hear the new tracks and welcomed them enthusiastically with screaming and moshing. The last song in their set was their newest single, “El Toro,” which is also the latest music video the band released last fall.
Fear of Domination seems to really know their audience, and as such can give them what they want to see. On this occasion they seemed to be focusing on their newer material, since the older songs were largely left out. It is really easy to embrace the band’s energy and we’re eager to see what they do next!
1. Fear of Domination
2. Deus Ex Machina
4. Distorted Delusions
5. Organ Grinder
10. El Toro
After Fear of Domination, it was Sotajumala’s turn to take the stage. This band doesn’t – or at least shouldn’t – need any introduction. Sotajumala is the workhorse of Finnish death metal, consisting of Mynni Luukkainen’s guttural vocal work, the superb six-string and bass section of Kosti Orbinski/Pete Lapio/Tomi Otsala, and Timo Häkkinen’s laser-precise drumming. You could watch Sotajumala live more than ten times and get a top-notch performance every time.
The first thing that drew attention was the setlist: the band opened with “Kuolleet” off their debut album, Death Metal Finland, following up with “8:15,” a song only available on their 2005 split record with Torture Killer. The bassist, Tomi Otsala, shares vocal duties with Luukkainen on the former, and I don’t ever recall hearing the latter live. Nice!
Much to the dismay of the photographers, Sotajumala’s lights were far more minimalistic than the previous two bands, but this suited the atmosphere of their music quite well. They continued with “Oikeutus” from their sophomore album, Teloitus, along with “Luut sinusta muistuttaen” off their third album, Kuolemanpalvelus. Just as we were starting to think that this was a day to hear their old music, we got a taste of “Sinä et ole yhtään mitään” from their latest record, Raunioissa.
The band clearly didn’t feel like slowing down: next up was “Paratiisin kutsu” from Kuolemanpalvelus, before which Luukkainen backed the song up with his personal feelings on the downsides of the European immigration crisis – way to be subtle! Before “Kuolinjulistus,” Luukkainen split the audience in half for a “wall of death.” The moshpit even attracted couple of Japanese metalheads wearing matching black and white prisoner outfits.
Sotajumala is exactly what solid live performance is about. The band comes on stage, blows the audience away with their prowess, and exits. Simple and straight to the point. Sure, you might get offended by Luukkainen’s political views, but hey, we’re just here for the music!
4. Luut sinusta muistuttaen
5. Sinä et ole yhtään mitään
6. Paratiisin kutsu
8. Elävänä omasa haudassaan
9. Päivä jolloin aurinko sammui
10. Veljen viha
By the time Turmion Kätilöt started their set, Nosturi was so packed that it was almost impossible to move, even in the farthest reaches. If it wasn’t obvious before, the star of the night had become crystal clear. TK opened their show with the first track off their latest album, “Kirottujen karnevaalit,” which was followed by “Grand Ball” and “Hyvissä höyryissä.” During that last one, we were lucky enough to see a fairly intense kiss between Spellgoth and MC Raaka Pee.
I don’t know if it was our creeping fatigue or what, but the band seemed a bit passive when the show started. The speeches didn’t make any sense (though, did they ever?), but the audience was entertained and nevertheless laughed at the intentional and unintentional humor. Between “Kuoleman päivä” and “Sinä saatana,” MC Raaka Pee whipped out a hefty freestyle-rap, which was garnished with Spekkeli’s buttcheeks.
For those who aren’t quite as into the band’s material from the last few decades, it is at least pretty cool to see that they can pull off a gig without their quote-unquote hits; it’s understandable that a band can get bored with people only knowing and appreciating the big hits like “Sika!” and “Teurastaja.” Still, our wish was answered and we heard “Hades” from the album U.S.C.H! After that, the band pulled off a tragicomic version of the Spanish “Besa Me Mucho,” which MC Raaka Pee put in a nutshell: “That doesn’t go like this, it never went like this, and it never will go like this. “ Even though their stage show had gotten livelier, you could see that they were probably tired from their tour… or has Turmion Kätilöt calmed down? I suppose we’ll find out – perhaps at Nummirock!
After “Hades,” we older album -fans got more of the goods with “Paha musta veri” and “Pirun nyrkki.” After these we heard the obligatory “Tirehtööri” and Nosturi seemed to burst at the seams from everyone screaming “hui hai.” During these older songs, a decent moshpit appeared on the floor and almost half of the audience mysteriously lost their shirts. When “Sinulle” from the latest album and “Suolainen kapteeni” from Persetechnique played, we had to start squirming our way towards the door, but as we headed out, we saw MC Raaka Pee make a packed room full of metalheads sing “boom kah” for at least a minute, and then closed out the night with “Lataa ja varmistaa” and of course, “Teurastaja.” Overall, while the show was a bit more minimalistic, the audience loved it and the band has obviously reached a new, younger fanbase.
1. Kirottujen karnevaalit
2. Grand Ball
3. Hyvissä höyryissä
4. Kuoleman päivä
5. Sinä saatana
7. Besa Me Mucho
8. Paha musta veri
9. Pirun nyrkki
12. Suolainen kapteeni
13. Lataa ja varmistaa
Metalorgy gets ten points for keeping the event available for all ages and for being affordable, which is a rare thing these days. It is great that the younger generation has an opportunity to go to these sorts of events. During winter, shows like this (metal music gigs with three or more bands) are not that common either, so it’s nice to get out of the house and see a mini-festival. Before the show, we were thinking that MetalOrgy would either be an opportunity or a flop, and afterwards, perhaps the result was somewhere in between. The majority of the crowd had shown up for Turmion Kätilöt, so it seems tha the first three bands didn’t attract that many people as they could have, though maybe that had something to do with the weak promotion. I’m still eager to see what the organizers will do next year and am very enthusiastic about the future of these four awesome bands!
Text: Eliza Rask, Atte Valtonen | Ed: Amy Wiseman | Photos: Eliza Rask