MetalOrgy was first organized back in 2008, when the vocalist from Fear of Domination (now also second vocalist of Turmion Kätilöt) Saku Solin, along with his bandmates, wanted the chance to play on a big stage. He took a risk which paid off hugely and gave birth to a yearly occurrence in the Finnish metal scene – namely this one – with this year’s participants being Turmion Kätilöt, Fear of Domination, Ruoska, and King Satan.
Industrial metal has been popular for some years now, but personally I’ve never gotten that into it. I remember the huge boom of Rammstein’s popularity during the 2000’s and with that popularity came the imitators. Some of those bands have probably played for as long as Rammstein, but the boon to industrial metal’s popularity that they brought cannot be understated.
The first of the evening was a relative unknown for me, King Satan. Some buzz has been about them for some months, yet this buzz being on the internet, it was always either the best thing or the worst thing that ever existed. The conclusion for this buzz was an echoing ‘ehhhhh’, since it was decent, but nothing special. Industrial metal with strong beats and catchy synths, alongside a rough vocalist and an extremely energetic performance by their keyboardist/vocalist Katherine “Kate” Boss, who was easily the most active part of their performance. The amount of space on stage was extremely small, due to the number of drum kits on stage (there were four, if I counted right), so drummer Sir Changa McKenna was forced to play sideways. Playing sideways was pretty fun to watch, since it made it easier to follow his footwork and cymbal craft. The buzz about King Satan was kind of a letdown, but they played solid industrial and they only have their debut album out, so I expect to see them again in the upcoming years.
Next up was Ruoska, an old classic act from Juva, Eastern Finland, which until now had been on hiatus for almost a decade. Being the blast from the past as they were, a lot of nostalgia was present for their time on stage and the band’s word of the day was ‘machismo’. Donning sleeveless leather vests, the band was 110% ready to man out on stage. The frontman/vocalist Patrik Mennander didn’t seem to have the greatest condition on stage, but since this was a gig after a long hiatus, it is very understandable. Rocking out with old classics like “Veriura” (from their 2005 album Radium) and “Alasin” from Amortem (2006), Ruoska showcased to all the youngsters what it was like to pioneer during the 00s. The machismo in their show manifested by showing who’s boss to their water bottles. Emptying the contents on his head, spraying it on the audience, and finally throwing the water bottle into the mass, there was a certain confusion I felt regarding what water bottles had done to him in the past. I counted seven bottles that were ritually spilled of their contents and discarded afterwards, like some extremely low-key black metal shock show. Ruoska was definitely full of nostalgia, but the overbearing testosterone wasn’t to my liking.
Following that were the MetalOrgy founders, Fear of Domination, who recently (and not so recently) have undergone some additions to their line-up. First was Sara Strömmer for second vocalist, and during the evening they made official their addition of a secondary percussionist, Miikki Kunttu.
At this point, being veterans of the scene, FoD has a pretty good idea on how to occupy the stage, even with such an unwieldy number of members one stage. Donning their usual UV face paint, this shock metal troupe delivered a faster-paced experience than their predecessors. Strömmer at least seemed to be having a blast on stage and Solin’s microphone seemed to be having issues at some points during their slot (maybe he was saving up his voice for the Kätilöt show after this one), but he remained active and mobile despite all that. Wearing kilts, the vocalist duo dominated the stage and seemed to enjoy doing that. Also being one of the few bands that utilize a keytarist, FoD is instantly promoted two tiers higher than their music would let them. Their occasional effective use of ambience also does wonders for the depth of their sound. Personally I’m unconvinced about the addition of a second drummer – stage-diving expert though he is said to be – but it remains to be seen what the band can do with such a line-up. Our paths will inevitably cross again, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on them in any case.
The one to close out the evening was Turmion Kätilöt, a long-running industrial giant and fan-favorite among domestic fans of the genre. They too had their share of line-up changes (recent and comparatively ancient), firstly where their guitarist had emergency surgery and was replaced by Joonas Pulkkinen from Black Light Discipline, adapting the stage name of JonAss for the occasion. Secondly, Spellgoth leaving the band earlier this year, replaced by the aforementioned Saku Solin (stage-named Shag-U), but that is all old news at this point in time. Impressions about the band being still the same as ever, it is a relief to hear that Shag-U’s voice and presence on stage at least don’t make the band any worse. There isn’t a whole lot to say about TK’s live performance, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Being the crowd-pleasers that they are, they’ve adopted a very laid-back attitude towards their speeches in their intervals, often joking around with double entendres… some subtle, others not so much. Having a ton of hit songs as well, Kätilöt didn’t waste much of their set with filler songs.
In conclusion, MetalOrgy is a fine few-stop tour for kindling love for the industrial scene. If not for the bands, then at least the fandom. I had quite a few pleasant conversations with people attending the festival and having fun with friends is always a worthy investment of time. Personally I feel that, at this point, the boom of industrial metal has come and gone a long time ago, so the only thing to be done is that the music has to reinvent itself or get together as a more tightly-knit community. From what I’m seeing, the community option has been taken and I enjoy seeing that. Next up is the formation of a township whose chief exports are metal and industry.
Photos: Janne Puronen