NUMMIROCK – Nummijärvi, Kauhajoki, 23-25.06.2016

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For us, as well as many others, the countdown for Nummirock 2016 started as soon as Nummirock 2015 ended. All the more special, this year marked the 30th time the festival was arranged, and to celebrate the milestone, the first bands performed already on Wednesday evening – but that, of course, didn’t mean some troopers didn’t arrive a week, or even a month beforehand! Because, let’s face it, a common problem with Nummirock is that one night and two days are just not enough, and with the already long wait behind us, we feel deeply sorry – for ourselves, mainly – for not making it to Nummijärvi until Thursday. But, without further ado, let’s hear it from Essi, Lene, and Atte: was the 30th Nummirock once again worth the visit?

Don’t forget to check out the galleries from Thursday, Friday and Saturday!
And our special feature on the camping area can be found HERE!

 

Thursday
We got to start our Nummi-weekend with a rematch from a couple weeks back by checking out Blind Channel and seeing what’s new in their neck of the woods. The Relaamo tent with its merch booth, home-cooked food, battery charging spots, and cozy sofas was back in the same place as last year, as well as the various food carts and jewelry and clothing booths. The most significant difference was that unlike last year, the booze area by the shore was continued from the FOH booth all the way to reach the 3rd stage, which had gone through a name change since last time.

2016.06.23 01 Blind Channel (01) @ Nummirock
Blind Channel

Lene: “The newest sweethearts of every teenage metalhead, Blind Channel, had the honor of kicking things off at the newly named Kaaos stage. As some might remember, it was the same stage (albeit in a different area) where the bunch played 2 years back that earned them the opportunity to perform at Wacken Open Air, which guitarist Joel Hokka mentioned in his speech right away, stating it was an honor to be back playing at Nummirock. A lot has changed since then – I recall being a little bit skeptical back then, wondering if the band would even exist a few years later, and I’m rarely so glad to be proved wrong. In 2016, the violent pop troop looks and sounds all the better and wilder and does not apologize for their existence. Rather, they flip the bird to all metal purists while rocking pyrotechnics, going “gangsta,” and blasting a Backstreet Boys outro like it’s no big deal. It goes without saying that Blind Channel is one of my favorite live bands right now, especially the way the latest singles, “Deja Fu” and “Darker Than Black,” translate live makes me want to both dance and headbang my heart out every time. The only real downside I can think of was the change in festival area; you could only get to the front of the stage from the booze area and I bet that prevented some of the band’s most enthusiastic audience from enjoying the gig at front of the stage. Nevertheless, Blind Channel delivered an even better show for way fewer people at Nummirock than they did a week before at South Park, and that’s a more than excellent way to start our midsummer party.”

2016.06.23 02 Turmion Katilot (06) @ Nummirock
Turmion kätilöt w/ Netta Skog

The dance party continued with our second band of the day: Turmion kätilöt were ready and willing to rock our world on the Inferno stage, and the combination of Nummirock and Kätilöt never fails to entertain. It also seems to be something the Nummi-crowd is always looking forward to, and that certainly was the case on Thursday as well – the queues at the gates right before the show went nearly all the way to the camping area, a sight you usually see only before the headliners. The audience was treated with a heavy set of songs from latest album, Diskovibrator, dressed with a handful of older crowd pleasers like “Teurastaja,” “Tirehtööri,” and “Suolainen kapteeni.” “Hyvissä höyryissä,” “Vastanaineet,” and “Pyhä maa” also got an accordion glazing by the one and only Netta Skog (Ensiferum) joining the band on stage, which, naturally, led to a few accordion-related jokes – as you might know, “hanuri” in Finnish means both accordion and ass. Having gone through surgery a few weeks earlier didn’t slow MC Raaka Pee down much, and he even joked about having to take his medicine shot a few songs in, telling the audience that it was a “heroine injection sponsored by Barathrum,” and wondering if having to take your medicine mid-show means you’re entering your golden years. We would respectfully beg to differ on that last note, judging by the show on Nummijärvi’s shore!

2016.06.23 03 Fleshgod Apocalypse (07) @ Nummirock
Fleshgod Apocalypse

Essi: “My Nummirock started on Thursday evening with a new acquaintance. The Italian Fleshgod Apocalypse seems to be a rare sight on Finnish stages and this year marked their first time in Nummirock. This death metal band released their newest album, King, last February and has been on tour ever since. While waiting for the gig to begin I took note that there were plenty of Fleshgod Apocalypse shirts in the crowd. The front of the stage was soon packed while other members of the audience stayed back like me, observing and waiting calmly for whatever was lying ahead. Once the gig started I was surprised to see five men and a woman dressed in what looked like 18th century clothes. Was I going to hear chamber music played with electric guitars? Who was that lady wearing a mask? Why hadn’t I heard about this band before? Almost all of my questions were soon answered. Fleshgod Apocalypse did not perform heavy chamber music (why isn’t that a thing though?) and the lady was in fact an opera singer doing amazing backing vocals. The crowd was enjoying themselves from the very first moment, as was I. Metal with some symphonic background tracks and a dramatic stage appearance first gave me a tiny Nightwish vibe but obviously Fleshgod Apocalypse was nothing like them. The band really has its own thing going on, something I cannot but appreciate.”

2016.06.23 04 Altaria (22) @ Nummirock
Altaria

Lene: “Since this year was an impressive anniversary, Nummirock brought in a few acts from all across the past three decades, including two special shows from local bands, who are larger-than-life to some, one might add. We were lucky to catch the first of these; Pietarsaari-based Altaria was one of those power metal bands that crafted the soundscape of my teenage years, and since I never had the opportunity to see them before Nummi, there was no way I would miss their very last show. Funnily enough, I realized a few tracks in that I actually knew sadly few of their songs (namely “Prophet of Pestilence”, “Fire & Ice,” and a couple others), being a rather casual listener, so the purpose of witnessing the gig might have been mainly for the sake of nostalgia. That, of course, didn’t stop me from enjoying the show one bit; all vocalists – from Johan Mattjus and Jouni Nikula to Taage Laiho and Marco Luponero – appeared on stage one after another and finished the show together, giving the audience a great chance to marvel at the selection of top-notch power metal vocals. The whole band spent their last time playing together with joyous spirit and shenanigans, smiling through all of it, and I guarantee they weren’t the only ones after we saw them off with Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” as an encore. Fare thee well, and onward to new adventures!”

2016.06.23 05 Stratovarius (06) @ Nummirock
Stratovarius

The grand old flagship of Finnish power metal, Stratovarius, ended the day on the Inferno stage, proving to be worth checking out every once in a while even if you don’t feel like it. It really shouldn’t be a surprise to see how much people still love them, but admittedly, we really were not prepared to see such a loud and enthusiastic crowd at their show – all the singalongs were nothing short of epic! For the fans of oldschool Strato, the setlist offered some 90’s gems like “S.O.S.” and “Speed of Light,” and “Black Diamond” never fails to get the audience going. It could be considered a bit odd for a short festival set, but Stratovarius might be one of those bands that are more or less justified to have solos – even short ones – from all bands members, and we just have to live with it. Not that we’d complain – it’s always nice to give a moment of glory to everyone in the band. Singer Timo Kotipelto was visibly thrilled to be back in Nummi with the band and liked to return to the topic of their last visit (2004) in his speeches throughout the set, telling for instance that the last time they were playing there, Jens [Johansson, keyboards] was still looking for his shoes when the intro was playing. Good-humored jokes, all the classics needed for a small nostalgia trip in perfect harmony with newer material, and the magnificent audience guaranteed good times and left wide smiles plastered on our faces when we headed off to see the last band of the evening.

2016.06.23 06 Wolfheart (01) @ NummirockLene: “There’s a running joke that if you’ve seen one of Tuomas Saukkonen’s bands, you’ve seen them all. We can see where this stems from, as his bands tend not to be on the liveliest visual end of the scale, but after Wolfheart’s magnificent sophomore album, Shadow World, came out last year, I decided it was time to catch them live. As I had guessed, there was not much movement on stage, but the show was still visually interesting with flames, well coordinated outfits, and cool back- and side-drops – the overall feeling was very Vikingy, as the band logo was adorned with wolf motifs and what looked like a version of the ægishjálmur [“helm of awe”]. And amusingly enough, in case you’ve watched History Channel’s Vikings series, you might’ve noticed that Tuomas Saukkonen actually bears a striking resemblance to one Ragnar Lothbrok these days. As another neat visual note, the lights were coordinated with the albums – songs from Winterborn had a cold color scheme, whereas Shadow World’s tracks were adorned with mainly red shades. Music-wise you got exactly what you bargained for as the band delivered their set flawlessly. Out of my favorites from Shadow World, “Aeon of Cold,” wasn’t quite as impressive live I had hoped, likely because of the rhythm being a bit tricky for the late-night audience, but the tranquil C-part certainly made up for it, as did “Zero Gravity” towards the end of the set. The latter was definitely the highlight of the show, as the band bettered their run as they went on. With the Finnish parts on “Veri” sending chills down our spines, Wolfheart ended the day one on a high note with high hopes for Friday!”

 

Friday
After surviving the first night at Nummirock and actually managing to get some sleep, it was time for the first full day of festival goodness. The sun was shining and all the memories of the past 2 year’s freezing midsummer weather were wiped away. Our day was kicked off by Omnium Gatherum, a Finnish melodic death metal band who were actually celebrating their 20th birthday this year.

2016.06.24 01 Omnium Gatherum (17) @ Nummirock
Omnium Gatherum

Essi: “For me, Omnium Gatherum belongs to that group of bands I know I should have listened to a long time ago but never really got around to it. This was my chance to fix the situation and I took it gladly. Even though it might have been a bit early (13:45 to be precise) the crowd was ample and ready to mosh from the very beginning. Omnium Gatherum released their newest album, Grey Heavens, in February, and plenty of new songs were heard throughout the Nummirock set, such as the recent video single, “Frontiers.” Omnium Gatherum delivered a solid festival act with their energetic performance, and, in Lene’s words, it was worth risking sunstroke to hear “Ego” live before we took off to see the first main-stage band of the day.”

2016.06.24 02 Diablo (03) @ Nummirock
Diablo

Essi: “I would like to mention that one of the most eagerly-awaited acts of Friday was Diablo, who had an amazing comeback at last year’s Nummirock. This time the band performed in broad daylight but that did not affect the overall performance or the atmosphere in the audience. Being the first band on the main-stage, Diablo set the bar for anyone else who followed. I had to admit that it was somewhat enchanting to see and hear the audience shouting “perkele” in between the songs – a sight that made Diablo’s frontman, Rainer Nygård, gaze at the audience with a smile on his face. Even though the band took a long break, the second year in a row at Nummirock proved that the audience of this midsummer festival will always have a place in their hearts for Diablo.”

2016.06.24 03 Equilibrium (10) @ Nummirock
Equilibrium

Atte: “When it comes to live performances, I doubt that I’ve ever anticipated anything quite as much as Equilibrium on the Inferno stage. They were the only reason I embarked on a festival trip to Metalcamp in 2009, later to hear that there had been some kind of a mess-up between their management and the festival, causing Metalcamp to pull their name out of the roster only a few weeks after I’d already paid for the tickets, flights, and such. Last winter, my girlfriend and I already started saving up to fly to Germany just to see them live and we both completely lost our shit when we heard that Equilibrium was coming to Nummirock this year. At half past four, the band climbed on stage, and it’s pretty hard to objectively scrutinize anything that followed during the next hour. The audience was wild from start to finish, the band played marvelously, and the setlist, while leaning towards their latest masterpiece, Erdentempel, was rock-solid. I’m ready to call the inclusion of the video game Skyrim‘s theme song to their setlist a cheesy move, since they needn’t have done it to make the audience eat out of their hands, but one can’t complain as the audience was clearly filled with fans of both Equilibrium and Skyrim. Nevertheless, the greatest thing about the show for me wasn’t the fact that I finally got to see one of my favorite bands live, but rather the faces of the band as they were clearly stunned by the audience’s warm welcome. Think about it: you land in the airport in Helsinki, travel almost 350 kilometers to the middle of nowhere to do a show at a festival that you (probably) know nothing about, as well as don’t know what to expect. To see the whole band having the time of their lives on stage makes me wonder why Equilibrium hasn’t been to Finland before. Please come again and please do it as soon as possible! This was the best Nummirock show from any band in my 8 years of attendance, period!”

Next up on the main stage was Amorphis, whose last time in Nummirock was in 2011. The 5-year gap sounds surprisingly long considering that Amorphis is a rather frequent visitor of several other Finnish music festivals. Their newest album, Under the Red Cloud, received many excellent reviews, one of which was from our own Ville Karttunen.

2016.06.24 04 Amorphis (02) @ Nummirock
Amorphis

Essi: “Even though I am not one of the most enthusiastic fans of Amorphis, I have enjoyed their last few albums and find that they never under-perform while on stage. This was the case in Nummirock as well. The gig started with “Under the Red Cloud” and “Sacrifice,” both from the newest album. With bands like Amorphis, they always have a great deal of material to choose from. This time the band took a trip down the memory lane back to 1994 playing “Drowned Maid” from Tales From the Thousand Lakes. Even with a versatile setlist like this, the audience did not seem to get all that excited about the gig. Only “House of Sleep” seemed to wake the crowd up a bit with its singalong chorus. It was a pity, since I thought the gig itself was good and the band would have deserved a better reaction from the audience.”

2016.06.24 05 Dragonforce (04) @ Nummirock
Dragonforce

Atte: “DragonForce up next on the Inferno stage was a blast, as always. Deeply loathed by some, greatly loved by others, the London-based power metal group clearly fails to deliver a mediocre show. The guitarists, Herman Li and Sam Totman, shredded through their solos with loud grins on their faces, while the drummer, Gee Anzalone, blasted away behind the kit as furiously as his predecessor, Dave Mackintosh, used to. The singer, Mark Hudson, who replaced ZP Theart in 2011, has clearly cemented his position in the band, delivering the vocal lines impeccably as a charismatic frontman. The band’s setlist in Nummirock featured surprisingly few songs from their latest album, Maximum Overload, since only “Three Hammers” and “Symphony of the Night” were performed – “The Game” would have been a nice addition. I personally rank their 2012 effort, The Power Within, in the top spot in DragonForce’s discography and was thrilled to hear “Holding On,” “Wings of Liberty,” as well as “Cry Thunder.” If only the band would make “Fallen World” a staple in their live set… The set ended with their most famous song, “Through the Fire and Flames.” The song is probably a mixed blessing for the band, since, while being a great song, it will always be the one the audience expects to hear after being featured in Guitar Hero.”

2016.06.24 06 Dark Tranquillity (15) @ Nummirock
Dark Tranquillity

Essi: “Whenever you go to see a metal gig and you spot the vocalist smiling between the songs you can tell the band probably is not Finnish. Well, stereotypes aside, it would have not taken me long to realize Dark Tranquillity came from Sweden if I hadn’t known it already. The band is one of the representatives of the famous Gothenburg sound and you can really recognize it. I had not really paid attention to Dark Tranquillity before. For me, the Gothenburg sound is of course good and easy to listen to, but I never really got into those bands like In Flames and At the Gates, or Dark Tranquillity for that matter. I still might not be a huge fan of it, but when it came to the gig in Nummirock, the band was entertaining, energetic, and gave a good live performance. The audience seemed to agree with my thoughts. Even though the front row might not have been packed with the most loyal fans, there was still some singing along with the songs. After the gig I decided to add Dark Tranquillity to the list of bands I should listen to in the future – time will show if that will happen anytime soon.”

2016.06.24 08 Marduk (08) @ Nummirock
Marduk

Atte: “Before Mayhem was set loose on the main stage, one of Sweden’s most prominent black metal acts, Marduk, committed an hour-long assault on the Inferno stage. Having seen the band only once before, their set was just as anticipated as Mayhem’s. I haven’t been listening to black metal as much as I probably could have over the last few years, and the fact backfired as Marduk’s setlist leaned towards their latest album, Frontschwein, which I’ve just haven’t managed to listen through even once. Otherwise the set was delightfully diverse, featuring material from almost every studio album. My personal favorite, 2003’s World Funeral, was represented with “Cloven Hoof” and “To the Death’s Head True” (no “With Satan and Victorious Weapons” or “Night of the Long Knives” – boo!). Performance-wise, the band was as strong and angry as I remembered from last time with Mortuus screaming his vocals with a fervor to which many Finnish black metal vocalists could take note.”

2016.06.24 09 Mayhem (09) @ Nummirock
Mayhem

Essi: “The last act on the main stage on Friday was the legendary Norwegian black metal band, Mayhem. I am not a friend of black metal, and my thoughts about this band before the gig were “so this is the group where everyone was killing each other back in the days.” Even though the band’s history has been less vivid lately, I’ve still got my prejudices. I felt as if I was an observer from the outside trying to understand a foreign culture. There was scary-ass smoke creeping down from the stage, church bells ringing, and dramatic red lights. At first I could not even tell if there was anyone on stage because of the lights. Also, the players were wearing black capes. Needless to say, music-wise I did not really enjoy the performance. What I did kind of enjoy was the realization that the metal scene is much more versatile than people usually think; for someone who doesn’t care for heavier music it might all sound like shouting and senseless noise, but for friends of metal there is something for everyone – and that’s the beauty of it. In festivals like Nummirock you can concentrate on one big music genre but still have plenty of different subgenres.”

2016.06.24 10 Ajattara (10) @ Nummirock
Ajattara

Lene: “If there was one show I had anticipated from the day it was announced, it was the official return of Finnish black metal legends, Ajattara. Judging by the audience that was packed in front of the Kaaos stage a few minutes before the clock hit 01:15, I was most certainly not the only one, which led to the one thing I questioned about their whole show: why on earth they were playing on the Kaaos stage, out of all possible options? Thanks to the fences on the right that were separating the booze area from other parts of festival area, the bars on left, and the FOH booth being closer to the stage than the Inferno or main stage, the tiny space in front of the stage was more than crowded. But while I keep on wondering about this, I will state that Ajattara is still a 100% captivating live band after their 5-year break. True to their ways, the crowd (and photographers) got their first share of blood in the very first minutes of the show and the band members looked like they had been bathing in it, showering blood on the audience with every flip of their hair – not that they would’ve minded one bit. Lead singer, Ruoja, still has one of the most dominating stage presences I’ve ever seen and his distinctive nasal and rattling growls work up the perfect grim, scalding outcome for the dark trochaic-meter lyrics. With the setlist, the eager audience was offered a balanced cross-section of the band’s repertoire, starting with “Ilon päivä” and ending the hour-long set (which felt like the blink of an eye) to “Kunnes taivas meidät erottaa,” with a cavalcade of classics from “Antakaa elää” to “Naaras” in between. Frankly, I could wax poetry all day and night about the murky world of death, sex, and ruthlessness Ajattara brews into their music, but I’ll settle with just voicing the remark that the combination of the darkest hour of the nightless night, the tangy smell of blood and smoke, and the hexing sound of Finnish-sung black metal might just touch the untamed, earthly part of human nature in a way most folk and pagan metal bands could only dream of. Summing up our midsummer eve, we were more than happy to welcome Ajattara back from the dead like they were never gone.”

 

Saturday

2016.06.25 01 Martti Servo & Napander (05) @ Nummirock
Martti Servo & Napander

One might say nothing screams metal less than the Finnish Martti Servo & Napander. Then again, one of the greatest things about Nummirock is that everyone and everything is laid back – why not their music then as well? Martti Servo & Napander play iskelmä [schlager] music, and played themselves to the hearts of the metal people on that Saturday. Or are you telling me listening to songs like “Ufo tarjosi kaakaon” [UFO offered a hot chocolate] or “Hyvältä näyttää” [Looking good] would not make your day? There was dancing, there was letkajenkka (it’s a Finnish thing, look it up) – and of course, since it was a metal festival, there was a moshpit. Because why not? Also, it was not the first time the main stage’s first act of Saturday was something other than metal. Last year it was Steve ’N’ Seagulls, a few years back Eläkeläiset, and Martti Servo & Napander was a great addition to this group. We cannot wait to hear what the festival has in store for next year!

2016.06.25 02 Stam1na (01) @ Nummirock
Stam1na

Essi: “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the Sakara Tour where Stam1na, Mokoma, and Diablo gathered together for a 3-gig tour, after Stam1na had released their latest album, Elokuutio. Nummirock was my chance to hear the new songs live and I couldn’t wait to find out what was in store. The band had faced a bit of a misfortune since the vocalist Antti “Hyrde” Hyyrynen announced at the beginning of the gig that he had been a bit ill lately. He could still perform the songs but you could notice that he was a bit weary and wasn’t able to give it his all. With that in mind, Stam1na delivered a solid festival set. What was interesting was that the setlist seemed to differ from what I had been accustomed to with Stam1na. There was no “Viisi laukausta päähän,” “Lääke,” or “Muuri.” Instead, the band played songs like “Elokuutio,” “Luova hulluus,” “Panzerfaust,” and “Ristiriita.” The newest album was obviously on display but the band had decided to skip “Kuudet raamit,” the first single from Elokuutio. I was a bit disappointed about this choice, but it did not ruin the overall feeling.”

2016.06.25 03 Trivium (05) @ Nummirock
Trivium

Essi: “My only real experience with Trivium was listening to their album, The Crusade, back in my early metal days. Apart from that album, I never really had any interest in them. So prior to their Nummirock gig, I didn’t have any expectations one way or another. I didn’t really even know if they were in the “it-club.” You know, one of those artists who haven’t lost their charm or fanbase over the years. I did spot some Trivium shirts in the audience and a few minutes before the gig, the front of Nummirock’s main stage was almost surprisingly packed. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had really missed something for not listening more to this band. My original plan was to stay for the beginning of the gig to see how the crowd acted and how the overall atmosphere was, but I ended up staying through the whole gig all the way to the encore. The guys on stage were energetic, having fun and enjoying themselves, and the audience was no different. Guitarist and vocalist Matt Heafy took contact with the audience and encouraged them to mosh and move almost between every single song, and the people obeyed. Even though Trivium’s music did not give me chills, I really enjoyed their live presence and ability to move and excite the audience through the whole set.”

As usual, we spent a lion’s share of the weekend wandering back and forth between the Inferno stage on the shore and the green main-stage seeing bands, but luckily we had the time to sample the selection of food offered in Nummirock. You really won’t want to live the whole weekend on the grilled sausage and chips you bring to your camps, so even a small range of alternatives start to sound swell come Saturday afternoon at the latest. We still have to try the home-cooked food in Relaamo some upcoming year, and Asian food at any festival can seem like an unpleasant idea after a couple days of scorching sun, but we can and want to give you one excellent recommendation in Nummirock: the Black Dahlia Burger. Hand on heart, we swear it will be the best 10€ you’ll ever spend on a vegan, halloumi, or pork chop burger, and while we don’t know how or why the hell these guys are not in every place ever, we know that there is festival food that is so good it can make you cry. We’ve also never seen anyone looking at another person the way they look at BDB’s burgers, and that is undoubtedly the look of purest love.

2016.06.25 04 Mokoma (08) @ Nummirock
Mokoma

Lene: “As the evening was drawing close to its end, one of Nummirock’s acknowledged veterans, Mokoma, started their set, being the last band to play on the Inferno stage this year. There’s not much that hasn’t been said about their gigs before and I know I’m repeating myself and a plethora of others by saying that there’s definitely a reason or two that people love to go see their gigs time after time. They are always a solid pick, especially in Nummi, and even if the setlist was again quite a standard Mokoma summer festival set for the most part, one has to admit that even the “safe” choices are entertaining – if sauna-fresh guys drying their hair wearing only shorts and towels doesn’t say it, I don’t know what does. One of the highlights, however, was bringing in a rarity – it’s been a good while since they’ve played their Finnish rendition of Death’s “Open Casket,” “Avoin hauta,” and it was nice to see how thrilled the audience was to hear it. And on the topic of audience, Mokoma likely had one of the best in Nummi this year, delightfully loud and lively (even though the pit didn’t quite get wind beneath its wings, it seemed). What I really like at Mokoma’s gigs these days is definitely the audience; you can see someone go dead serious, shout, and then sing and smile the next second – I wouldn’t exaggerate much if I said it’s one of my favorite sights in the world. With the mandatory nu-metal jumping to “Pohja on nähty,” we headed off towards the main-stage and the last band on Saturday.”

2016.06.25 05 Children of Bodom (03) @ Nummirock
Children of Bodom

Essi: “And where to start with it? The last time Children of Bodom played on the shore of Nummijärvi was in 2013 and I got to enjoy the gig from the front row. In 2016, the band was back once again as the main act of Saturday and I took my familiar spot leaning against the fence. The crowd was plentiful, the night was getting darker, and once the band came on stage you just knew it was going to be great. And it was. Children of Bodom gave the Nummi audience what they wanted. Something old like “Lake Bodom,” or newer from their latest album, I Worship Chaos, and finally something blue like “Hate Me” from Follow the Reaper. Something borrowed was missing even though it would have been great to hear the band play their “Black Winter Day” cover, originally by Amorphis (which they recorded as a bonus song for I Worship Chaos). Well, you can’t have everything. Usually the special surprises on the setlist seem to be limited to club gigs but Children of Bodom proved me wrong in this. I cannot remember the last time I heard them playing “Children of Decadence,” but the biggest surprise was hearing “Trashed, Lost & Strungout” from Are You Dead Yet? The band apparently played the song live a couple of times after releasing the aforementioned album but took it off the setlist, stating that it just did not work that well live. The guys proved themselves wrong even though keyboardist Janne Wirman said later that he might have missed a couple of notes. I bet the audience did not even notice. Another special thing about the gig was that it was the first time the band’s newest member, guitarist Daniel Freyberg (Naildown, ex-Norther) performed with the band in Finland. It seemed like Freyberg was staying a bit in the background, not really interacting with the audience. He’s been with the band for only around 6 months so there’s hope that this will change.

Though my praise stems from 10 years of being a big fan of Bodom, I was not the only one who got enthusiastic over the Saturday’s main act. Words like “one of the best gigs ever” and “top 3 of this festival” were heard. So, to sum it up, if you were not in Nummirock to see this gig, I feel sorry for you. And if you were in Nummirock but did not see this gig, you should be ashamed.”

2016.06.25 05 Children of Bodom (09) @ Nummirock
Children of Bodom

 

You hear people stating every now and then that it doesn’t really matter who’s playing at Nummi, because you will be there regardless. While that is partially true, we couldn’t help thinking that it would have been nice and rather appropriate to commemorate the 30th year of Nummirock with something a little bit more special than a few bands from over the years and mentioning the landmark in the official merch. The few nice activities that were packed into the weekend, like the mölkky tournament on the beach, weren’t advertised until (nearly) the last minute on Facebook, and likely everyone who’s been to Nummirock knows that the network connections in the middle of the woods are somewhat feeble at best. Compared to last year when there was Steve ’N’ Seagulls playing on the back of a pick-up truck in the camping area, Whorion’s grill party, and Diablo serving communion, for instance, the absence of specialties felt even more evident. We wholeheartedly agree that the addition of a 4th day was an excellent idea, especially after people had been wishing for it so devoutly, but perhaps adding one bigger name among the local bands would’ve made it more worthwhile? The craft beer and whisky bar by the beach was also a nice touch, if not a little bit out of place, since, well… we all know what the camps are for.

And before you take this as complaining, we assure you, we had the greatest of times on the shores of Nummijärvi, as always – and that’s right in the core of the “problem.” You get what you bargain for in Nummi every year, regardless of weather, bands, or pretty much anything, but as we said, that’s what you get every year; when the festival you love rounds another decade, wouldn’t you want to make the occasion a bit more extraordinary? And it likely wouldn’t have required much – a few tweaks here and there, no need to turn the whole festival area over and make it a theme park, but something to go with the notorious Nummi spirit. There’s always room for improvement, even with institutions as old as Nummirock. But after all, it’s the people who make Nummi and with the festival hosting a record-breaking 40,000 visitors this year, not to mention the sun gracing us with its presence, it’s extremely, impossibly hard not to be happy having spent the midsummer in Nummijärvi once again. Congratulations on the 30 excellent years, and here’s to 30 more to come!

2016.06.24 Festival extras (02) @ Nummirock

 

Text: Essi Nummi, Lene L., Atte Valtonen | Photos: Eliza Rask, Lene L. | Ed: Amy Wiseman

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