Category Archives: photo report

PHOTO REPORT: SHAPE OF DESPAIR and COUNTING HOURS


December 17, 2022 Shape of Despair and Counting Hours played an iconic gig at Olympia Kortteli in Tampere, Finland.

Counting Hours warmed the night up, or chilled it down with pounding melodic doom. Followed by an intense 2 hours of funeral doom, including Shape of Despair’s newest release Return to the Void in its entirety, plus an array of songs from their earlier albums. It was the perfect way to welcome the darkest week of the year.

Counting Hours:

Shape of Despair:

PHOTO REPORT: PARADISE LOST and HANGMAN’S CHAIR


October 19, 2022, Paradise Lost and Hangman’s Chair filled Pakkahuone in Tampere, Finland with the most resonating performance I’ve ever witnessed at that venue both sonically and viscerally.

Initially the gig was planned for the smaller “club” sized part of the building, but after weeks of the gig being sold out, hours before doors they announced they would move to the larger hall, opening up more tickets. It was 110% the right decision, in my opinion. Of course, the intimacy of Klubi can enhance many things when bands such as these play, it would have definitely been a completely different gig had it been kept there. However, both of these bands have such a deep, powerful sound I feel the space of Pakkahuone allowed their sound and atmosphere to expand to is full potential.

Hangman’s Chair blew me away during the first chords struck. Their sound and presence were literally and unexpectedly breathtaking. There was one audience member standing in the middle of the crowd just listening with his eyes closed, I joined him for a few seconds and yes, without sight, you could feel the music and energy in your bones. Hangman’s Chair have probably been the most energetic and raw band to fit into the “doom”genre that I have seen live. It’s pretty unique and intriguing how diverse the “doom” genre, sound and aesthetic has become. I look forward to seeing them again with Igorr in the spring.

Paradise Lost played an equally spectacular gig. Their set flowed elegantly between old and new songs, across their diverse discography of genres and vibes. The bands stage presence was chameleon-like in adapting and flowing along with the varying sounds and atmosphere of the music. Not taking themselves too seriously, they (specifically Nick Holmes) gave of a slight Type-O/Pete Steele sarcastic vibe, which, by the count of Type-O logos spotted in the audience, was just perfect. They seem to really know their fans, what they want to hear, what atmosphere to bring to the stage… would definitely love to see them again.

PHOTO REPORT: JONATHAN HULTÉN and HÄLLAS


October 19, 2022 was a night of otherworldly music at Olympia in Tampere, Finland. Jonathan Hultén (formerly of Tribulation) opened the night with a highly anticipated show. His music and live performance is truly a work of art, and it is easy to believe his artistic abilities span many mediums. “Dark Folk” would be the most generic way to describe his music, though it is hard to label as there are so many unique elements. Hearing the music live was completely different on its own, almost as if just listening to the album was not meant to be the full experience. The sound, accompanied by Hultén‘s presence, aesthetic and stage decor made for an inimitable performance. There was a constant stream of nature/bird sounds in the background between songs that gave off a sense I had never experienced at a club gig, playing tricks with the mind as to where exactly you were standing. Hultén‘s presence was typically quite stoic, almost meditative, which enhanced his every movement and facial expression, giving them so much more meaning and power. At times it felt he was performing his own personal ritual. My only complaint was that it was too short! I could stand there and watch for hours more.

Hällas continued the night with quite a special performance in a very different way. They quite authentically give off a 70’s prog rock vibe. They have nailed everything from the sound to the shiny space boots. It truly felt like a shift in space and time to experienced their music live. Although it is easy to see where they get their inspiration, they do it justice!

photos and review by Serena Solomon

PHOTO REPORT: MELANCHOLY MASS


Melancholy Mass 2022: Red Moon Architect, Kaunis Kuolematon, Marianas Rest, October Tide and Swallow the Sun at Olympia in Tampere, FI

What better way to welcome the beautiful gloom of Autumn than with the masters of melancholy and doom? Friday, September 23, 2022 was the Autumnal Equinox and Melancholy Mass hit the stage in Tampere, Finland.

Marianas Rest opened the mini festival with their usual presence that is almost viscerally tragic. Melancholic with a touch of extreme.

Red Moon Architect continued with their huge sound and amazing stage presence, probably the heaviest sound of the night balanced with the delicate vocals of Anni Viljanen.

The night continued with Kaunis Kuolematon endulging the audience in their own brand of melancholic metal. The contrast between Olli and Mikko’s vocals never ceases to bring chills and a unique feeling of strength and powerlessness.

October Tide blew me away. They were the only band on the bill that I had not seen before and I truly hope they make their way back soon. They added a raw heavy twist to the mix, still doom as hell but some got under your skin in a deeper and dirtier way than the other bands. Love their stage presence too, Alexander has a snarky dgaf attitude that keeps things light but heavy at the same time, i.e. (to the audience) “Are you happy?” -audience cheers- “why are you happy? We’re trying to make you sad.”

And the highlight of the evening, Swallow the Sun. I can never praise this band enough. They are always a pleasure to watch and shoot, even when their performance is a little off, it makes it all the more of a unique experience, as each show of theirs is.

Saarihelvetti 2022


Saarihelvetti 2022 was full of top notch music. A perfect omnium gatherum (yes it is a word! n. a collection of miscellaneous people or things. Merriam-Webster.com. 2022) of genres ranging from fresh new black metal to popish metal core to headlining raw industrial metal. Although the weather was epic as well (in a not so enjoyable way), festival goers were almost able to overlook the constant rain as they enjoyed the first restriction free Saarihelvetti in 3 years. Although the festival was able to slither between the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, there were still inevitable lineup changes and restrictions which made the festival a bit more difficult to navigate. This year we were finally free!

Continue reading Saarihelvetti 2022

Brutal Assault # 25 – Fan photo gallery


Hi, as promised in the last report from Brutal Assault festival, here is a gallery of some fans there. Sure, its not whole twenty thousand, but hoping its enough of happyness and joy caught in the place. Enjoy! Thank you all!

The most important guys in music – fans