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 releaseReturn to the Voidin its entirety, plus an array of songs from their earlier albums. It was the perfect way to welcome the darkest week of the year.
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.
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!
Hi, and welcome to the report for the last day of this great festival. The final day and I wake up frozen with a real sore and painful throat. I did not even know yet that I will get wet in the evening due rain as well. I looked at the forecast, it showed some rain, but weather was so nice, I have left my jacket in the car anyways…
On a paper, Saturday was not a highlight for me by any means. But when I have seen bands with my own eyes and heard by my ears, I was very, very happy. Hideous Divinity from Italy rocked on the main stage with thrashy Urne who opened the festival day for me. In the early afternoon it was the Haemorrhage from Spain and their bloody grindcore. It was fun from start to finish and Lugubrious’s face made many of us laughing every second. I thought the sound was nice and dense.
Photo Report: Nummirock 22-25.6.2022 in Kauhajoki, Finland Photography by Serena Solomon
Ah, to be back on the shores of Nummijärvi! Back at our midsummer home! How liberating and comforting it was to be back to normal, back to Nummirock, no restrictions, just festival life as we know it (plus a few extra bottles of hand sanitizer). I have to say though, the atmosphere was a bit more chill than I remembered, whether it was the two years break taking its toll or the simple fact that we were all two years older. Mostly, the crowd and camp grounds were back to their normal crazy selves, but maybe it was the stamina that was tuned down a few notches, or the fact that there seemed to be significantly less attendees than in past years. Either way, it had no affect on the quality of the festival! The weather stayed on the better side of “typical Finnish midsummer weather”, even a bit too much at times. The first time in my memory that the main stage crowd had to be sprayed down by security to keep cool! The festival staff took good care of the artists, attendees, media and staff.
Wednesday provided an extended “pre-party”. As previous years usually kept to the Klubi stage with a few bands, this year the Inferno stage was also open, and included a special performance from the future of music, a local band camp. Highlights from Wednesday included Rytmihäiriö setting the crowd off into their four day spin, mosh pits during Vorna, and the first Estonian band to perform at Nummi in 30 years, Metsätöll, closing out the evening!
WEDNSDAY 22.6: Rytmihäiriö, Memoremains, Ember Falls, Vorna and Metsätöll
Thursday kicked off with Kaunis Kuolematon on a more melancholic note, but maybe a good decision for those of us who celebrated being back at Nummi extra hard the night before. But not to stay somber for too long! Inferno and Main stages were opened by legends! Kiuas and Korpiklaani filled up the 18+ areas as if prohibition just ended. Other highlights from Thursday included Rotting Christ blasting the Inferno stage during a firey sunset, Alien Weaponry giving one of the most memorable Main stage performances I have ever witnessed, and Chamber of Unlight closing the evening with a noteworthy night cap of modern black metal at its finest.
THURSDAY 23.6: Kaunis Kuolematon, Kiuas, Korpiklaani, Carach Angren, At the Gates, Rotting Christ, Crimson Sun, Alien Weaponry, Mimorium and Chamber of Unlight
Friday’s lineup was back to back “can’t miss that” bands. Fear of Domination opened the day with their undeniable dance party that took the conga lines all the way to the main stage for Ensiferum. Dawn of Solace gave us a mid-day cool down, but not for long before Borknagar played a highly anticipated set. Other highlights were Mgła, probably the most anticipated gig of the entire festival for me personally, which went beyond expectation, even more so with the imagery of their blacked out faces against the deep orange of the sunset. Gorgoroth and their spectacle of pure black metal aesthetics. That was really cool to see on the main stage. And last but not least And Oceans closing the evening against a dramatic evening sky.
FRIDAY 24.6: Fear of Domination, Where’s My Bible, Dawn of Solace, Borknagar, Diablo, Mgła, Gorgoroth and And Oceans
Saturday brought the tiny humans back to the festival grounds, mini-metal heads in the making came with their families to see the world famous Hevisaurus, enjoy balloons, rides, and cotton candy, joining in conga lines and flexing their little devil horns! There was a bit of a scheduling fuckup as Sepultura had travel issues, so the beauties from Tampere Burlesque went on earlier than expected to fill the space. Unfortunately many didn’t get the memo in time and missed their first set. Otherwise, highlights from Saturday included a hefty helping of folk metal from Brother of Metal, legends Sepultura and Hammerfall saturating the main stage with all the international music we’ve missed out on these past few years, Turmion Kätilöt giving us some comfort food and a proper closing of the Inferno stage and Apocalyptica as the grand finale. They never fail to impress and seemed as if they also did not want to end the show and would have continued playing all through the night!
SATURDAY 25.6: Hevisaurus, Brothers of Metal, Sepultura, Hammerfall, Turmion Kätilöt and Apocalyptica
As impressive as the lineup for this years Nummirock was, with headlining bands that don’t come to Finland often, the Main stage crowds seemed to be much smaller than previous years. I hope with all my heart this is only due to people being hesitant to commit to attending a festival after so many canceled and postponed gigs, and the next few years will bring things back up to the speed it was going before the world collapsed. Until next year!
Hey all, there is some new bands update for upcomming Brutal Assault (Aug 10-14th 2021) if things go well.
We can expect thrash metal legend predecessor of Machine Head. Jep, Phil Demmel with the VIO-LENCE. They should also have some new material during the festival. British ONSLAUGHT also introduce their newest stuf. Other announced band is going to be REVOCATION.
Little bit of death metal now. From mighty metal Finland there are going to be shows of INSOMNIUM or MORS PRINCIPIUM EST. USA will deliver us faster BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, RIVERS OF NIHIL or wacky NEKROGOBLIKON with their green imp. UNDERGANG is another legend for the event. Their old school, rotten death metal is the top notch classic. PHLEBOTOMIZED will represent combo of death and doom.
Melancholical side of doom metal will be represented by German AHAB. More experimental approach could be expected from French REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER. Britain will be represented by WINTERFYLLETH with their emotinal additives of black and folk melodies.
People who wanna have a little rest from serious stuff might be happy for RED FANG or JOHN GARCIA AND THE BAND OF GOLD.
Brutal Assault is open also for other experiments. DIE KRUPPS are the pioneers of industrial and electro rock. We will witness Norwegian MANES. Local scene cannot miss as well and now with the Czech EBM legend VANESSA.
Unfortunatelly, some bands are also cancelled. These are BIRDS IN ROW, KMFDM, KVERLERTAK, SVARTISDAUDI, VADER, WORMROT.
Brutal Assault will be five day event and consists of 150 interprets. there are confirmation of 2/3 bands right now.