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.
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!
Swallow the Sun played at Pakkahuone in Tampere on 27th of May. It was the second date of their Finnish tour promoting their new album Moonflowers which was released last year. Kaunis Kuolematon and Edge of Haze were the opening acts (for only two of the seven dates in Finland). It was a solid lineup. Edge of Haze opened with energy and heaviness, and Kaunis Kuolematon brought it down to a more melancholy yet powerful level. Then, Swallow the Sun hit all of the above, including songs from their first few albums that they haven’t played live in a while. From the more melodic “Stone Wings” to one of my personal favorites, and heaviest song off the new album “This House Has No Home”. So heavy in fact, that a mosh pit broke out! I don’t think I have ever seen a pit during a Swallow the Sun gig! It was great to see all three bands at a bigger venue. I don’t believe this gig was sold out but it was pretty well attended. I, like many others, cannot get enough of Moonflowers and it is just magic to see live. I wish I could say more, but this band always leaves me speechless. Let the photos speak for themselves…
Finnish Melodic Doom act, KAUNIS KUOLEMATON, unleashed their brand new album via Noble Demon. Not afraid to cross musical borders to expand Doom Metal’s stereotypes, “Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko” is the heavy yet intense dreamlike journey of top notch metal melancholy their fans have been waiting for. 9 tracks of melodic darkness, apocalyptic and destructive, melodies as uplifting as they are depressive – In support of their brand new and third studio album, the band from Hamina, Finland, shared a video clip for the track “Hyvästi”, streaming right here:
Melancholic Doom masters KAUNIS KUOLEMATON, who just recently inked a worldwide deal with powerhouse label Noble Demon, have released the second single from their upcoming, third album, which will be seeing the light of day on November 27th! 9 tracks of melancholic darkness, apocalyptic and destructive, melodies as uplifting as they are depressive – On their upcoming full length record, the band from Hamina, Finland, is taking the listener on an intense and dreamlike journey of top notch metal melancholy!
Between beautiful melodic soundscapes and soft vocals, extreme driven metal and harsh screams – KAUNIS KUOLEMATON, the embodiment of Finnish Melancholic Metal, will release their third full-length record, titled “Syttyköön Toinen Aurinko”, on November 27th via Noble Demon. Not afraid to cross musical borders and to expand Doom Metal’s stereotypes, KAUNIS KUOLEMATON’s crushing and recognizable sound not only brought the band sharing stages with Omnium Gatherum, Wolfheart and Cult of Luna but also appealing to a large audience from many metal subgenres. Today the band from Hamina, Finland, unleashed a brand new music video for the track “Kylmä Maa”, the first single taking from the upcoming album, streaming here:
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