Hellsinki Metal Horizons 2022 – Day 1 (10/06/2022)

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The summer festival season has finally properly started after 2 years of barely anything! And while the established festivals all seem to be returning, there’s always room for new guns. And if they come with a cool and different concept like Hellsinki Metal Horizons, we can’t help but get excited. With a truly eclectic mix of both extreme, progressive and straightout left field bands they were aiming to attract a similarly eclectic crowd and widen people’s horizons. Which seems to have worked admirably. We ended up missing out on both Omnivortex and Kalmah, only catching the last song of the latter, but that didn’t change our excitement on what was to come still…


First band we caught properly, was the Finnish prog metal outfit Oddland on the smaller “Black Planet Stage”. Which was a pretty exciting start for me, since I’ve been quite the fan of their work since I discovered them back in 2016 with their ‘Origin‘ release. And add to that the fact that they just released a new album with ‘Vermillion‘, bringing them back into action and on stages finally. It was everything I hoped and wished for it to be, with their groovy and quirky sound being exactly what they sound like on record. Which is most definitely not an easy feat with their often rather complicated music. And I was blown away that they were actually playing the sax bit featured in their new song ‘Feed The Void’ completely live. What a band!

Vulture Industries

On the “Enslain Stage”, something even more quirky and weirdly satisfying took over the stage. The Norwegian avant-garde outfit Vulture Industries is an absolute blessing to see live… Musicians on bare feet almost dancing around to their own tunes, and an almost maniacally looking vocalist that easily switches from upbeat singing to screaming like there was no tomorrow. We have hosted these guys already a couple of times in Belgium, and now I understand fully why everyone is always so exalted about this band. You couldn’t help but being mesmerized by their performance and leave with a big grin on your face. It’s been about 5 years since they released some new music, here’s hoping for something new coming our way soon!


I’ve gone through a whole power metal phase ages ago, and am really picky on what I still listen to in that subgenre. And I have to say that the Danes from Manticora were really convincing! Yes, there is still a whole lot of cheese, but it’s packaged in a very proggy vibe and has the right kind of upbeat power metal energy wrapped around it. The pure delight of the band members was a pleasure to see and became rather infectious quite quickly. A band you simply need to see live to fully appreciate, and probably could rock way bigger stages than the space they occupied here!

Humanity's Last Breath

Time for something truly intense now! The Swedish deathcore band Humanity’s Last Breath threw a wall of sound at us that you could almost call oppressive. Not that it bothered anyone there, and there were a lot of people who showed up for these guys, clearly a popular entry on the line-up! Bathing in smoke, the guys cranked out blistering riffs and a crushing sound, fronted by a cloaked vocalist who fully embodied the looming darkness they sing about. You could see plenty of people in the crowd being totally swept away by the music, and we were quite impressed as well. Even though after a while it all started to sound a bit the same to us, not really knowing their songs all that well. Seems like we need to invest some time into getting to know them better and give it another try hopefully in the nearby future.


The Finnish melodeath band MyGrain is very popular within their own country, and has opened a lot of eyes internationally as well with the release of ‘V‘ back in 2020. They bring everything you’d expect from a melodic death metal band with crushing death metal heaviness and heavy metal melodies, but add their own very personal touch to a lot of their songs with some well-chosen sampling and keyboard bits. Live, they’re also a killer band, and a group of people we always like to see appear on a stage. So we set up post quite early at the front of the stage to get to experience these talented musicians from as close as possible. And yet again, they did not disappoint at all, the small stage and closeness of the band giving it an intensity we haven’t had with them before when they were playing bigger stages lately.


Last, but not least, the Norwegian weirdos of Shining took over the bigger stage one last time for today. They captivated the world with their black metal and jazz fusion they aptly named “Blackjazz“, and lately have been releasing songs that are leaning more towards a pop sound, stepping away from their black metal roots. Which we’re not complaining about one bit, because bangers like ‘Smash It Up!‘ and ‘IDGAF‘ are simply perfect party songs, and we’re all there for it. Sadly, a lot of people did not seem to get this band and already left early, leaving the room rather half empty. But that didn’t seem to bother the guys one bit, so Jørgen Munkeby dressed in a neon yellow Cyberdog outfit and his buddies gave it their all. We hadn’t had as much fun with a band like we had with this one for quite a while. And of course Jørgen swung his saxophone around the neck from time to time, showing us how incredibly talented he is with that instrument. The people who weren’t there, really missed out on something! Will be easily one of the best shows of 2022!

There was still a scheduled afterparty with the arcade game inspired instrumental metal band Nestruction, but after the party we had with Shining, we decided it was a good time for us to go find our bed and get some energy for another day of great music…

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