Finally! After several times having to postpone due to the pandemic, we have a sequel to 2019’s well received Hoarsefest, the small festival put together by the Oceanhoarse guys. A fest that heralds the local Finnish up-and-comers in the metal scene and provides clinics by renowned names from that same scene like… We sadly had to miss out on the first couple of bands, and Thy Row, but I’m pretty sure they all killed it!
We made it just in time to catch Shereign doing their thing on stage. Vocally led by Sarah Strömer, one of the most recognizable voices of the scene if you’re any bit familiar with what Finland has to offer beyond the big names. And a band I was looking forward to seeing live again after being at their first ever show at SaariHelvetti 2021. Ever since that show they’ve been very busy with shows all over Finland and getting ready to release their debut album. They’ve clearly grown even closer than they already were before, and the band I saw on stage was one who were having heaps of fun being on a stage together playing their music. The energy coming from them was infectious, and it was really great to see them doing their thing, rockin’ the place! Looking at how their stage presence is like, how they kill it with their performance and how catchy the music is, I’d bet they’ll get far with this collective.
Dirt is yet another one of those incredibly promising bands that Finland is sprouting seemingly at all times. The heavy rock outfit has touches of grunge in the vein of Alice In Chains, but with some proper bluesy hard rock grooves mixed through. Every single time these guys take over a stage, the energy simply explodes and goes through the roof. It seems somewhat like a running theme this night at Hoarsefest, as every band has a certain amount of infectious energy that gets the crowd to move and dance to the music. And while vocalist Aleksi is the clearly charismatic frontman every proper rock band needs and deserves, the way guitarists Seba and Kappe run around like madmen and interact with each other simply has to bring a big grin to your face. Dirt is pure and uncut modern rock ‘n’ roll that has its feet firmly both in the past and the present. Music you need to see and feel live, brought by a band that deserves to be recognized as one of Finland’s future great rock bands by people around the world.
And then finally it was time for the main act of the night and the driving force behind the festival. Oceanhoarse has been one of the flag bearers of the New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal and as every show of theirs, you can expect a proper serving of “Heavy Fucking Metal”! These 4 guys know what they’re doing, and they do it well. Pure heavy metal that is played completely live and with a burst of energy that seems endless. Frontman Joonas always seems to have the crowd perfectly in his hands and is quite the force regularly being engulfed by the smoke coming from his little perch while he belts out their lyrics. Bassist Jyri as usual whips his dreadlocks around with barely a pause, if he’s not doing one of his tasty bass solo bits you can see him do every Oceanhoarse show, and guitarist Ben Varon shreds away while his long hairs flow around his head in the wind coming from his personal fan, while Oskari in the back beats away on the drums like an animal. You could say that once you’ve seen an Oceanhoarse show, you’ve seen them all, but I commend them for their consistency. I’ve never seen a bad show from these guys and suspect I never will.
After the regular Oceanhoarse set, there was the Hoarsefest guitar give-away where one lucky visitor got to go home with a brand-new guitar, after which they kicked off the “All-Star Jam”. About half an hour of musicians from as good as all the bands that were on the line-up showing up to play some cover songs with the Oceanhoarse guys. Some proper rock and metal classics passed by for those who wanted to continue the party that Oceanhoarse had just a moment ago instigated.
We’re happy that the second edition of Hoarsefest finally got to happen, we were thoroughly impressed with the first edition, and they continued the quality and uniqueness of the event with flair. Already looking forward to another edition!
For more pictures go here!
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