SteelChaos 2017

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In Spring we got the opportunity to experience one of the top underground festivals of Europe, namely Steelfest Open Air in Hyvinkää, Finland (read our report here). When we figured out there was a smaller inside Autumn/Winter edition called SteelChaos, we knew we had to be there. On one specific day near the end of Summer they released the line-up of the 2-day festival, which confirmed to us that this was a not to be missed event. So on November 10th and 11th we geared up to dive into the dark cave of evil and the Devil that Nosturi in Helsinki became…

Overall Day 1 Day 2

Day 2

The starter of Saturday Malum (**1/2) was your standard Satanic Finnish black metal band. Overall pretty decent, but nothing very memorable yet. Though it’s a relatively new band, their performance was definitely a good kick-off to smack the heads back into focus for those that were still foggy due to the night before. I’ll be interested to hear how these guys might progress in the future.


Second band of Saturday was the Finnish Havukruunu (***1/2). They brought a very straightforward show with no theatrics or face paint, just 4 guys playing some heavy music. They seemed to have quite a local following and I must admit that their pagan black metal appealed a lot to me. At times I even discovered some resemblances with that other Finnish pagan/black band that is a little bit better known as Moonsorrow. A very solid show of a band that could make quite the name for themselves even internationally.


Antimateria (****) was a whole other beast to behold. As many black metal bands they showed up wearing hoods and corpsepaint, but they brought some elements in their music that differentiated them from the pack. The Finnish almost goblin-like creatures crawled on stage to engulf us with their more atmospheric and doomy inspired black metal. The cold and atmospheric music was a perfect tool to take us away from Nosturi for awhile and catapult us into the cosmos they growl about. One of my favorite outfits of the weekend for sure!


And then it was time for a performance of which I already knew beforehand that it would be something…euhm…interesting. This collaboration show with the experimental black metal band Ride for Revenge and the noise artist Bizarre Uproar promised to be quite the unique event. Barely knowing what we really could expect since both outfits are very tricky to properly find online, we set up shop to see what this would bring us. The music was a continuous droning of guitar riffs, slow drum rolls and electronic noise elements that worked almost hypnotic. I think they played 2 songs, but to this day I’m still not completely sure about that. At some points the creator of the noise part of the music turned his gimp mask covered face towards the crowd to shout unrecognizable distorted words through the mic. His dirty and creepy stares with the occasional sticking out of the tongue made the disturbing picture complete. Though his figure wasn’t really the most weird and disturbing part of what happened during that almost hour of “bizarre”. We saw a “master” with 2 scantily clad “slaves” (one male, one female) sitting in the middle waiting for commands and all wearing gimp masks as well. Heads were dumped in containers of blood, a dead rat was cut open and rubbed on each other, golden showers rained down and shortly after I left the room apparently the shit literally hit the fan. I’m not even sure how to give this a score, one thing is certain though: this will be the most talked about show of the whole festival.


The Swedish band Entrails (***), under contract at Metalblade Records, was exactly the contrast needed after the Bizarre Uproar/Ride for Revenge scene. Atmosphere creating and movement motivational old school Swedish Death Metal by a band that has been around since 1990 relaxed the audience’s mood and even created a small but consistent moshpit. During their gig they invited Markus Makkonen the singer of the finish Death Metal Band Sadistik Forest on stage to sing a few songs with them. Tommy Carlsosons slightly softer voice harmonised surprisingly well with Markus brutal dark growl and made their cooperation the highlight of this show.


Time for some “Pure Fucking Black Metal” again! German/Polish Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult (****) are quite legendary and a brutal storm of evil is unleashed every single gig. A quite unique element of the band is the fact that it’s female fronted and vocalist/guitarist Onielar shrieks and growls as if being possessed. At first, dressed in long and white torn robes and her corpsepainted face covered by a hood made of similar rags, gave her a very ghost-like appearance which only added to that demonic vibe. The band simply thundered over us with blast beats and some of the harshest riffage we encountered at SteelChaos. After a few songs the hood went off, revealing her face and extremely long blonde hair, to turn towards her little onstage altar where she took a big gulp of blood that soon ended up on the crowd. The blood-spitting and vicious snarling continued for the rest of the gig. Afterwards I saw plenty of people nicely covered in blood splatters with a big grin on their faces.


Headliner on Saturday was the illustrious Master’s Hammer (***1/2) from the Czech Republic. The band has been around since the eighties and gained somewhat of a cult status as one of the most influential bands in the early conception of black metal. Their uncompromising proto-black metal is infused with symphonic and classical elements speaks to anyone’s imagination even though it’s completely sung in Czech. The fact that this Summer they played their first show in 25 years at Brutal Assault, only adds to the mystery and myth surrounding the band. They showed up with 2 barely dressed ladies of Satan wearing humongous goat heads who were picked up afterwards by the stage master in an almost “Spinal Tap” way because of a lack of sight. The music itself sounded like a blackened sort of hard rock with raw singing by the rather charming frontman Franta Štorm. All-in-all quite interesting and entertaining show, though I’m still wondering what the effect was of the kettledrums on stage, because for the love of G… euhm… Satan I could not hear anything.


For our photo coverage of day 2 go here.