After the glorious and epic return of Steelfest last spring (check out the reports here, here, here and here), now it’s time for its little brother (or sister if you so will) Steelchaos! This would be the first edition that takes place with a proper live audience at the “new” location. And on top of that, there is a stellar line-up again, with compared to the last edition of Steelfest, way more variety and room for other genres like death metal and traditional heavy/speed metal. And with the cherry on top, the Finland exclusive show of Venom Inc. celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Venom classic ‘Black Metal’.
But that was for the next day. First we traveled down to Hyvinkää, to the all too familiar Steelfest grounds where the indoors venue would be the place for Steelchaos from now on. With on the Friday a lovely line-up with Finnish natives Satan’s Fall, Malicious, Flame and Barathrum, topped off with the Austrian black/death metal maniacs Belphegor and Swedish melodic death/black metal legends Sacramentum, we got a proper start of 2 days of underground metal madness!
We got to the venue just in time for Satan’s Fall to kick off Steelchaos 2022 with a set of traditional heavy metal. We’ve seen these guys a couple of times on a stage by now and every single time you’re sure of an engaging heavy metal show that almost takes you all the way back to the heydays of old school heavy metal. The looks, the attitude, the charismatic singer… everything is there. It’s not a huge surprise that they’re on the rise with the quality they deliver and it was simply a great way to get the festival started. Even though at this early slot there weren’t a whole lot of people yet, you wouldn’t have guessed from the way they really threw themselves into their show the full hundred percent!
Next up was something of a completely different category… Malicious‘ death metal is of the old school relentless kind that just pummels you in the face without ever taking the foot of the pedal. Pedal to the metal is almost an understatement here. And while they clearly know what they’re doing, after a while it becomes a bit too much of the same for me, thirsting for at least a bit of variation. Though that clearly didn’t bother a good chunk of the crowd that managed to get here this early, because there was a whole a lot of headbanging, matching the hair whipping of the guys on stage. Solid death metal gig that most likely shook a bunch of people awake, but now time for something different!
A whole different pummeling was served up by Flame, a black and thrash metal band from Finland that was just as relentless. Drums firing like a machine gun, very prominently in the mix, steered the set into a high velocity thrashing like no other. Add to that the absolutely vicious growls from Blackvenom and some tasty guitar solos to liven things up a bit and you know we were in for a bit over half an hour of pure old school black/thrash fun!
Time for one of the more legendary acts of the Finnish black metal scene with the gang of misfits that is Barathrum. As usual, the notorious group brought their doomy brand of black metal to a crowd that loudly welcomed them on stage and with the seemingly possessed (and probably booze-enhanced) main man Demonos Sova. Barathrum is one of those bands that still sort of radiate a sense of danger and unpredictability even though their shows stay pretty much the same time after time. Regardless, always a pleasure to see one of Finland’s legacy acts take over a stage.
If you thought that with the earlier bands you got an intense show and a proper pummeling, Belphegor came to correct those thoughts. As soon as they started playing, a wall of sound bulldozed over us and the air vibrated with the evil tunes of the popular death/black metal act. They recently released the new album ‘The Devils‘ and they played a couple of tracks from that epic album at the end of their set with ‘Virtus Asinaria – Prayer‘, ‘The Devils’ and ‘Totentanz – Dance Macabre‘. But of course there was also room for some fan favorites like ‘Conjuring the Dead‘ or ‘Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador‘. Though honestly it doesn’t even matter what tracks these guys play, because every single song live is a dense and intense affair with the always enigmatic Helmuth on lead vocals and guitars, supported by his now long time collaborator Serpenth on bass and extra live members. Belphegor is and always will be a pure pleasure to see live and there is no other than them.
- The Devil’s Son
- Sanctus Diaboli Confidimus
- Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador
- Conjuring the Dead / Pactum in Aeternum
- Lucifer Incestus
- Virtus Asinaria – Prayer
- The Devils
- Totentanz – Dance Macabre
And last but not least, the headliner for the first day of Steelchaos 2022 was the legendary Swedish metal act Sacramentum. Being coined as one of the early melodic black metal bands back in the nineties, even though they haven’t released anything in several decades, they’re still a very popular band. The traditional heavy metal tone of their music where they clearly found some of their inspiration when they wrote the songs, was a very good fit with the more heavy metal nature of this year’s Steelchaos and vocalist Nisse Karlén was quite the sight to behold. As soon as he came on stage to join his band mates, he pulled in most of the attention with his elaborate dancing and arm motions. Even though personally I wasn’t really all that familiar with the band, the atmosphere and melodies really pulled me in and I can’t wait to hear the new music they’re telling the world they’re working on! An absolutely great closer for the first night of Steelchaos 2022!
- Fog’s Kiss
- Far Away From the Sun
- Blood Shall Be Spilled
- When Night Surrounds Me
- Cries From a Restless Soul
- Obsolete Tears
- Beyond All Horizons
- The Vision and the Voice
- Outro-Darkness Falls fro Me/Far Away From the Sun (Part Two)
For more pictures of the first day of Steelchaos 2022, go here.