Steelfest 2022 is 4-day celebration of devil`s 10 year path.
50 bands in 4-Days full of un-compromised metal terror.
We’ve been steady supporters of the Steelfest events and now finally after 2 years of delays and much drama, the 10th year anniversary edition of Steelfest was happening! With twice the amount of days than normally, way more bands and a couple of more surprises along the way, this is simply a festival you didn’t want to miss out on if you’re any bit into underground metal without compromises!
After an excellent first day, we geared up to get back to the festival grounds as early as we could. Sadly, we missed out on… and…, who both had crushing sets from what we’ve seen and heard.
The first act we caught was definitely a good one to start things off with, though. Borgne blew us absolutely away with their industrial kind of black metal. It was an attack on all senses with relentless harsh electronic beats that made your heart rhythm palpably change, going along with dark and malicious black metal and strobes that completely disoriented us. The blood soaked band played their music in an unforgiving pace and with a rabid feel that made me fall in love with them pretty fast. During the set we also got one of the many appearances by Spellgoth that we’d see throughout the weekend happening regularly, this time lending his vocals as a special guest during one of their tracks. Hands down one of the best bands and performances of the day and even weekend.
Back at the outdoor stage, the French solo black metal project Gorgon took over. Yet another solid show as there were aplenty at Steelfest as usual. The music hit hard and I really enjoyed it, with Christophe Chatelet and his live band throwing their all into the show. Soaking in blood, they left quite an impression that I can only imagine being topped by them not having to play in broad daylight in the bright early Finnish summer sun.
Back to a way more memorable show with the Finnish misfits of White Death. There’s always been something different, a more dangerous feeling, emanating from this band. With a big cross out of solid wood taking center stage, vocalist Vritrahn came on stage in his usual menacing manner, wrapped in a cape and a groin clothe that he later on lost along the way, bringing out his jockstrap made of leather and metal studs. The show was a classic portrayal of all that black metal is and should be, played at a rabid pace and Vritrahn putting his all into it. Which quite literally came to show when the let himself be nailed to the cross to do another track screaming in the microphone while being properly crucified. This became quickly one of the most talked about shows of the weekend. White Death delivered on its promise once more!
Despite the stage being drenched in sun, somehow the French black metal outfit Cénotaphe managed to bring a certain amount of gloom to Steelfest. Much of that was carried by the vocalist who seemed in a constant degree of torture on stage, regularly leaning hard on the mic stand in anguish. The at times quite majestic and epic sounding music was so impressive that it was easy to forget about any brightness or warmth around you, instead being swathed in darkness and cold. The rawness of the emotions and primitive senses worked greatly in tandem with the at times rather complex and mesmerizing musical compositions and simply blew me away with what was again one of the top performances of the weekend.
Back to the indoor stage where the ‘trve kvlt’ atmosphere and attitude of earlier was kept strong with the Finnish black metal outfit Warmoon Lord. Enter deep blue stage lights, tons of smoke and darkness, with the band all spiked up and ready to go swathed in said darkness. The atmosphere was really complete and you’d easily be wondering if you traveled back in time a couple of decades with the old school vibe there. Last year we caught the project a first time live on the one time only summer edition SteelHordes (report here) and were already impressed by the pretty epic nature of the music, but were wondering what it would give when not being stuck on a stage in the full sunlight. Let me tell you, this bands really thrives on being in a dark room where they can have more control over the stage lights to built atmosphere. Stellar show yet again!
The American black/death outfit Morbosidad came to present about 3 decades worth of material on the outdoor stage and absolutely killed it. Only vocalist Tomas Stench remains of the original line-up, but he surrounds himself with some stellar musicians with Joe Necro and the fiery red haired ZKD on guitars, Prokingu on bass and S.A. Warr on drums. Both ZKD and Prokingu delivered quite the energy and long hair whipping through the air while Tomas barked his lines, and the crowd responded like they were truly unleashed for the first time. Morbosidad‘s blasphemous music was simply great fun and I could see a whole lot of people nodding along to the music with a big grin on their faces.
Back in the indoor stage area, we were treated on quite the experience again. The Canadian black metal outfit Akitsa put vintage looking gear on stage in an almost minimal setup and turned on a row of white lights in the back that didn’t move throughout the whole show. Everyone except for the vocalist stayed absolutely static, bathing in white light and smoke. An almost cathartic experience that perfectly matches their anti-modernism themes and sentiment. While the performance itself was not the most exciting, the show was still one of the more memorable of the whole weekend, and that says a lot!
Time for another explosive show outside! As soon as Beelzeebubth from the legendary Brazilian black/death metal outfit Mystifier gets on stage in the good company of Leandro Kastyphas on vocals, bass and keyboard and Pablo Alexandre on drums, the people at the front rows go absolutely bonkers. With Beelzeebubth playing both ‘Wicca‘ and ‘Göetia‘, the first full-lengths from Mystifier live, we were in for a proper old school set and it was a blast! There is something about black/death coming from Brazil that you’ll find hard to find in band coming from other countries and that madness translated really well through these 3 guys on stage.
As always, Sargeist is a very welcome sight at Steelfest. Ever since they surfaced back in 1999, they’ve been a mainstay in the Finnish black metal scene and have become quite legendary with Shatraug at the helm of the project. It’s been a bit over half a decade now since Profundus joined as the latest vocalist and honestly, I couldn’t imagine seeing Sargeist with anyone else anymore. He brings a certain level of danger to the overall performance that takes everything to a higher level. From the impatient pacing back and forth while he blesses the stage with incense at the beginning of the show, right to the no-holds-barred barking of the vocal lines. Every single time, Sargeist manages to take us back to the darker and more evil times of early black metal and we love them for it.
Denial Of God
Headliners for the outdoor stage on the second day of Steelfest 2022 were the Danes of Denial Of God. They baptized the chilling outside air with a proper serving of old school black metal from absolute legends. Having been around for 4 decades, they brought in quite the crowd in front of the stage that were at times bewildered with the blast from the past and being engulfed in darkness. What a way to almost end an exciting day!
And I say almost because we have one more show to go. Really wrapping up the day and headlining the indoor stage, the illustrious Satanic Warmaster took up shop there. No bullshit, no gimmicks, just good old Finnish black metal fun with a band that has become quite legendary throughout the whole world. Werwolf and his live musicians got the crowd in their hands as soon as they started playing and the venue became a maelstrom of sweat and exuberant excitement. Every time Satanic Warmaster gets on a stage at a Steelfest event, you’re sure that the roof will blow off the room, no matter what.
Another crazy day and still 2 more to go! For more picture go check out the photo report here.