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!
3 days behind us, 1 more to go! This anniversary edition has been insane! Luckily this last day was a bit shorter than the other ones and it had the extra ‘Steel & Fire Fest’ and barbecue bacchanal to kick things of in a relaxed, good way.
Steel & Fire Fest
The doors of the festival grounds opened up way earlier than the other days and it opened up for the public to get access to the completely free and brand new Steel & Fire Fest in which they had gathered as many as possible of the best blacksmiths of Finland for them to show off their skills and sell their products. A quite unique event that perfectly fitted with the vibe and style of Steelfest and there were some really talented creators there! We definitely got some proper fire-forged steel goodies that we are really happy about and probably couldn’t find anywhere else. This was a great project that we hope will be repeated in the future!
Having skipped the barbecue bacchanal, we decided to get a bite to eat before the remaining fest took off again. We ended up missing very first band Hellboozer Union, but got back in time for the Finnish black/death metal maniacs of Blood Chalice. They really didn’t skip on their stage props to create the proper atmosphere for their frantic show, with still dripping sheep’s heads on a barbed wire fence, an altar with a skull, bones, burning candles and incense right in front of the in barbed wire wrapped mic stand. And behind that mic stand we found the blood-splattered demon in the flesh P.H. (also known of Torture Killer) unleashing hell while wearing a huge upside-down cross made of blackened bones around the neck. The frenzied music and absolute darkness that rained down on us, was almost palpable and a perfect way to start our very last day of this year’s Steelfest.
Up next was probably one of the most different and most entertaining bands of the whole weekend! The Swedish “death cult” Alfahanne promised to bring us a proper serving of “alfapocalyptic rock”. What we got was basically what you could call a blackened version of that other popular rock’n’roll outfit from Sweden: The Hellacopters. You could hear, see and feel the black metal influences that gave their rock’n’roll music an edge of darkness while keeping it swinging. It was a fantastic show that really rocked the place and brought a certain party mood to the last day of Steelfest. When Spellgoth (Horna, Trollheims Grott,…) popped up for some guest vocals on a track, the roof got really blown off! A seriously underrated band that deserves a whole lot more attention, please check them out!
Of course, the Steelfest regulars and Hyvinkää locals Kalmankantaja had to make an appearance on the anniversary edition of Steelfest. It’s definitely not the first time we’re catching these guys on a stage here and we wanna bet it’s not the last. The highly productive band (already released 2 full-lengths and 1 EP, and with another full-length coming later this year) has grown into one of the more popular acts of the Finnish black metal scene and rightly so. The atmospheric black metal is build on heaps of vibes and epic tunes while still holding on strong to the classic sound of the Finnish scene and vocalist Tyrant is usually quite the presence on stage and was so yet again today. Yet another solid gig of a band bathing in blue lights and radiating the occult darkness they sing about.
Back on the outdoor stage we got the Swedish black metal outfit Valkyrja, who reminded me somewhat of their countrymates Watain. Not that they were a carbon copy of Watain, but the aggressive and frenzied performance and grimy looks easily brought in a similar vibe. Even though they were playing in daylight, they hit like a wrecking ball of furious black metal and darkness, getting plenty of people there all riled up quickly. The manic performance was one of the better ones of the day and I honestly wouldn’t mind catching them again in a setting where they can control the atmosphere somewhat more with a proper light show and stage production.
Last one to take over the indoor stage and last Finnish band: Antimateria. Again a band we’ve seen plenty of times at events from the people behind Steelfest and their cold and harsh cosmic black metal is always a pleasure to behold. Despite having only one album released, during their almost a decade of existence, they’ve managed to rise to the top of the Finnish black metal scene as one of the more popular contemporary acts. Main man Ahma brought a nice selection of talented musicians with him to play his music and treated us again with a flawless set of chilling atmospheric black metal.
No better way to wrap up an exhausting extra long anniversary edition of Steelfest than with legendary Norwegian black metal band Taake‘s special ‘Noregs Vaapen – 10 Aars Jubileum‘ set. A set that featured all the tracks from the ‘Noregs Vaapen‘ album with the additional tracks ‘Doedsjarl‘ and ‘Hordalands Doedskvad I‘ for good measure. Which resulted in a bit over an hour long black metal frenzy of a show with only remaining original member and vocalist Hoest pacing around like a madman wearing a tattered cape made of a Norwegian flag, smacking the mic stand aggressively and at times hiding behind his cape in an ominous way. The notorious frontman has a certain aura around him that really pulls you into the show and doesn’t let you go till the very end. Sadly their rhythm guitarist couldn’t make it to this show, but honestly, I wouldn’t have realized it if Hoest hadn’t mentioned it. Except for the now already classic and legendary Taake live moment with the banjo solo during ‘Myr’, where the rhythm guitars were a quite obvious missing factor. But overall a pretty epic show and way to end this fest.
This really was an amazingly long weekend filled with stellar performances of a wide diversity of great underground and extreme metal bands. Though while it was amazing, we really hope that they don’t make it a yearly thing to go for a full 4 days, because we were completely drained by the time it was over… (and looking at the post of the Steelfest Commander on their Facebook page, we weren’t alone)
Onward to this winter’s Steelchaos edition and next year’s Steelfest! We can hardly wait!
For more pictures, go check out the photo report of day 4 here.