We’re back! After all the years of cancelations, Tuska is finally happening again! With a hunger for one of our favorite festivals, and a very solid lineup consisting of a combination of rebookings from the canceled editions, surprising additions, and plenty of attention for local talents, we felt almost as excited as when we went to our very first Tuska back in 2016!
We managed to get on the festival grounds just in time to catch folk metal icons Eluveitie on the mainstage. I’m not sure what the thought process was here in placing this quite popular band this early in the day, maybe they were going to get a lot of early visitors in that way, but it felt a bit weird. The crowd that managed to get there this early, was clearly only starting to get into the festival mood, having a quite tame reaction to Eluveitie‘s tunes. And it felt like the band perhaps wasn’t fully feeling it themselves. Normally quite big fans of this band live, this really wasn’t the best show we’ve seen of them. Here’s hoping that when they come by Helsinki again later in the year, they kick some serious ass again!
A Rose for Epona
Kingdome Come Undone
The Call of the Mountains
2022 also marks the return of what you could almost call the boysband of the Finnish metal scene: Northern Kings! With some of Finland’s best vocalists like Jarkko Ahola (Teräsbetoni), Marko Hietala (ex-Nightwish, Tarot), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), and JP Leppäluoto (Charon, ex-Poisonblack, ex-Dark Sarah), this symphonic metal cover supergroup is an absolute delight to see in action. Bringing covers like ‘Take On Me’ or ‘Kiss From a Rose‘ in pure vocal harmony, or each vocalist having their own individual moment to shine with JP‘s take on ‘Rebel Yell‘, Jarkko‘s take on ‘Hello‘, Tony‘s take on ‘Sledgehammer‘ or Marko‘s take on ‘Don’t Stop Believin‘. It’s simply one big party and singalong session from start to finish. And it was a pleasure to see Marko Hietala back on a stage and clearly enjoying himself! Looking forward to seeing him a bit more regularly!
Training Montage (Vince DiCola cover)
Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi cover)
Take On Me (a-ha cover)
A View to a Kill (Duran Duran cover)
Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)
Hello (Lionel Richie cover)
Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel cover)
Kiss From a Rose (Seal cover)
Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits cover)
Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey cover)
We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) (Tina Turner cover)
The young rebels of Lost Society were up next to take over the mainstage. With their latest music they are going away from their thrash metal roots even more, but clearly there are still a bunch of dedicated fans, or even more than ever before. They really brought the energy, as usual, and Samy Elbana is quite the force on stage, riling up the crowd with his seemingly bottomless supply of energy. With the already released singles ‘112‘ and ‘Stitches‘ from the upcoming new ‘If The Sky Came Down’ album, we got a taste of how the new music would be like live, and we are all there for it. Those fans who were hoping to hear some more old school thrash stuff, sadly had to sit a bit on their hunger, since the only one dropping by on this set was the classic ‘Riot‘, the rest of the setlist being solely tracks from their earlier album ‘No Absolution‘.
Blood on Your Hands
Outbreak (No Rest for the Sickest)
We often have to make tough choices at a festival like Tuska when bands are overlapping, and this was one of those moments. Even tough we really wanted to see Omnium Gatherum rip up the stage, we went for the synthwave beats of Perturbator. And what a party it was! Metalfans often have a strong dislike towards anything related to electronica, but here it was the furthest from the truth. Every single person in the packed tent really went at it and had loads of fun, reminding us of the massive party that was Carpenter Brut some editions ago. It feels like the synthwave trend has been dying out a little bit of late, but you couldn’t have guessed this after these 2 guys ripped it up here!
Beast In Black
Beast In Black is one of those bands that are not necessarily my cup of tea with their overly kitsch songs, but the power metal outfit is every time a guarantee for a good time when they hit the stage, whether you like their music or not. And their show at Tuska was of such a caliber again! As soon as they kicked off with ‘Blade Runner‘ from their most recent and much praised album ‘Dark Connection‘, the heat and energy was immediately up there. And not only because they hit us with some proper pyro straight from the start! Hit after hit dropped by with ‘From Hell With Love‘, ‘Beast In Black‘, and ‘Hardcore‘, prompting the many gathered fans to sing/shout along at the top of their longs. Add to that the always incredibly engaging and energetic presence of every member of the band, radiating pure fun and delight for being on stage in front of their fans, and this was easily an early top performance of the first day.
From Hell With Love
Beast In Black
Highway to Mars
Cry Out for a Hero
Die by the Blade
One Night in Tokyo
Blind and Frozen
End of the World
Again, time to make tough choices… While we really like Mokoma, a somewhat hidden gem of the Finnish scene that is immensely popular in their own country and has killer shows every single time, we couldn’t let the chance slip us by to see the US stoner metal legends of Red Fang ripping it up. And clearly we were of the same opinion of many people at Tuska, because a pretty large crowd had gathered in front of the smaller 3rd stage. With a quick embrace of friends, and a couple of “dad jokes” (which was a pretty regular occurrence throughout the set, much to the delight of this reporter), they kicked off a set that was filled with fat riffs and tasty grooves from start to finish. Of course, since this was their first visit here since the release of ‘Arrows‘, we got to hear at least one track of that album live with the title track. But mostly we got hit by a whole bunch of fan favorites, making the set feel like a bit of fan service, with hits like ‘Dirt Wizard‘, ‘Wires‘, ‘Prehistoric Dog‘ and ‘Hank Is Dead‘! An absolute delight to finally get to see these guys live, and I can’t wait to get the opportunity again to see them, hopefully with their own headlining show!
Blood Like Cream
Crows in Swine
Into the Eye
Bird on Fire
Hank Is Dead
Time for some absolute legends to take over the main stage! Carcass has been hitting us with (melodic) death metal classics for over 3 decades now, and show no signs of slowing down. Their recent releases, including 2021’s ‘Torn Arteries‘, have showed that they still got it, both getting their old fan base excited about them again, and gathering some new souls along the way. This is a band that doesn’t need any fancy tricks or production, just some big banners, a killer sound and death metal classic after classic thrown at us. Bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker is a quite imposing sight to behold, especially when he seems to single you out to stare at you for a few seconds with wide eyes, or even point at you, and the whole set was incredibly solid from start to finish. From that latest album, they only served us ‘Kelly’s Meat Emporium‘ and ‘Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)‘, but what do you want when you have such an extensive catalog like theirs? No complaints here, of course!
Exhume to Consume
Kelly’s Meat Emporium
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
Unfit for Human Consumption
Under the Scalpel Blade
This Mortal Coil
Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)
Keep On Rotting in the Free World (Black Star intro)
The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
Tools of the Trade
Corporal Jigsore Quandary
Captive Bolt Pistol
Time for one of the performances we had been looking forward to most for this edition of Tuska! At the 2019 edition, we already got to experience this incredible band, and were slightly disappointed by an atmosphere that wasn’t fully there. In the meantime Heilung has become an even wider known phenomenon, so there we were again, hoping that with more people showing up actually knowing and appreciating this collective, the vibe would hit the mark better. And we have to say that it actually did! We saw a lot of people dressed in outfits, or even have markings painted on their face, that indicated they were all there for the amplified history experience that is almost religious. The moments that required some silence, got a quiet tent, the more exalted moments, got an extremely excited crowd. The mesmerizing songs and performance of the people on stage bringing their music and whole concept to live, is something you simply need to experience whenever you can. The only thing that could possibly make this better still, is getting to see them either at a more special location, or at a headlining show where every single person present is there for Heilung. Wonderful experience that boosted our energy for 2 more days to come!
And to wrap up an amazing first day, we got thrown back into our youth with headliner Korn! It had been probably over half a decade, if not a full decade, since we last caught these guys on a stage, and we were not going to let this celebration of all that is (and was) nu metal and our teenage years! Last time we saw Korn, it was simply a fan service machine, delivering hit after hit after hit without many words in between, but so damn solid and good.
And that’s exactly what we got again this time around. Opening up the set with ‘Here to Stay‘, ‘Got the Life‘ and ‘Falling Away From Me‘, whatever they did next, they couldn’t do any wrong for us anymore. But of course it didn’t stop there with ‘Y’All Want a Single‘, ‘Coming Undone‘, ‘Freak on a Leash‘, ‘Twist‘, ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.‘, and ‘Blind‘ among many others of their killer songs. Jonathan Davis was in excellent form belting out his lines, and of course bringing out their signature bagpipes, and the rest of the band absolutely killed it as well. We still had to do without Fieldy, but despite that being a pity, it was not a damper on an absolute party and celebration of what this band has meant for me, all of us, and the metal scene! What a way to end a day filled with great music!
Here to Stay
Got the Life
Falling Away From Me
Start the Healing
Shoots and Ladders
Y’All Want a Single
Worst Is on Its Way
Freak on a Leash
It’s On! / Trash / Did My Time
Back in 2019, we had some issues with how the new festival setup was like and what didn’t really seem to work all that well. One of our main issues was the flow of the festival. Whenever a popular band was playing on the main stage, it was really difficult to get from the one side of the area to the other. With how much they changed the stages around for this year’s edition, we found the flow to be incredibly much improved. It was really easy to get from stage to stage, and nowhere it felt like things were getting constipated, except maybe for the lines at the entrance/security check. But even that was only a minor annoyance. Overall, a really promising start to the weekend, and we were immediately enthusiastic about discovering what else Tuska 2022 had to offer besides great performances.