Hellsinki Metal Horizons 2022 pre-club show (On The Rocks, Helsinki) – 09/06/2022

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Before the brand-new Hellsinki Metal Horizons festival got its first proper day, they held a kickoff at On The Rocks in Helsinki that would become one of the most memorable nights of the year! With the legendary Canadian thrash metal band Exciter, an explosive show was to be expected, but added to that local thrash heroes The Hirvi, grindcore wackjobs Cannibal Accident and the future of heavy metal Satan’s Fall, to basically have something for everyone! And a banger of a concert it most definitely was…

Satan's Fall

Local heavy metal heroes of Satan’s Fall were enlisted to get this night started in a good way. Actually a pretty fitting choice to get things kicked off with a headliner like Exciter with their old school brand of metal. The energy of the band was there, sadly the crowd and their energy wasn’t really on par with how the band was playing. Kudos for them to not let that get to them and simply rock the place. It was not our first encounter with Satan’s Fall, and we’re already looking forward to another chance to see them in front of a maybe more receptive crowd.

Cannibal Accident

The grindcore/death metal misfits of Cannibal Accident seemed like a bit of an odd fit between the heavy and thrash metal bands, but really turned out to be the perfect choice to really get the night going. The guys took over the stage with a relentless energy and sound, and really got the party going early in the night. The whole band was pretty up there in energy, but especially the 2 vocalists asked a lot of our attention, both dressed in the kind of spandex wrestling trunks that were almost as revealing as Borat’s swimsuit, splattered in blood, and one of them in the beginning wearing something like a spandex version of Batman’s mask. But that was not all, besides growling, grunting and screaming in tandem, they paced around the stage all menacing, acting like maniacs, at some point even humping the mannequin torso they brought with them. With all the craziness and chaotic heaviness, Cannibal Accident blasted us away, and before we knew it, it was already over. A whirlwind of a show that really blew the roof off!

The Hirvi

Next up, were the local thrash metal legends of The Hirvi. Having been around since the late 80s, surprisingly enough they haven’t released all that many albums, with their 2nd full-length having been brought out to the world only a good week before this show. But they’ve always been sort of around in the scene and came back in action a handful of years ago to play live again and record their debut full-length. Clearly there were quite a few fans that had gathered to shout along to “the moose”, and the atmosphere was pretty good. Not nearly as engaging as the act they followed, but a perfect way to get into a thrash metal mood and get charged up for the craziness that was to be expected from the headliner. I do have to commend vocalist/guitarist Juha for his dedication to his songs, because even when his microphone stand gave out, he just continued singing and followed the microphone on its way down, bending over quite deep until a helpful audience member held the microphone back up to a better level until a stagehand came to fix it. Haven’t seen that happen very often at a gig!


And then it was time for the main event of the night! By the time Exciter was about to take over the stage, the room had filled up to the brim with a crowd that radiated excitement. And we knew we were in for a hot, sweaty and rowdy show! When the guys, longtime members Allan Johnson (bass), and Dan Beehler (drums, vocals) with fresh wind Daniel Dekay (guitars), came on stage, they were met with a heartfelt roar. From the very first note to the very last, the crowd went wild like the heavy metal maniacs we all were for the duration of the show, and they threw speed metal classic after classic in our direction with no remorse. The room pulsated with energy, and turned into a maelstrom of moshing, flying beer, banging heads, and crowdsurfers. Exciter truly showed what it’s like to perform a killer metal show, kicking ass and taking names, showing the young ones what “old school” means, uniting several generations over their love of pure and good heavy metal music!

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