It’s not all too common for good industrial acts to strike down in the metal-loving country that is Finland, so when the opportunity arises, we tend to jump at it. One good source for such events is the promoter Elektrik Products, who has been bringing some stellar artists through Hellsinki Industrial Festival. But throughout the year they have smaller shows as well and this time they were bringing the brand new show of Nachtmahr for us to experience as one of the first in Europe! With the addition of the Estonian misfits of Freakangel and Finnish duo Miseria Ultima, this was simply a night we could not let pass us by…
Somehow at as good as every Hellsinki Industrial Festival we’ve been to, we’ve either completely missed these 2 guys or caught the last track of their set. But not this time! It was good to finally properly see what they’re about from start to finish… Miseria Ultima was the perfect opener for the night with their dark electronics, that somehow still got a bit of a party going despite the rather melancholic and misery-laden lyrics. The vocalist scraped his lungs together and screamed and growled in the mic, at times sounding as if his voice would fail at any moment. Which it never did, so we can only conclude that this was a somewhat calculated move to add a touch of desperation to the misery they speak off. On the other hand he also regularly brought out pretty impressive and solid cleans that usually added a ton of emotion to the songs. His partner in crime behind the beat machine could be seen more covered by his long hair than anything else while he was banging his head to the beats. And whenever he revealed his face, it was mostly to show an expression that spoke of a seemingly trance-like state completely taken away by their own music. The vocalist tried to liven up the place by making some jokes and getting some crowd participation going, which only worked partially as the crowd clearly needed some time (or drinks?) still to get more loose. More towards the end of the set, you could notice more and more dancing bodies and enthusiastic yells coming from the steadily growing crowd, so Miseria Ultima really adequately did their job to warm the people up for what was to come still!
Ever since we caught Freakangel at the first Hellsinki Industrial Festival we attended back in 2018 (find the report here), we’ve become a big fan of what they do. So whenever they come in the neighborhood, we try to go see them destroy the stage again. The combination of the enigmatic and rather unpredictable front man Dmitry Darling with stellar musicians who each have their own personality on stage, gives for a lively show with often even a slight sense of danger. Add to that the often volatile mixture of hard industrial beats and elements of metalcore, blended in a really unique sound that at the one time makes you want to dive into a moshpit and seconds later dance to the beats, and you’re in for a show that blows you away time after time again. This time enhanced by the stage lights that were probably brought in by the main act and the slightly different setup, where Tanya put up shop with her drum kit on the one side of the stage, we probably caught one of the best Freakangel shows to date. Even the moment where Art had to replace a string on his guitar in the middle of a song couldn’t slow them down for a single bit, the seasoned professionals they are. And that they’ve been hanging out together for as good as a decade is so clearly laid out on stage, they feel like a band that enjoys playing together and knows what to expect from each other with complete trust. Always a pleasure to see these 4 people take over a stage and blast it to bits, up to the next time!
And then it was time for the main act of the night, supreme commander Thomas Rainer‘s Nachtmahr, an act that is somewhat surrounded by controversy, but really filled up the Nosturi venue to the brim last time he was in Helsinki at Hellsinki Industrial Festival 2018 (find the report here). This time at a somewhat smaller venue, it was no surprise that by the time the first beats left the speakers, the room was pretty much packed. Rainer got on stage in the good company of his newest right-hand man Andrea Sacchetti and 2 of his lovely ladies in the signature Nachtmahr uniform and there we go! You can expect more or less the same of every Nachtmahr show when you catch them live. Which is Rainer bouncing around on stage singing his lines on classic songs like ‘Mädchen in Uniform’ (with some attempts at doing the line in Finnish as well, afterwards telling us to check out the version he did with King Satan in Tampere the night before) and if he’s not there, he’s most likely going nuts behind the DJ/synth setup cranking out some tasty instrumental electro songs with damn tough beats. Added to that, there are the 2 girls in uniform that in the beginning and end of the set are posted behind a floor tom drum each, banging the shit out of it in a tight military beat, or are dancing suggestively with a whip in their hands, or as is usual during the ‘Can You Feel the Beat?’ track act out a kidnapping/torturing/stripping routine.
New this time where things like one of their latest tracks ‘Beweg dich!’ (also the title of the tour) and the addition of guitar in some of the songs since Sacchetti is pretty capable on that instrument as well besides keyboards, synths and other beat generating devices. I absolutely loved how it mixed into the dance music, giving some of the tracks a more meatier sound. Seems like it was a pretty good experiment that I feel they will repeat in future shows. About halfway the set, Rainer started talking about usually not being political at Nachtmahr shows despite the militaristic look, but with what is happening in Ukraine right now he felt strongly about putting the track ‘Die Fahnen unserer Väter’ in the set, passionately singing the song about how the Austrian people fought for their flag against the Nazis. It was great to see this side of him on a stage and really added some more depth to the overall performance. Nachtmahr, you absolutely killed it again and we all can’t wait to get to dance to your beats again!
Nicht wie sie
Weil ich’s kann!
Mädchen in Uniform
Liebe, Lust und Leid
Die Fahnen unserer Väter
Can You Feel the Beat?
I Hate Berlin (Second Decay cover)
For more pictures of the night, go check out the photo report here!