Easter weekend… what can one do besides munching on chocolate eggs and drinking the long weekend away? What about a show by one of the most prolific Swedish black metal bands of the last decade? The Steelfest organisation decided to treat its black metal fans on a little pre-festival Easter celebration and on “the day of the death of Christ” the wolf horde of Watain came down to the Finnish shores, taking over the famed Nosturi stage in Helsinki to celebrate the everything they stand for and against! With them, they brought the Swedish misfits of Obnoxious Youth to get the crowd loosened up and we knew we were in for a blasphemous night!
Obnoxious Youth (**1/2)
With Obnoxious Youth I saw a band that I’m, to this point, still somewhat conflicted about. Yes, they were fast, mean and a great fit for this night. But on the other hand, half of what they were playing sounded like literal noise. During those parts, you had to try really really hard to hear a distinct instrument and somehow it just sounded to me as if the members were all playing their own parts without paying much attention to their colleagues. And the vocalist only added to that feeling/sound with his frantic shouting that made me wonder if he’d still have a voice afterwards. When they were playing like that, the amount of so-called “crust punk” was high.
Whenever he walked away though, and let the stage to the rest of the band, somehow they pulled things back together and showcased their musical talent with actual distinctive guitar solos and bass lines reminiscent of the good old days of speed metal in the eighties. A shout out to their drummer though, because even though he somehow managed to not look the part in being an “Obnoxious Youth“, he absolutely kicked ass. It’s been a while that I’ve seen a drummer hit his skins so hard and fast as he did!
Then it was time for the infamously satanist outfit Watain. Before the show started, I was kind of fearing that the safety rules of the venue would prevent them from using their usual display of fire and pyrotechnics on stage, but luckily as soon as the room went dark and frontman Erik Danielsson strode on stage with the usual flaming torch those worries soon disappeared. Opening the blasphemous ritual with fire is somewhat of a mainstay in their shows and really sets the mood. No, the setup wasn’t as impressive as when I saw them last year on the outdoor stage of Steelfest, but no one was complaining.
As I said before, “Good Friday” or “the day of the Death of Christ” seems to be the perfect setting for an anti-christian band like Watain and they definitely took good use of that with Erik bringing it up on several occasions during the binding texts, giving their view/look on the meaning of that day for them. Combine that with actual fire blasts every now and then, blood flying around dousing the first couple of rows of fans in red splatters and a setlist made up of surprisingly many more old school tracks and you got yourself a great black metal night.
They set the room one last time ablaze with their cover of Bathory‘s ‘The Return of Darkness and Evil’ and the classic ‘The Serpent’s Chalice’ before they bid us farewell. Watain light the blasphemous fire within me and I can barely wait for the full 2 days of this kind of high quality music that is Steelfest!
Storm of the Antichrist
The Child Must Die
Puzzles ov Flesh
Underneath the Cenotaph
Towards the Sanctuary
On Horns Impaled
The Return of Darkness and Evil (Bathory cover)
The Serpent’s Chalice
For more pictures of the show, go see our photo coverage here: