Pre-Steel Special Report On Steelfest 2015

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You will have a hangover.

If you’re lucky that is. Most likely you’ll be “working your ass off” (like you really do any work, we know what you’re really up to) at some dull office building. Meanwhile I’ll be working on getting myself a hangover and relocating myself to the city of Hyvinkää. I’ll be going by train so none of you need to worry about the effects oF drinking-and-traveling, ‘cept when the conductor finds out and throws me out. But that’ll never happen, right? Oh, you want to know why I’ll be going to Hyvinkää? Well, there will be bands. There will be beer and there will be blood. There will be Steelfest. And now you’re about to read me brag about it.

Is there a better way to start your day than black-thrashing-goodness? If there is, I don’t want to know. You’ll be all miserable at your workplaces whereas I’ll be drinking more than the law dictates and butchering people in the pit to Ketzer. What really makes them better than most of their ilk are the atmospheric passages and a worldview spreading a little past the oh-so-popular “SATAN!!”. Never heard of them? That’s a paddlin’; check in here and below (in hell). FYI, the guys are due an album this year; no promises but the cycle is full again. cross your fingers.

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You can’t quite predict how things will go, but this looks like a good time to get that sweet, sweet nectar of the gods: beer. Especially since I don’t want to miss VorumI’ve been waiting for a chance to witness their dark and rabid death metal live. Hopefully they’ll play some new songs, like this, live too. They got a new EP coming out next week. If you like getting your face mauled in and I’m nowhere to be found, Vorum is the next best thing. Back here when the food is very good, we say: “I’d rather eat this than get beat up” to which someone else answers: “Unless it’s a really good beating.” Vorum is that really good beating. Die.

And what better way to continue your day after getting this beating than DemilichTwisted riffs, unique flow, crazy vocals and overall just one of the most filthiest bands known to existence. They rise from the grave every now and then to spread pestilence amongst men, and finally one of their dates fits perfectly into my schedule. If you seriously are not only a poser but a pleb as well and have never heard of them kill yourself, there’s no salvation stab here.

__________________________________

An appropriate end to the day will be brought by Unleashed and Dark FuneralOf these, Unleashed has had a career filled with hits as well as misses, but their brand of OSDM will probably summon Odin himself into the pit and I just don’t know how to ask more. I’m a little scared to ask if you know them, because you didn’t know Demilich, so I’ll just leave Where No Life Dwells here.

Dark Funeral on the other hand isn’t as interesting a headliner musically as I’d have hoped, and I’ve heard that they’re quite boring a live act. But I won’t take anything for granted, and besides they are playing an exclusive special gig at Steelfest, featuring their debut full-length; The Secrets Of The Black Arts, often heralded as their only consistently good album, in full. So if you want to see them live, you will never get a better opportunity to do so.


There are a few good hotels nearby and I’ve heard the bus drivers will make an extra turn for you if you ask nicely. Not that it matters, for I, which is to say we, will be sleeping in the forest. In a tent. I hope it’s not going to rain. And I hope I was going to be sleeping next to a woman of any kind instead of a smelly punk, but you can’t always get what you want (I’d settle for ‘sometimes’ really). Waking up in a forest with a hangover after a night of barely-sleeping-at-all isn’t the most pleasant thing you’ll experience, but I expect to be in full formation for Svarttjern’s blistering black madness. I’m not super-familiar with these Norwegian’s but things shall be amended. A really worthy addition to anybody’s library if you’re into ripping metal of black.

Getting pummeled requires a ton of beer afterwards, and a ton of beer is better when drunk to groovy death metal. Torture Killer started as a Six Fe-oh-my-lawd-kill-it-oh-it’s-just-Barnes’-hair tribute band. Said Barnes even did vocals for their sophomore full-length. Time has passed since, and TK have far surpassed their idol. Remember that time SFU recorded an album that didn’t suck? Well Torture Killer has spent their past time manufacturing albums that are better than Unborn but a little more reminiscent of the first SFU albums. Although it should be said that they don’t even really sound exactly like SFU. Hear for yourself below, or check out one of Barnes’ better vocal performances since leaving Cannibal Corpse here.

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What a way to bring a weekend to its end. Dead Congregation, Moonsorrow, Asphyx and Nokturnal Mortum. At first I was disappointed Melechesh cancelled, ’cause I won’t have as many possibilities seeing their riff-storm as I have to witness Moonsorrow. But the latter is a superior band, and as the night grows colder and darker their feel-ier music is better appreciated. What could I say of Dead Congregation that hasn’t been said already on this very blog. Howard Dean even interviewed them some time ago, killer death metal, that’s for sure. Greece has its fair share of problems, and it seems like DC is going around the world taking it out on everyone they meet. Asphyx is another killer death metal band and a long time favorite of mine even if I hope they play more of their faster material. But honestly at this point I’ll be dead from all the beating these bands have given me so it wouldn’t really matter if they played only slow songs. And there’s Martin van Drunen; the band could just go home and leave van Drunen on his own, and I’d go see it.

I’ve always felt the closing act has to have a certain quality of ending and departure to their music. If this solemn majesty is lacking I am left feeling as if there was still something to come. For this purpose Nokturnal Mortum is perfect. On the one hand, it’s searing black metal, but on the other hand their outside influences of folk and such bring exactly these fabled feels. But of course you all know the band better than the back of your hand, so let’s just listen to The Voice of Steel together and suffocate in the feelium.

There are other bands playing the fest as well, and I doubt I’ll be missing many. Sargeist, Wyrd and Cosmic Church especially seem inviting. You can see the full line-up here.

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  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    MOONSORROW! Saw them with Finntroll a few years back (and still have the concert only shirt), and absolutely loved it. Sadly, of course, they couldn’t do those long ass 20-30 songs because of time limits.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Speaking of Asphyx, I always felt like Hail of Bullets have been pretty underrated over the last few years as that shit is solid and people don’t really talk about them, ever, at least when I am around.

  • The amount of jealousy I have for you is astronomical and depressing.

    • WELCOME TO YOUR NEW LAND OF FEELS AND JEALOUSY, FALLEN WARRIOR. THIS IS YOUR NEW THIRD WORLD VALHALLA:
      http://www.cdc.gov/travel-static/yellowbook/2014/map_3-40.png

      • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

        Well, you are right next to Brazil, which has tons of metal fests. Doesn’t Colombia have a couple?

        • Colombia have Rock en el Parque, in Bogotá; and Brasil have Rock in Río 5000th edition. But it’s too expensive to travel, so it’s like we have a huge invisible wall made of credit cards without funds blocking our frontiers lol.

          • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

            Don’t worry, we’ll clear the way so you can take a boat to Rio. 😉

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr50So-zu1M

          • Maik Beninton

            I have the same problem here, the closest town where a metal concert would happen is far, around 6-7 hours by car.

          • Poseur Diposeur

            I went to Rock al Parque last year. That seriously kicked ass

        • tertius_decimus

          I double what Leonhart says. For us, inhabitants of third world countries, even travelling inside the country can be of heck of an expense. I envy people of Europe for what they can do with amount of money they get. 🙁

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Europe gets the best tours, fests, etc.

  • Tyree

    Beer and metal. Can’t go wrong there.

    • JamesGrimm

      Steel reserve beer.

      • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

        If you’re gonna go rot gut, might as well one up it and go with:

        http://i36.tinypic.com/2qdwwhc.jpg

        • JamesGrimm

          is this comparable? im not familar.

          • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

            It’s much much stronger, and tastes horrible. I cringe anytime I recall drinking that shit, which is saying alot.

          • more beer

            That`s what Steel Reserve does to me. Horrible shit.

          • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

            High gravity beer and any beer with the word ‘ice’ in the name is the absolute rock bottom of beer.

          • more beer

            I`m a huge beer snob. That shit isn`t even in my vocabulary. Definitely the bottom of the barrel.

      • more beer

        That is not beer! It is malt liquor!

        • JamesGrimm

          close enough.

  • The Unleashed pit at MDF last year was the single greatest pit I have ever been in. Obviously the MDF crowd will be different than the Steelfest crowd, but I can’t imagine Unleashed NOT spawning a 200+ man circle pit with an island in the middle

  • Dagon

    Never listened to Ketzer but this shit is tight.

    Have fun, Beargod. I hope you’re able to find out what that is, you grumpy bastard.

    • I’d recommend Satan’s Boundaries Unchained over the new one. Way more ferocious.

      • Dagon

        I’ll get in on that soon.

        • The W.

          I also recently checked out Nokturnal Mortum recently. You may enjoy them. Caution: they may have unsavory political leanings.

          • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

            Aka, they’re neo-Nazi?

          • They back Vermin Supreme

          • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

            Who or what is that?

          • The Beargod

            On their early days they had some such connections.

      • Phoenix of the House Tendies

        I don’t know about that. I think Endzeiht has more varied songwriting which adds to their ferociousness.

        Satan’s Boundaries has “Warlust” though. Perfect song for raging against christian plebs with a battle axe.

    • Daaaaamn. Ketzer IS some good shit.

  • Have fun, Beargod!

    DESTROY ALL THE POSERS WITH THE MIGHT OF YOUR SACRED MAULS AND CLAWS!

    Also, remember to make some weird dances to celebrate nature and bears and beers and stuff.

    http://www.worldofmatticus.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/bad_bear.jpg

  • The W.

    This is a dank line-up. Have fun, you cute little mauler.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Wow Secrets of the Black Arts in it’s entirety? Cool, well except for one original member.

    • Tyree

      That’s all they ever should be doing.

  • Tyree

    Dead Congregation will not disappoint. Try and watch the drummer if you can, that’s a fucking show on it’s own. That fucker can play.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWPnZObZ-8o

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D32WGn9Zac

    • Have you ever seen Nile live? Every band member is a show on their own, it’s tantalizing.

      Oh and Charlotte is usually their big “home town” show so we get like 20 minutes extra and old members

      • Tyree

        I have not. I really have not liked anything they have put out since Annihilation.

        • I haven’t LOVED anything since then, but they never put out anything bad and are always fun live

          • The W.

            I loved Ithyphallic, but from a critical standpoint, Annihilation is probably the better album.

          • Annihilation was my first death metal album. Darn right it’s my favorite Nile album

          • Tyree

            In Their Darkened Shrines is probably my favorite by them. But yes, Annihilation was one of the very first death metal albums I discovered on my own.

          • The W.

            It might have been my first “proper” DM album as well. I think I bought some Amon Amarth before Nile, but AA are more melodeath anyway.

          • Tyree

            You know it’s kind of crazy now that I think about it. 2 of my first death metal albums had “Annihilation” in the title. Annihilation of the Wicked and Gateways to Annihilation. Strange coincidence.

          • The W.

            Very interesting. I’m trying to think back to what else I would have been buying around that time. Hmmm.

          • Tyree

            Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas by Origin was another one. That album ruled and made me really want to become an extreme metal drummer.

            Edit: Krisiun as well.

          • Somehow I went straight from Ensiferum, Wintersun, and Arch Enemy straight into Nile. I think the middle eastern influences kept me, but then as my tastes grew and I began to love death metal for other reasons, the riffage became more apparent and the album revived itself with me

          • Scrimm

            I can’t remember for sure which album was my first. It was either Obituary’s Cause of Death or Carcass’s Tools of the Trade.

          • The W.

            I was a late bloomer, Scrimm.

          • Scrimm

            I’m just getting old. How old were you when you got into that stuff?

          • The W.

            I guess I was 17 or 18 when I first started getting into extreme metal. That kind of music wasn’t really around growing up (aside from my brother liking Metallica), nor did any of my high school friends really like metal, so it was mostly nu metal and some thrash and a wee bit of metalcore till I left home.

          • Scrimm

            That’s not bad, I was 15. I didn’t have anybody around to show me anything I mostly discovered all the early stuff I listened to on my own, usually by reading magazines.

          • The W.

            I think my brother giving me a Metallica CD was one of the key moments, haha.

          • Scrimm

            Well If I had to go back that far, it was Iron Maiden’s album covers. once I saw them I was hooked before hearing a note, and they were EVERYWHERE in the 80’s

          • Scrimm

            Shrines is the best, probably followed by Black Seeds of Vengeance.

          • Tyree

            Yes, also very good.

          • Tyree

            I think a lot of it had to do with the god awful production on some of the albums after, esspecially Ithyphallic. Everything sounded so compressed. And the kick drum trigger is just a bit irritating.

          • The W.

            But, but 🙁

      • last time i saw them, it was An Evening with Nile. no openers. i was very pleased.

        • I think a couple of very good locals opened. One called it quits, and the other’s vocalist is in Wretched

        • Scrimm

          Ended up having to miss that tour.

      • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

        I have. Kinda boring since they are more or less stuck in one place they whole time. I like a band that actually moves around rather than standing there like tree stumps (I’m looking at you, Wolfsheim!).

        • it’s all about them hilarious facial expressions. However, like I said, hometown show so they could be a lot more fun here than in other places

    • RJA

      Ok. I never post, but this performance was amazing. Highest of recommendations.

      • The W.

        Greetings, lurker!

  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    Well, Beargod, at least you’re not going to be in Massachusetts.

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/29041212/police-ask-residents-to-avoid-chasing-bears-with-hatchets

  • Stanley

    Please can you ToH writers put the best band last? I’m stuck on Ketzer and probably won’t get to here the others on this list now. This shit is ear candy. This also happened a couple of weeks ago with putting Ranger first. Put all the drivel at the top and make me listen to it. Eventually I’ll make it to the bottom.

    • Dagon

      I know, right?

      I just pressed play on the new Weedeater though.

    • The W.

      I think some folks would argue Nokturnal Mortum is the best, so…

      • Stanley

        You can’t please some people.

        • The W.

          We should just stop trying to please anyone and just post dank memes.

          • I think there’s an aquatic deity who would be very pleased with this decision.

          • Stanley

            Seriously though, there are some amazing bands on this post. The quality quotient is high.

          • Tyree

            Agreed.

          • Stockhausen

            Seriously. I’m still stuck on Ketzer and my lunch break ends soon.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Or just say dank.

          • The W.

            Like, the whole post is just one word? I can dig that. Joe did leave me in charge for a few days…

          • I call writing dibs on that so I can pretend I’m productive

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Well, there’s your answer. Dank.

          • The W.

            Dank.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Dank.

          • J.R.

            Dank?

    • This Ketzer is very very good, too!! :O

  • Stanley

    That Svarttjern riff at the 1:00 mark is a beauty.

  • Stockhausen

    Dude, this looks incredibly legit. I’m digging Ketzer mightily, and I think a couple of other bands you mentioned are decent, I guess.

  • I’m jamming Nokturnal Mortum.

    FOLK!

    <3

    <3

    <3

  • This sounds like a goid time especially sleeping in the woods. Hope you find a sexy European goddess to join you in your tent.

  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    Lolbuttz, meant to post this on the Dickcrush article since we spent so much time talking about ding dongs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjp9P2WdpII

  • The W.

    The last show I went to was with Stockhausen and Leif Bearikson and Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple and David. It was a house show with a super bizarre line-up. I need to go to a festival again.

    • more beer

      Gut Fest in the Springs is a month away.

  • Tyree

    Sargeist should be great too. I missed their set a couple years ago. I regret that decision.

  • tertius_decimus

    Enjoy the fun, Beargod! And don’t forget to take earplugs. Although I deeply love Nokturnal Mortum, I’ve attended their show just once in my life in 2005 despite numerous opportunities to visit NM concert. They play LOUD. And by LOUD I mean REALLY LOUD, at almost ear-deafening level.

  • My face has been sufficiently blasted off today.

  • Scrimm

    Asphyx and Demilich at the same show = perfection. Dark Funeral sucks, boring live band.

  • Phoenix of the House Tendies

    It warms my rotted heart seeing all this love for Ketzer.

    This fest is some top notch shit though. I seriously want to see Asphyx and Demilich live.

  • CT-12

    Have fun man!