Memoirs Of A Traveling Bear: SteelChaos


I’ve been to places (SteelChaos); I’ve seen things (bands and booze). And it’s done me no good, so now you’re going to read of them.

I try to move my head, get a grip of where I am. Everything’s a bit of a blur, almost as if I was a little more drunk than I needed to be. Can’t let this happen again, the last time I tell you, it’s the last time. Is the hour really that late? I need to get going. I wake my most trusted associate, Edward Camerahands, up as the reality hits us like 666 megatons; we’re going to have to miss Urn. This sucks. We’ll live but it sucks. As if it wasn’t enough, the Devil farts on our face again. There’s no point in turning back now, but as fate has it we’re actually going to make it to Heretic. Now this really sucks. Even worse ’cause I know they’re supposed to be playing songs only from their two first albums, Black Metal Holocaust (a sloppy, crappy and smudgy “masterpiece” of rocking, mid-tempo black metal with a few slow parts interspersed for maximum crapness) and it’s slightly superior follow-up Devilworshipper.

Well it’s no use anymore, the fuck up is ours, and we’re going to have to live with it (though I don’t know how I can). First gotta meet up with the early bird -type friendos, The Count & The Keravian Man, neither seems very sloshed so tonight’s plan becomes rather clear (who actually goes to gigs to catch bands?). But wait, what’s The Misfits doing here? I thought this was supposed to be a night of blackened frenzy? And when did Jerry Only let himself go like that, holy sheit? I start yelling “Bulleeeet” from the top of my lungs, but nobody seems to be joining the chorus, which is kinda weird. And now that I think of it, I don’t remember Misfits ever doing a song called “Black Metal Punks”. This is Heretic, what the hell? Where’s my holocaust, goddammit!? Actually, scrap that, it may be all the rum that’s currently doing the jig with my discernment, but this is sounding a lot better than what I walked in expecting. The band seems to agree they get better the more alcohol is involved, so I’m just gonna mark it down for that. I can’t be seen outside liking something fun; I have a a reputation to protect, and a family to feed.

As luck will have it, we’re in for some satanic speed metal from the outback next. Battlewhore and his now-rather-international-battalion-of-boys are always mostly a good time, when the dude isn’t busy doxxxing someone over a trifle, like a bitch a grown adult man. You can really feel it if a band is into the crowd, and the crowd into the band (in a masculine, Latino way, nothing sexual) and this was indeed the case tonight. You just can’t wriggle free from the energy that flows as they fire into “Hounds At Ya Back” or “I Am The Wargod”. I don’t know if this new drummer, from Necrowretch, is here to stay, but based on this night, I wouldn’t mind if he did. An appreciated final touch was the cover of “Heavy Metal Maniac” at the end, even though it was kind of a weird moment when K.K jumped off the stage and just walked into the hallway, while the rest of the band kept going on.

I was somewhat pumped, and also nervous to finally get to see Bölzer, whom I’ve kept missing because of cancelled gigs. When The Keravian Man kindly informed me they had cancelled the very same morning. Fuck (can I say that? Will you have to bleep it?). By some motherhecking miracle, messieur Laine had managed to get Archgoat to fill that very slot, so the night was at least not completely ruined for a short moment before it’s good again. They’ve got that stoic charisma that is nigh essential to any extreme metal band, and they’ve got it plenty. Plus I happen to really like most of their stuff, excellent stuff to drink to. Yet somehow I’ve managed to never miss these guys because of something alcohol-related, which is odd in and out of itself. Especially since their stoic charisma kind of means they’re best enjoyed from the drinking area. Though in all fairness I was finding it somewhat hard to get overtly enthusiastic about them, since I was, uh, let’s settle for “watering at the mouth”, thinking about the fact Nifelheim was about to storm the stage.


Age has been kind to the “Bröderna Hårdrock”, both of whom have come to resemble especially malicious vultures, covered in leather and spikes, due to their balding. Now armed with the guitarists from Tormentor and D666, they ruled their dominion from amidst cobwebs, urns and children-sized coffins. Nosturi itself, sold-out and filled to the brim, seemed to come alive just to participate in the madness. One moment the crowd was possessed by evil, and the next it was swirling in the storm of the reaper; the men are veterans and they know what they’re doing. It shows, but only in a good way. Very much a proper ending.

As much as I desired to witness Master’s Hammer the following day, I – and by extension, we – didn’t go, though afterwards I rued such a decision. Not due to Master’s Hammer, but due to the Ride For Revenge/Bizarre Uproar collaborative set. RfR is a primitive black/death band with the occasional electronic influence, and Bizarre Uproar is one of the better known noise acts in Finland. Apart from the usual urinating on someone on stage, dipping/drowning yourself in a vat of blood and vivisecting a rat, and, uh, rubbing against female genitalia, you know, a friday night – we could also have witnessed a particular member of the performance lose it. In a spout that came as a surprise to the band as well, one particular performer shat on the stage and began to fling shit into the audience. Naturally, the organizer called it quits rather hastily and asked members of the audience to report any incidence where shit had hit them. Though no such reports were filed, and it seems no one actually attending was particularly inconvenienced by the matter, or any other than amused. What a day that could have been, ah, to relive the days of God’s Theater in it’s glory.

All pictures courtesy of my ever-so-trustful sidekick, The Goy Wonder, Venny V. V. You can catch some of the performances in the video below. 

SteelChaos will return next year.

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