Pre-Steel Special Report On Steelfest 2015


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.


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.


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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