Originally written by Juho Mikkonen
For the uninitiated: Tuska Open Air is the biggest and oldest running extreme metal festival in Finland. By no means am I trying to say that it’s also the most beautiful or that it hauls, year after year, the most exciting line-up conceivable for a puny human being, such as yours truly. Instead, those of the unlight may be better off choosing another, smaller event to satisfy their need for all things heavy and obscure. Nevertheless, if the priority is to raise glasses with both hands and shoot the breeze with those old, graceless buddies whilst enjoying a mixed amalgam of metal’s more popular stalwarts ? complemented with a small, chosen bunch of more unknown acts from almost all over the genre map ? there’s probably no better fiesta to partake in than our twelve-year old juggernaut of a metal festival, which, of course, is largely due to the fact that you can bring in your own distilled beverages, if you can keep the vinos and vodkas inside plastic bottles before pouring them down your throat.
Unfortunately and just like reaching one’s puberty always does, 2010 marked an end of an era for our beloved soon-to-be teenager. The fact of the matter is, Tuska has grown out of its old rags, which means that this year’s festival was the last one to take place in the Kaisaniemi park, which is a beautiful place, standing right beside Helsinki’s main railway station, practically in the heart of our nation’s capital. Luckily, the Tuska organization decided to deliver a valediction of badass proportions for its faithful servant by mustering a real blitzkrieg battalion of bands; one that would make the previous casts look like Thomas Müntzer’s scattered mob of peasants with nothing but flimsy spears as their weaponry. Indeed, artists from Cannibal Corpse to W.A.S.P., Ihsahn to Overkill and Nile to Megadeth were about come, see and conquer with a spearhead that would make people go berserk in ecstasy. Namely, it was announced already a couple of months prior to the celebration that none other than Devin Townsend would indulge the attendees with two sets; one of which would be the world exclusive performance of Ziltoid.
This was, without the slightest doubt, the bacchanal to experience. Therefore, Metal Review’s most lethal tag team of Melissa Zappa and Unidentified Drinking Finn teamed with Stalkermusic’s camera crew, Markus Rask and Mikko “Monni” Reinamo, to try and capture some of the magic of this unique occasion on videotape. I’m just going to unashamedly blow our collective trumpet and state that, in retrospect, we did pretty fucking well and simply achieved what we set out for. So ? without wasting more letters, syllables and words ? here’s the first episode of our three-part video report, summing up the Tuska Friday with interviews with singer Mikko Kotamäki (Barren Earth/Swallow the Sun), Obituary and promoter Toni Törrönen, who kindly brought Mayhem to jam at one of Friday’s post-party club sessions. Enjoy, my dear comrades!
Post scriptum: to be continued…so start holding your breaths.