Steelfest 2018 - Live Report

For several years, Steelfest in Hyvinkää marked the official opening of the summer festival season and this year was no exception. Getting once again lucky with the weather, it was time for 2 days of metal, sunshine, friends, and some drinks.


Friday started off very relaxed as most bands on my list were on Saturday, so it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the fact that friends from near and far gather at Steelfest every year. And what could be better than taking in the festival atmosphere and first summer vibes while catching up, having a drink while leaving the work week behind to the sounds of e.g. Havukruunu and Archgoat galloping through the air.

Archgoat (Photo by Marco Manzi)

On the outdoor stage, Malokarpatan fit the mood perfectly with their sunglasses and rock’n’roll feel, and the groove of their sound catapulted everyone into weekend mode even though they couldn’t really fulfill the high expectations many had for them.

Malokarpatan (Photo by Marco Manzi)

The night continued with festival regulars Satanic Warmaster and Deströyer 666 before Watain closed down the outdoor stage with an intense, fiery show as usual. Mortiis then ended the first festival day on a quieter, more atmospheric note on the indoor stage with a special ‘Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør’ performance, just a man, a nose and his keyboard in a hall doused in foggy, red and blue lights. A metal lullaby for sweet dreams for the festival goers as they slowly headed out into the night to catch a couple of hours of sleep to be ready for day no. 2. Or, a maybe a less wise decision, to head to the afterparty at Crafters for some more beverages…I leave it to you to guess where my path led.

Watain (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Mortiis (Photo by Marco Manzi)


The summery atmosphere continued on Saturday, but as Asagraum played on the indoor stage their harsh black metal embrace could unfold its full potential. Despite the earlier afternoon hour, there was already hair flying and the audience was eager to take in the storm the band unleashed on stage. From the riffs to the melodies and the powerful performance, I couldn’t have chosen a better band to start off the second day.

Asagraum (Photo by Marco Manzi)

The day continued with the pure essence of a metal summer festival: Demilich playing the outdoor stage in a very good mood. In the past years, I’ve seen them a number of times but their shows still always get me, death metal at its best, it just felt and sounded right. Of course, it didn’t hurt that this year for the first time it was allowed to take drinks to the front of the stage also outdoors.

Demilich (Photo by Marco Manzi)

The evening continued on a slightly sadder note as Alghazanth played their last show ever. Also Saturday’s program had some festival regulars on the list with Necrophobic and Cult of Fire, both never a bad choice. Cult of Fire hadn’t packed their extravagant hat collection this time but rather went with a classical choice of large hoods that work just as well. The smell of incense filled the hall and danced through the air, along with the melancholic melodies, creating that musical black metal beauty I just cannot get enough of.

Necrophobic (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Cult of Fire (Photo by Marco Manzi)

The series of mesmerizing atmospheres continued with Necros Christos who killed it on the outdoor stage, bathed in evening sun. Their sound grasped your whole body and the audience was very much into it, especially when they played Curse of the Necromantical Sabbath towards the end. After this performance, Dødheimsgard didn’t have an easy job. Still remembering their amazing gig at Nosturi from 2011, I really tried to get into this show but somehow it didn’t click for me, it felt too fragmented.

Necros Christos (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Dødheimsgard (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Excitement was running high for Moonsorrow, who would be the last band on the outdoor stage for this year, a rare performance where also Henri ”Trollhorn” Sorvali was on stage. After the beginning when the vocals seemed to be a bit to low, Moonsorrow unleashed their full force and it was like a jolt awakening my memory, remembering just how good they were. Atmospheric blue and green lights completely engulfed the stage from where the whole band sent a massive wave of energy washing over the entranced audience. The night sky ever so slightly turned a darker shade of blue, merging with the blue stage lights, everything flowing into each other, night and lights, sound and energy, audience and band.

Moonsorrow (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Tormentor then ended Steelfest 2018 in front of a cheering crowd, whipping up a furious performance with their fast guitar tunes. What a festival weekend once again!

Tormentor (Photo by Marco Manzi)

Check out the full photo gallery by Marco Manzi.

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