Organizing any event has its challenges but what organizers Metallihelvetti went through to make sure Turku Saatanalle VII did indeed happen must have felt like walking through a mine field. About one month before the festival was about to start when everyone’s excitement was slowly ramping up, the first and major bomb exploded: The venue Restaurant Kåren backed out and the festival was without home. One can imagine how difficult it is to find a new, suitable location on such short notice in the same town…but Metallihelvetti did it and the festival was moved to Logomo’s Logi3 venue close to the Turku railway station and in walking distance from the city center.
Then, a week before the festival, Trollheim’s Grott had to cancel their appearance due to health issues. A replacement was easily found in Horna who shares members with Trollheim’s Grott. By now, everyone was thinking that nothing could go wrong anymore, but someone must have forgotten to knock on wood because the morning of the first festival day on Friday, March 1 Metallihelvetti had to announce that highly anticipated Acheron, who also wanted to record their final show in Turku, wouldn’t make it to Finland due to flight cancellations. What a clusterfuck! But the festival organizers reacted with lightning speed, changed the schedules around to make Icelandic Auðn headliners and added two more bands, Deathkin and Perdition Winds, to the bill. Not only that, they were as fair as can be, offering a 20€ discount/refund for Friday tickets. Luckily, after all this, the festival went ahead smoothly, at least what I could tell from an attendee’s perspective.
The festival kicked off with Deathkin and Aegrus, while my own evening started with Perdition Winds. It took a second to adjust to festival mood and leave the work week behind, but the fast pace and high energy blasting off the stage that never lost its groove kick started that transition in the best way possible.
Deathkin (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Aegrus (Photo by Marco Manzi)
The evening rushed on with the band with the longest name of the festival: FILII NIGRANTIUM INFERNALIUM from Portugal. Guitarrist Cardeal Aborto XIII was familiar to me from Corpus Christii, so I was intrigued. The venue got a bit more packed and the crowd seemed to get into things a bit more, with even some headbanging happening in the front row. It took a bit for me to warm up to Filii N.I. but eventually it got me, starting with the hard rock vibes that were accompanied by high pitched screams.
FNI (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Next up was already Horna, the second to last band of the night. And what can one say about Horna that hasn’t already been said? They always deliver. And also this time, they sounded tight and the at the beginning slightly tinny vocal sounds improved so one could enjoy the full black metal storm Horna put on.
Horna (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Then it was time for some Icelandic goodness with Auðn who turned out to be my personal highlight of the night. Since having seen them last at Roadburn 2017, Auðn seem to have grown (up) quite a bit and their music just hit the right spot. Harsh, but emotionally charged, their music and performance was impossible to resist. They were casually ripping my soul apart, exposing, laying everything bare in the most enjoyable way, til I was silently begging for the music to devour me. The growls attacking like a wounded animal while the melodies wove beauty around its wounds, unleashing a storm as ever changing as Iceland’s weather. Leaving me raw, filled with sweetest despair and melancholy.
Auðn (Photo by Marco Manzi)
The sold out Saturday started with Morgal who did their usual thing, followed by Front who could already welcome quite a crowd from the stage that was decorated with piles of skulls and bones, including a pentagram sigil. The festival goers approached Front’s dirty sound with a mostly chilled vibe, watching nonetheless and digging it more throughout the set. After the first few songs, also the band seemed to wake up and get into it more and the show ended up being a serious ass whopping.
Morgal (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Front (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Sargeist's Profundus started setting the mood already before the gig began, making sure it was not only a visual and musical experience but also an olfactory one as the scent of incense begun wafting through Logi3. As the intro kicked in a few minutes ahead of schedule, the ritual had begun. Master of ceremonies and vocalist Profundus stared intensely into the crowd, pacing across the stage, almost as if he was daring, accusing them to not follow in this procession of purest black metal that he was leading from the stage. A fast, obscure and forceful wall of sound was rushing towards the audience, shape shifting into Lucifer’s welcoming and enticing embrace. The blast beats were pounding you until you thought you could not take it anymore only to dissolve into divine black metal melodies and slower parts. This sinister ambiance was broken up for a short instance as a single, golden confetti floated through the air over my head, glittering bright like a spark of fire – or was it a sign? Lucifer is the light bringer after all and this was his symphony.
Sargeist (Photo by Marco Manzi)
Also this evening was just flying by as there were only two bands left when Djevel from Norway took to the stage. A so called supergroup, compiled of members of some of my all time favs like Koldbrann, Enslaved, and Kvelertak it was no wonder that I fell hard and fast for them. The Norwegians just know how to do it. Faster and slower parts alternating, one could savor the sweet nectar that is black metal in its fullest. Especially the down tempo parts were seductive, inviting you to relish in them, wrap oneself in the bleak melancholy only to delve into the black abyss of khaos when the music gained momentum again. Djevel also delivered aesthetically, just as I want to experience my black metal live – fucking killer!
Djevel (Photo by Marco Manzi)
The excitement ahead of Revenge was palpable and it got crowded as was to be expected. For the first time that weekend the lights were actually bright on stage so you could even see drummer J.Read, and a proper lightshow accompanied the musical in-your-face brutality that Revenge created on stage. Sprinkle some guitar jerking off onto that and there was the recipe that got the musical taste buds of the audience cheering properly. No wonder, there were some real beasts in there. This vibe quickly translated into a moshpit, and the high intensity energy even managed to beat the tiredness out of me so I left another great Turku Satanalle edition recharged and content.
(Last but not least, also a shout out to the Logomo security staff who rescued my longsleeve that for some reasons didn't make it to Whiskey Bar with me on Friday night and that I was very happy to be reunited with on Saturday.)
Revenge (Photo by Marco Manzi)
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