Hammer Open Air 2013
Finland has a lot of metal festivals trough the year, but for many die-hard enthusiast Hammer Open Air is the only one worth showing up. Festival is organized by Kold Reso Kvlt and this is the fourth time the Hammer has been raised. For the second time place has been in Mannin navetta (Barn of Mann) which is in county of Lieto, location is 20 minutes away from Turku. From Turku to Hammer there where festival-busses going constantly which made life a lot easier for many festival goers. Hammer is restricted to adults only, which is why people can enjoy their beverages everywhere in the festival area. This of course leaves out the young audience but it makes it even more enjoyable for the crowd.
Finnish Jumalation started the festival at 13:30. I missed the show, but was there to witness performance of Horna. For this gig the band had recruited their old vocalist Werewolf (Satanic Warmaster, Armour..). The band has been active for 20 years and are about to release their eight album. The show started with a classic track from their first album Örkkivuorilta, which got the audience going wild. Rest of the set had a lot of older material. As Horna ascended to darkness at Kvlt stage Cataleptic rose up to Metallihelvetti stage. This Finnish band started their set with a faster beat death metal song, but after that the pace went slower for the doom metal songs. Fourth Finnish band in a row was Funerary Bell at the Kvlt stage. This black metal band has released one full length album The Coven in 2011. It was unknown to me, but their songs were solid. The performance of the singer was the only negative part of the show. Luckily he changed from beer to water at the start of the show, but it did’t save the day. His acting appeared childish in a very clumsy way. Which was a shame compared to the performance of rest of the band.
Swedish trio Kill gave an energetic performance with their blackened trash. In the middle part of the show they invited an singer on the stage. The name of this young vocalist remained an mystery for me, but the song did’t. The band played did a cover song of Impaled Nazarenes classic Total War – Winter War. Which was fast and cruel, as it should be.
During the set of German Morrigan was the some rain, but it did’t bother the fans of the band. Rest of the crowd could escape the rain in the 2 beer tents set up at the back of the area. The rain seemed to bring more life in to the crowd as Finnish Deathchain started their set. Vocalist K.J. Chaos reminded the audience of their brief existence on this planet by asking are you living or just alive? Which resulted to the first proper mosh pit-action of the festival. Highlight of the set was a furious cover song of Sacrifice dedicated to Quorthon. As the vocalist declared, if you don’t know what that song is, you should stay out of Hammer Open Air!
Back at the Kvlt stage Stormheit started their set. This band is a part of Pagan Front and is Finnish and seemingly proud of it. The crowd seemed to be pleased with the act and sang along with tracks like “Suuri Suomen kansa” (The great people of Finland). The singer joked about the difficulty of remembering his own lyrics, which are somewhat based on the poems of Eino Leino, a great finnish poet.
Revving up the speed was Sacrilegious Impalement from Finland. Their black metal act was good, but only a shadow of what was about to happen next. You could sense the anticipation of the crowd as we waited the sermon of Gorgoroth to begin. The band had recruited Hoest from Taake to be the vocalist so the expectations were high. For me and many others Ghaal is the one and only vocalist of Gorgoroth, but Hoest made me think twice. The band gave an great performance pouring with dark energy. Hoest seemed to be literally possessed and passing on this curse to the crowd. The set was filled of great older songs of the band and it proved once and for all that Gorgoroth is alive an unwell! After this furious performance I had to rest for a while. I watched Dead Congregation from a distance. This highly appreciated Greek band gave an good solid performance, but at his point I would have chosen something a bit more different than a death metal act. After this was the time of last act of the day. Candlemass started their show at 22:25 in a cool summer evening. The crowd was eager and willing to accept the mass. The 29 year old legend had a lot of spirit left.
Click HERE for Day 2 report