Live Report - Sauna Open Air Metal Festival 2007 - Tampere
Live Gig

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Aleksie

Three days of metallic delight in the heart of Finland. Should be a mosh-tastic time! Our frozen poser of funky rocking went on the site to investigate and report.

Thursday 7.6.

The festivities were kicked off by one of the heartiest folk metal-collectives in Finland, Korpiklaani, who mixed up their metal and humppa in skilled ways that were impossible to resist. A merry jig was required material when listening to their ultimate form of dance music. The players clearly enjoyed themselves on stage as the summer sun scorched the field with plentiful light. The guitars blended in well with the accordion and electric violin, and no one from the better side of puritans was left cold. The couple of slices that they played off the new Tervaskanto-album were very convincing in their grandiose celebratory feeling. Add to this the fact that the band has a mighty hit like Happy Little Boozer to throw in as the final song, and I can only urge anyone to go and see Korpiklaani live.

Pain Confessor was in tight and fine form on the heels of their new record, Purgatory Of The Second Sun. My countrymen kept it tight, brutal and heavy, although lightened it up appropriately in the between-song-banter. The new material was great live and favourites from their debut album like Fiery Thorns and Lake Of Regret sealed the moshing deal.

The cream of the seriously rising crop of Finnish metal is well represented by Stam1na. Technical, brutal yet hook-filled material combined with an insanely energetic and mobile live show make for a deserved success. The band’s “Lehmipojat Lemiltä”-backdrop sheet (Cowboys From Lemi) with pictures above the text of the four band members twisting horghable faces was a marvellous tribute to arguably the greatest band ever to come out of Texas. Guitarist/vocalist Hyrde Hyyrynen is seriously starting to grow on a Lemmy/Hetfield-type handlebar’tache. What is the meaning of this?
Their set itself was full of burning riffage, bouncing and twisting with dangerously many close-call impacts between band members. The crowd that chanted the bands name before the show went totally bananas. Paha Arkkitehti (Evil Architect) ripped Viisi Laukausta Päähän (Five Shots To The Head) with force and all the hits were heard as well. Tastes of the future were given in the form of a new song, Sokea Hullu (Blind Madman), a riveting, fast headbanger. If triviabuffs have linked Stam1na earlier to Strapping Young Lad, then this new song did nothing to discourage those link-ups. The song with its screaming, frantic pacing, and manic blast beats brought very strong vibes of Canada’s most unforgiving band. If we get a whole record of material like this song, I smell a strong AOTY-candidate for 2008. Due to the fact that Stam1na sings in Finnish, it isn’t likely they’ll be touring very much outside of Finland soon, but if you get the chance, absotively make it a priority to witness them live.

I missed Megadeth at this very same festival two years ago because I was serving my national duty in the armed forces. I finally got a chance to repair this bummer, and it was definitely a good time for it. Dave Mustaine had said in an interview earlier in the day that today’s show would put their performance two years back in shame and I would have to seriously believe that.
The group of Mustaine, James Lomenzo and the Drover brothers has seriously gelled on tour. The riffs were furiously crisp and even the ridiculously challenging thrash anthems with their solo battles, like Hangar 18 and Tornado Of Souls, were plowed through with precision and strength.

Dave’s voice has worn off the sharpest edges of rage, but the sarcastic assholishness of his singing is still powerfully intact as the man spews forth his propaganda on war and politics. Add to all this that ‘Deth is touring in support of their strongest album in a decade, maybe even 15 years, and you had a hell of a show. Songs were evenly picked from all points of the band’s history. OK, I think Risk and The World Needs A Hero were omitted, but I didn’t really mind.
From the new tracks, especially Gears Of War and Washington Is Next meld in beautifully with the classics. As a history-enthusiast that despises the mere idea of Reaganomics, I would say my favourite part in the show was during Peace Sells, when the band made quick stops in the song so the audience alone could shout out: ”If there’s a new way/I’ll be the first in line/But it better work this time!” Further affirmation to me that Peace Sells is one of the finest metal songs in history, both musically and lyrically. Sometimes I feel like they could put a price on peace.

Friday 8.6.

Friday was a bit slower to start up. I missed the sets of Entwine and Thunderstone, because the delicious tacoplatter of Pancho Villa (an excellent texmex-restaurant in Tampere, highly recommendable for tourists) contained more interest to me.

Kotipelto – in broader terms Strato -front man Timo Kotipelto along with a band of some of the most killer virtuosos our country can offer, including bassmaster Lauri Porra and keyboard-Bodomite Janne Wirman – gave a 101-type lesson in quality basic metal with rich melodies and a fist-pumping feeling all around. Timo’s voice was in top form and the light rain that began to drip at the end of their set didn’t slow the band or the enthusiastic audience one bit. The new album, Serenity, was the biggest building block of the setlist, with the fast rocker Once Upon A Time really getting my blood flowing strong. Must shamelessly again mention Mr. Porra, who is an absolute beast on bass!

Like I mentioned, at this point there was light rain, which very soon turned into a torrential downpour. What caused this moment of moisture during the otherwise very hot and sunny weekend? I make a bold guess that the next artist, Dimmu Borgir, had something supernatural to do with it. The rain was quite possibly the result for Jesus crying. Whether it was because of the band’s ideology or music, no one can tell.
Despite the rain, or maybe because of the atmospherical element given by it, Dimmu was in quite entertaining form, much more so than at Tuska ´05, where I was a bit bored on their set. The sky was dark and Galder maintained his hilarious reputation for making more varied yet amusing facial expressions than Jim Carrey does in his craziest comedies. Mustis grimaced in a stoic trvv-manner behind the keys and gave the mightiest songs like The Serpentine Offering and the everloving Mourning Palace a fitting background. It was of course also a treat to witness Hellhammer live. He made his raging bass drum-flurries and tasty fills seem so easy on the outside. You also have to love a band that keeps alive the horghable tradition of spiked hockey goalie-shin guards.

I mainly checked on Poisonblack to catch some nifty photos for the festival collection. The band did as little for me on stage as they do on record. The model case of mediocrity, both in style of music and performance. The next act gave me at least a hope of more entertainment-value in their set.

Type O Negative hit the stage with minor problems on Peter Steele’s end of the game as his bass was malfunctioning and he had to change it. After slight hiccups the band began to gel nicely and Profit Of Doom from the new record was blasted with fierce grandeur. Many people ragged on Steele’s shoddy playing style and happy-go-lucky phrasing while singing, but that’s how I’ve always seen him perform - on DVDs as well. The band showed great spirit in pulling a couple of hardcore fans equipped with giant Type O-flags on the stage to wave their stuff during the entire show.
At the end of the day, Black #1 pulled out the juices left in the vocal crowds.

Saturday 9.6.

Saturday was also delayed because of hunger-related issues, and unfortunately this caused me to miss Leverage’s gig. As I arrived, the gig of the most recent winner of the Finnish edition of the Idol-format, Ari Koivunen & band, had just started. Those of you frequenting Blabbermouth have probably seen some videos of the guy performing in the TV-show. Yes, he did indeed win by singing mostly melodic metal, like Iron Maiden and Sonata Arctica, with an occasional Billy Joel thrown in.
He definitely seems to need more actual shows under his belt, because he seemed very tense. His singing was fine and the band played tightly, although their moods seemed to vary. The lead guitarist smiled broadly while soloing madly, whereas the bass player was either tightly concentrating on every note or bored out of his skull. My guess is he was playing very simple lines, seriously under his skills.

Sonata Arctica conquered the main stage on the rise of their new, very peculiar Unia-album. I personally like the quirky album more than any of their other works after Silence. Of course we heard and moshed heartily to Black Sheep and Full Moon, but new tunes like For The Sake Of Revenge and It Won’t Fade worked well too, despite their shady nature. Tony Kakko’s pronunciation still makes me horgh at regular intervals, but his notes were dead on. Elias Viljanen, who is filling in on guitar for the temporarily absent Jani Liimatainen, sweep picked like crazy and handled the string duties very well.

On the second stage, the mood was brought very down, intentionally so, as Swallow The Sun took the moment to spread their very infectious brand of doom metal to the masses. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of doom, but STS spices it up with just enough speed to keep the whole thing from turning terribly boring and repetitive.
A very different yet just as exhilarating performance was given by the mighty melodic death squadron known as Dark Tranquillity. The new songs from Fiction fit right into the mix and older tracks like Punish My Heaven absolutely slayed and maimed. But all this was eclipsed by the greatness of Black Sabbath.

Feel free to call it Heaven & Hell for promotional purposes if you wish. To me, the entity formed by Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice is just as much Black Sabbath as the original quartet with Osbourne and Ward. Names didn’t affect the fact that once Iommi hit the first power chord on his SG, I was floored – rammed next to the security wall in front of the photo pit from sheer power of volume and aura. The man clearly enjoyed the show, as he was all smiles for most of the crushingly heavy set. I don’t care for statistics on how many years Dio has on his meter, he rocked! His voice was in magnificent form and his presence was matched by his energetic prowling and horn-pointing around the big stage.
When the setlist was comprised of classics from Mob Rules to Sign Of The Southern Cross and Neon Knights, the crowd was rabidly mesmerized. When most of the riffs to Heaven And Hell were sung along perfectly by the crowd as they were being played, a defining peak was met that closed the festival with brilliant fashion.

Overall, as the three-day jaunt ended on a definite high note, the Sauna Open Air Metal Festival ´07 was a very enjoyable experience. The Eteläpuisto (shortly translated to South Park, harhar) is a very good place to hold a festival of this size, which takes about a maximum of 10.000 visitors per day. Located right in the centre of Tampere, it is very easy to get to and many hotels are located within a walking distance. The grounds housed a fair amount of merchandise booths and an adequate selection of different types of food stands. I would have liked a few more baja toilets to prevent the lines that were formed at peak hours, and an area with thousands of metalheads could have definitely used more then one spot that had faucets for drinkable water, but otherwise the organisation worked beautifully. The level of performers has risen each year since the festival’s first year in 2004 and it is definitely beginning to match the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival by these standards. Held annually around the 8th of June in Tampere, depending on the specific dates, I recommend the festival to all comers inside and outside of Finland, especially those of the metal persuasion.

Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted
Other albums by Live Report that we have reviewed:
Live Report - Mgla, Lvcifyre, Wode - 15th March 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Pestilence, Grimaze, Damim, Cryptic Shift - 23rd February 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - King Crimson - Uncertain Times Tour - 9th November 2018 - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Voivod & Bio-Cancer - 6th October 2018 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Xandria, Kobra and The Lotus, Once Human and Bullet To The Heart reviewed by Joel and quoted No Score
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