finnish metal

At the Gates, Rotten Sound @ Nosturi (Helsinki), 22 Nov 2014

At War with Reality live. Who could pass up this opportunity? Well, not me. Especially with the chance to watch some of it through the lens. At the Gates showed in their recent Helsinki gig that no matter how long a great band takes between albums, that what you get live will have as much raw passion as the original crowd favourites. The night was accented by Rotten Sound's aggressively brilliant opening set.

The Black Dahlia Murder, Nerve End @ Tavastia Klubi (Helsinki), 20 Nov 2014

The Black Dahlia Murder teamed up with Finland's Nerve End to bring an onslaught of midweek Extreme and Melodic Death Metal to Helsinki's Tavastia Club. With a crowd of loyal locals, and special guest 'Rocky', Nerve End set the mood high and heavy hitting. The Black Dahlia Murder whipped the crowd into a circle pit frenzy. With no crowd barrier, Trevor Strnad reached straight into the front row to shake hands, and this photographer had to stay light on her feet to avoid moshing Finns.

Moonsorrow, Crimfall, Virgin Oil Co,.Helsinki, 13/09/14

Moonsorrow have come from a garage in Pukinmäki, to a worldwide fan base and even an Australian tour. They were one of the Finnish Folk bands that built up their country's reputation. They're even in a museum in Hungary. But they hadn't played a home crowd in two years when they headed back to the Virgin Oil Co in Helsinki.

Epic. Mind-blowing. Ineffable.

Moonsorrow, Crimfall @ Virgin Oil Co. (Helsinki), 13 Sep 2014

For the first time since 2012, Moonsorrow played their home crowd in Helsinki and days later words are still failing me when I attempt to describe the night. The longest set ever, fans from all over the world, and the long brilliance of Tulimyrsky. 1065: Aika was played for the first time in Finland. It was also the first time a lot of people saw Crimfall live with their new female vocalist, Sara Strömmer.

Nummirock - Day Three, June 21st 2014, Nummijärvi, Kauhajoki, Finland

Nummirock is held over the crucial Finnish Juhannas holiday. Metalheads from all over head to the serene lakeside venue to set up camp and cry havoc for the long weekend. The last day of the festival swept in cold and damp, but that didn't deter the thousands from drinking and live music! It had our photographer hiding in the warmer drinking areas, but we've got live shots from Stone, Turisas, Turmion Kätilöt, W.A.S.P., Whispered, Suicide Silence and Tuoni!

Nummirock - Day One, June 19th 2014, Nummijärvi, Kauhajoki, Finland

Nummirock is held over the crucial Finnish Juhannas holiday. Metalheads from all over head to the serene lakeside venue to set up camp and cry havoc for the long weekend. It's bugs, beer and bonfires. It's sauna with new friends, sauna with old friends and naked drunks wandering the campsites. It's moshpits, metal and most importantly, it's Midsummer. The opening evening was filled with Deals Death (SWE), Profane Omen (FIN), Speedtrap (FIN) and Kaunis Kuolematon (FIN).

Steelfest Open Air - Day Two, May 17th, Hyvinkää, Finland

Steelfest Open Air 2014 dragged it's hungover crowd out of bed for a second day of black, thrash and death metal in Hyvinkää, Finland. With coffee and Jaloviina, Steelfest woke the summer festival season and hauled it kicking and screaming back into the mosh pit for another year. Day Two was headlined by Primordial (IRL), Vader (POL) and Necrophobic (SWE)

Steelfest Open Air - Day One, May 16th, Hyvinkää, Finland

Steelfest Open Air 2014 launched with a barrage of black, thrash and death metal in Hyvinkää, Finland. Kicking the summer festival season awake and pouring the first glugs of cheap Finnish beer down it's throat, Steelfest showcases local and international acts heavy on the leather and spikes. Day One was headlined by Inquisition (USA), Deströyer 666 (AUS/NED) and Nifelheim (SWE)

Steelfest Open Air, Hyvinkää, 16/05/14-17/05/14

Steelfest Open-Air opens up the summer festival season in Finland with a full aural assault. It's two days of live metal, drinking and catching up with friends for a festival that's big enough to have great headlining bands, but small enough not to need a map to get around.

Two days after Steelfest Open Air 2014 wrapped, I still had some friends suffering valiantly from hangovers.

Insomnium, Shear and Kuolemanlaakso - The Circus, Helsinki, 10/05/14

Insomnium launched their new album Shadows of the Dying Sun to the Helsinki audience, filling the venue with the harmonious echoes of their Finnish melodic death metal to culminate in their "best show ever". Opening for them was melancholy death-doom act Kuolemanlaakso, and the melodic power metal of Shear.