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Waltari Celebrates 25 Years of Music at Nosturi, Helsinki: Featured Musicans from Barren Earth, Amberian Dawn and Apocalyptica and More

Photo of Swallow The Sun

Band Photo: Swallow The Sun (?)

Finnish metal band Waltari recently celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band. Formed in 1986, they’ve become known in their careers as a band that excels at combining different styles of music, especially creating diverse and refreshingly open minded variations within rock and metal. So it was only natural that at their anniversary show at Nosturi in Helsinki, some of the areas diverse quantity of musicians within the Finnish musical community (and a few other from other areas! ) would be taking the stage to perform with these heroes of rock.

First up to take the stage was Lord Bishop of Lord Bishop Rocks. I cannot stress the diversity of this show enough, especially in the case of getting to hear this upbeat 70’s influenced rock. The charismatic Lord Bishop played well with the musicians of Waltari, and the effect was an intro to the night that spoke purely of the good times ahead.

Waltari was on the stage throughout the whole evening and the swapping out of musicians only enhanced the full experience. Frontman Kärtsy Hatakka is clearly a man comfortable in any situation, an artist who certainly takes his work seriously, but who also looks like he is having the time of his life on stage every single time. Waltari was on stage a total of four hours, only changing musicians every couple of songs. One of my favorite performances was “Shaman”, it was one of those high energy pieces with vocals that soar to levels you might not expect.

Next up with Waltari was Helsinki’s own Barren Earth. Mikko Kotämaki (Swallow the Sun and Barren Earth), Sami Yli-Sirniö (Waltari, Kreator and Barren Earth) and Olli-Pekka Laine performed a Waltari song called “Curiosity”. This only confirmed my firm belief that Mikko Kotämäki is another one of those musicians that puts his heart into every performance. Sami and Olli-Pekka are two more such people, and this was a performance that went from being stirring, to epic in the space of one warlike drumbeat. Not to be forgotten are the keyboard work combined with the chants and drums left one with goosebumps and wondering where five minutes went.

Kimmo Korhonen of Solacide and Amberian Dawn took the stage with Waltari next. This performance included two more Waltari songs, “Move” and “Sign” . Kimmo was featured on guitars, and providing additional vocals at times that enhanced the overall experience of the songs. These were songs where Kärtsy and Kimmo worked so well together, and both musicians had their talents showcased. Kärtsy Hatakka’s vocasls went from sounding cynical and bitter, to soaring and questioning. Waltari writes music that is meant to be seen live, and this is yet another example of that fact. Kimmo Korhonen is an excellent guitarist, and his commanding stage presence works well with the confidence of the other Waltari musicians. Guitar solos that soared fast and high with Kärtsy's voice was an experience that was one of the highlights of the night.

The last performance I saw of the night was one I had been waiting for with bated breath. Apocalytpica took the stage with Waltari for two songs. Three cellos and the musicians of Waltari was an experience that should be repeated again, and again. The combination was intense; cello/guitar faceoffs, headbanging musicnas and a darkly epic vibe that reigned during this set. During the performance of “I’m not Jesus” Kärtsy threw himself on the stage in front of Apocalyptica, as if conducting an orchestra gone completely mad.

For me at least this was the end of the night. A student's work is never done, and at well past midnight, my alarm clock was calling me to come home.

This was a show that you don’t necessarily have to rely on my words to experience! Waltari’s 25th anniversary album and Book are available for interested buyers on the site. Check their website here.

Photos will be posted soon, but for now, Cheers to Waltari, and Cheers to 25 more years of music!

WandererOfKalevala's avatar

Rachel Roth has studied classical music and folk music at the University level, and enjoys studying Folklore in her spare time. She is an avid metal and folk music fan lucky enough to be living in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, she has expanded her love of music to include photography and freelance writing. You can see more of her photography here or at liliumphotography.com.

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