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Finnish Metal Expo 2012 Day Two and Finnish Metal Awards: Helsinki, Finland

Photo of Stam1na

Band Photo: Stam1na (?)

With some after parties of legendary proportions at one of Helsinki’s many metal bars, I have to admit waking up was not so easy Saturday morning. And then I remembered it was day two of the expo, and went on my merry way back downtown. Day two of the expo would ring in the Finnish metal awards as well as many more bands, with the headliners today being Stam1na and Turisas.

Opening up rather early, at 3:30 pm was Swedish progressive metal band Evergrey. With a set list featuring a lot of material off of their latest release “Glorious Collision”, these guys started the day off on a dark yet wondrous note. It seems a lot of people were turned off by the early start time, as the audience was much smaller then I would have expected for an Evergrey show. Still, the guys gave it their all, and treated us with an enthusiastic opening performance.

Next up was Finnish metal band Pressure Points. Due to a rather tight schedule for the day, I only caught the first few songs of the set for photos, and then it was off to check out Ghoul Patrol.
After having seen Ghoul Patrol early fall last year, I was pretty excited to catch them again. With their unique self proclaimed “Death and Roll” style, they always have the makings for a great show. However, despite a strong start, their guitarist appeared to have had some technical difficulties. This didn’t deter the band too much, and they admirably kept going. The audience was enthusiastically supporting the band, and all in all Ghoul Patrol played a strong set.

Then it was back to the smaller stage, where For the Imperium was playing. This was a rather unique act, that in some ways is a bit hard to describe. They are a very diverse musical act, that can go from being catchy and riffy one minute to melodic and epic the next.

After some having some technical difficulties of my own, I missed the next couple of sets but made it back in time for this years Finnish Metal Awards! Or perhaps it is more proper to say the Turisas awards? After a busy year last year after following the release of “Stand up and Fight”, some lineup changes, a two month European tour, now with a North American tour on the horizon, I’m rather impressed that they found the time to breathe yet alone win four (almost five!) awards. These guys have proven time and time again that hard work and dedication pay off. Here are the results from the awards.

BAND OF THE YEAR 2011:
01. Turisas
02. Insomnium

ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2011:
01. Turisas - Stand Up And Fight
02. Insomnium - One For Sorrow

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR 2011:
01. Mathias "Warlord" Nygård (Turisas)
02. Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis)

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 2011:
1. Tuomas Saukkonen (guitar/drums/keys, Before The Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, RoutaSielu)
2. Olli Vänskä (violin, Turisas)

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
1. Constantine
2. Routasielu

DEMO / SELF-RELEASE OF THE YEAR 2011:
1. Artificial Heart - Broken Bones & Buried Dreams
2. Nerve End – Axis

ALBUM ARTWORK OF THE YEAR 2011:
01. Turisas - Stand Up And Fight
02. Insomnium - One For Sorrow

The next set I caught was the conquering heroes of the FMA’s themselves: Turisas. Something that truly stands out in this performance, is the power they seem to wield over an audience that appears to have lost their minds as Turisas take the stage. In the front row are dedicated fans who have painted their faces red and black, and are ready to fight to the death for the coveted spots near the stage. The energy in this set is truly amazing, and the band truly lives up to each and every award they won during the FMA’s. I’ve often heard claims that perhaps these musicians take themselves too seriously, but smiling artists on stage kind of contradicts this statement. The energy on stage was contagious, and this was a performance that the audience, as well as the musicians threw themselves into. Turisa’s played a powerful set worthy of the hordes of people who showed up to support them this day.

Closing a very hectic but fun two days was another Finnish band, Stam1na. This was another act I had not heard before and I was really confused at first; as the music could be considered progressive metal and yet the musicians were wearing kilts which really connotes more of a folk metal feel. I stopped caring pretty quickly and just let myself enjoy the upbeat driven music. Stam1na played a fantastic set, which was received enthusiastically by a happy audience.

The weekend closed on a high note, and with one last stop at the fireball whiskey stand, I was on my way to one of the many after parties in the area. It seems even after a weekend of metal and good times; Finns just can’t get enough and so they journey on to where the music is loud, and the drinks flow freely. I for one am happy to join, and really can’t wait to see what next year’s Finnish Metal Expo brings! Check back for Photos soon and Read the full report from day one here!

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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