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HELSINKI METAL MEETING 2010 - Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki, 18.-20.02.2010

Gallery links: Alexi Laiho | Amatory | Amorphis | Apocalyptica |
Doom Unit | Awards | Hypocrisy | Insomnium | Marco Hietala | Satyricon |
Survivors Zero | Swallow The Sun | V For Violence | Winterborn

… previously known as Finnish Metal Expo. Call it all you want, but for two days in February it was the place to be for all heavy music lovers and industry people. The biggest disadvantage of FME is the event being held in winter and indoors. As much as we miss that summer-festival-euphoria during the year, this winter was even more unbearable than before (-20 C at night). Yet nothing could stop us from going there, so we wrapped ourselves in furs, hopped our polar bears and rode to Kaapelitehdas (The Cable Factory) to join the crowd of 5000 invading the factory during these two days.

alexi laiho cob
Originally Helsinki Metal Meeting started on Thursday 18th of February with the so-called Industry Day, when the industry’s high-hats gather around the table in an attempt to solve the music world’s most sore subjects. However, as the record sales are still going down, the printed media is about to print its own obituary and bands like Tokio Hotel are still out there – it is clear that all the benevolent intentions reached their climax with the usual “beer for everyone!”. After that it was time to go to Nosturi, where the nobles got mixed with your mere mortals to watch Armour, Barren Earth and Finntroll (as the cherry on top of the cake) officially give a start to the winter’s biggest all-together boozing and headbanging hangaround which is FME.

That’s where we will drop the curtain to lift it up for you the next day, Friday February 19th at Kaapelitehdas and the first day of the grand Helsinki Metal Meeting. All the major labels, agencies, festivals, music-shops, venues and magazines were presented at the exhibition area. People were going around with bags filled with cheap/free cds and posters, which record labels were gratefully giving out from their booths. The line up for the upcoming Tuska festival was announced that day and for now absolutely pwned the rest. Let’s hope other festivals still have some aces up their sleeves.

The show time started unlawfully early with Tuomas Saukkonen and Kai Hahto song clinic, followed by Korpiklaani’s 1-hour set on the main stage. marco hietala
With all the respect to the guys and the band, it was impossible for us to arrive that early. We managed to catch Amatory’s 30-min set and survived through about 1/3 of it. I can see why they are so popular in Russia; I can’t see what they can possibly show in Finland. At 19.30 there was Marco Hietala Experience at Musamaailma stage. “Definitely worthy of checking out” – thought a great bunch of people and completely packed the small area. Yours truly had nothing else to do than get stuck at King Foo Entertainment booth, expressing her doubts about the quality of Nightwish condoms that seemed to have quite a high demand that evening. Tacky.

swallow the sun
The rest of the time was dedicated to bands-I-bet-you-never-heard-of, the likes of Doom Unit, Rage My Bitch and V For Violence. Check them out if you feel like listening to something new, yet I do not guarantee the quality. At 22.00 finally it was time for Hypocrisy to enter the main stage. Now we’re talking! Peter Tägtgren smashed, crashed and mercilessly slain the crowd. It was high-class, 5-star pure death metal, the kind that leaves the taste of steel on your tongue. Hypocrisy don’t need any technical gimmickry to their performance: just the appropriate light for this atmosphere, the band, the mosh and the music that leaves you scraping your brains off the wall. Norwegian guests Satyricon couldn’t help being fashionably late. They’re probably the only black metal band that you can use the word “fashionable” with; just take one look at Satyr. But we don’t judge by the looks in the metal world, right? I managed to go through about ¼ of this notorious black metal performance and receded to the press area. Nothing negative towards the band, they are huge, but “it’s not you, we’re just not meant to be”. At the point when all I dreamed of was my blanket, came the grand finale of the first day – Amorphis. After seeing this band for an endless amount of times, they still manage to bring a huge smile of happiness on my face and blow me away with their music. They are never boring and always manage to take over the crowd. Unfortunately due to the late hour a lot of people had to leave to catch the last transportation home.


Saturday, February 20th, day 2 or in other words “somebody shoot me”. As much as I wanted to see Turmion Kätilöt who also started painfully early, I couldn’t make it. Judging by reports and pictures I have seen, the band shook the main stage and gained new fans among the people who haven’t seen them before. If you also missed them, try to make up for it the next time. We arrived closer to the end of Insomnium’s 30 min-set and just in time to catch Finnish Metal Awards. The results were the following:

Band of The Year – Insomnium

Record of The Year – Insomnium “Across The Dark”

Vocalist of The Year – Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis)

Cover Art of The Year – Amorphis “Skyforger” (by Travis Smith)

Newcomer of The Year – FM2000

Demo Band of The Year – Ghoul Patrol

Congratulations to the winners, yet I would say that there are more bands in Finland except for Amorphis and Insomnium, whose achievements during the past year should’ve gotten more recognition. survivors zero
Once all the trophy-giveaway and “thank you mom/God/producer”-speeches were over, it was time for Survivors Zero to hit the stage. Now that’s a band I would recommend you to listen or even better – check out live, because they rule. With Wilska (ex- Finntroll) on bass and Tommi “Rotten” Virranta (ex-Deathchain) on vocals they don’t really rediscover the wheel of death metal, they just grab your soul and shake it. perttu kiivilakso apocalyptica
The next in line were Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari of Amorphis interview, Winterborn, Leverage, Swallow the Sun performances and Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) interview. Stay tuned for more.

Around 11 o’clock in the evening it was time for the Finnish cello-masters Apocalyptica to go out on the main stage and make the audience realize once again that this band is one of a kind. There is no such word in English language, which wouldn’t get censored, to fully comprehend the indescribable awesomeness that is Apocalyptica live. I guess, people, whose ears like it more rough, wouldn’t share my opinion, but those who can appreciate the true beauty of me-lo-dy surely know what I am talking about. No time or energy was left for Sonata Arctica, who was the last band to play, so I wish them well and hope you enjoyed their performance.

As we hopped our polar bears and rode home, Helsinki Metal Meeting 2010 was over. We went through a proper warm up for the summer festivals and came out totally prepared. Now it’s only a matter of time and patience. Look out for FME 2011 and stay metal!

Report: Tanja C. | Pictures: Jana Blomqvist

You may not copy, modify or use this interview/report anywhere without permission.

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