24.6.2022 Nummirock – Day 3 @ Kauhajoki, Nummijärvi

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If Tuska Festival is the festival everyone loves in town, Nummirock is the favorite of all metalheads who want to get out of the city for their midsummer festivities. Taking place at the traditional location at Kauhajoki, like many other festivals, Nummirock was put on hold for a few years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Well, festivalgoers rejoiced, for the campsite lit up again in 2022, with wild and crazy metalheads of all sorts joining for bands like METSATÖLL, ALIEN WEAPONRY, GORGOROTH, and APOCALYPTICA. The festival started already on Wednesday June 23rd, 2022, with GORGOROTH headlining Friday night.

The weekend approached us, as did the third day of the festival, with even more acts of interest to draw us out of the campsite. A few of us turned up for Rock-Jooga, though it turned out somewhat disappointingly to be heavy on the rock and light on the yoga. However, that did mean that we were awake bright and early to go check out FEAR OF DOMINATION down by the lake. Naturally made for the stage and somehow surviving their new masks, these guys also got the chance to show off their new vocalist, Jessica Salmi, who has not had nearly enough opportunities to show us what she’s got yet. We were pretty excited to see that she’s able to do anything that her predecessors (such as Sara Strömmer) could do, without sounding like a clone or a knock-off. Her growls sounded really strong, though it was a bit hard to hear her cleans at times, which was a bit of a shame. They managed to actively stimulate the groggy crowd into dancing about and conga-lining around, and we even saw a dude fly spread-eagled off one of the wooden fences, frolicking with pure joy. The show included great live tracks like “Sick and Beautiful” and “Face of Pain,” and they knew that it’s important to be cheeky as fuck at Nummirock, so they obviously closed their set with “The Bad Touch” (a cover of THE BLOODHOUND GANG). These guys have been around for what feels like forever, and we can only imagine how hard it was for them to stay off the stages these last few years. Hopefully they can stay up there where they belong again, indefinitely.

Fear of Domination @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

We know HUORA to be a pretty strong live band, as they’ve got a lot of great energy to spread, but they were perhaps poorly suited for the big stage in such an early slot, as they would’ve benefited from more intimacy with the crowd. They put on an energetic and aggressive show, though we couldn’t name more songs than the opener, “Oispa kaljaa,” and the closer, “Kovia ja kiljua,” but they were still another strong band to start your day drinking too, one way or the other.

Huora @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

After seeing HUORA, we took a bit of a break in order to recharge, before returning to the main stage to see ENSIFERUM. Much like KORPIKLAANI before them, ENSIFERUM knows exactly what is expected of them at a festival like Nummirock: provide music for drunk people to go nuts to. This differs only slightly from one of their regular shows, and it seems they’re still on the promotional train for Thalassic,” which is totally fine because we’re still enjoying both the new songs and seeing Pekka Montin show off as he gets more and more comfortable in the band. On this occasion, for example, he was adding little vocal parts into the mix here and there, just for some extra flavor. They played quite a lot of new material, like “Rum, Women, Victory,” “The Defense of the Sampo,” “Run from the Crushing Tide,” and “For Sirens,” but the set also included bangers from more or less their entire discography, like “Token of Time,” “From Afar,” “In My Sword I Trust,” and some classic festival bangers to wrap up: “Lai Lai Hei” and “Iron.” Yes, indeed, ENSIFERUM knew what they duty was to this festival, and they surely delivered!

Ensiferum @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Sami Hinkkanen

The next act up of interest was BORKNAGAR, who were just coming out of the ass end of the blazing sun, making the beach stage into a welcoming shady spot during their set. Their sound was pretty clear and concise as we listened from afar, not knowing enough of their material to move up closer, nor being interested enough to do so as their style didn’t quite mix with our group this year.

Borknagar @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Sami Hinkkanen

There were a few odd and interesting bands scheduled for the tent stage, so we took a break during summer festival staple DIABLO in order to save ourselves up for PIKAKASSA. They opened up with a speech, rather than an intro, and then immediately put 100% of their energy into the crowd, which was returned full force. There were all sorts of mosh pits/walls of death for people to lose their shit in, as the band unleashed rapid-fire short songs about pretty much anything and everything, like wanting to kill all your friends, asking what the fuck you mom is doing, and saying that you can’t skate somewhere. Their energy was nigh violent, it was so intense, while their speeches between songs were brilliant. Ultimately, a very satisfying set if you’re into that sort of thing (which we are).

Pikakassa @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

If there was ever a festival that was willing to pick up stray bands that write music exclusively for drunks, it’s Nummirock. Not only were we blessed with the nonsense of PIKAKASSA, but not long after, we also got to (finally) experience GRILLIJONO K.O., who proved to be everything we could ever want them to be and more. It almost feels like bands like this exist solely to perform at Nummirock. Their sound seemed to bounce between a bit of everything, from moments of pure genius into ridiculous terribleness. Everything about them seemed just right for the time of day and stage setting, with small and rather gentle-looking circle pits and the band shouting “kalja” in acapella. If you were rather too many drinks into your evening, stopping by the tent for this show was surely worth your time!

Grillijono K.O. @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Sami Hinkkanen

Our last stop of the first day was to see GORGOROTH on the main stage. From the first notes of their gloomy and dramatic funeral march intro track, to the screeching final wails, these Norwegians proved that blood and Satan and death are all still very much alive, but are dying slowly and painfully, in a dank and looming way that only those covered in obscene amounts of spikes and corpse paint can deliver. By name, we only knew the song “Sorg,” yet they nevertheless impressed the hell out of us by looking so tortured and screaming in a way that only emphasized the atmosphere. Everything about their show was haunting, from the crucified plastic women in the backdrop, to the outfits and the way they moved – it was pure dedication to their unholy cause. The only way it could have been better would have been if the weather was as gloomy as their sound (though we’re not really complaining about good weather).

Gorgoroth @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

The evening began to wind down as the STEREO TERROR DJs took over the tent stage. If you still had any fuel left in you after the last few sets, it was likely due to black metal not being the moshiest music, so there was still something to drink to as you finished your last drinks of the night. One more day to go…

Stereo Terror @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

Written by Bear W. & Riku K.
Photos by Janne P. & Sami H.