25.6.2022 Nummirock – Day 4 @ 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 APOCALYPTICA closing out the final night.

The days were not getting longer anymore, yet the final day of Nummirock was no less long and intense than the ones that came before, as we had to be up bright and early to finally get to see SMACKBOUND on stage for the first time ever. However, we were up early enough to hit the good toilets and charge up some devices so early that we managed to hear the MIKKO ALATALO DUO in the tent stage from afar, playing what seemed to be tongue-in-cheek iskelmä. There’s always one slot at Nummirock dedicated to something quirky and undeniably Finnish, that would seem to any outsider to be completely out of place at the festival. In the past it has been bands like ELÄKELÄISET, STEVE ‘N’ SEAGULLS, MARTTI SERVO JA NAPANDER, and the like, but this year’s inclusion was quite amusing, even if we weren’t actively watching.

Mikko Alatalo Duo @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Sami Hinkkanen

Now, back to SMACKBOUND! Made up of Netta Laurenne and a few artists whom you may know from other bands like STRATOVARIUS and WINTERSUN, they really impressed us with their 2020 debut, 20/20,” and we as a magazine haven’t seen Netta performing since the last time the previous iteration of this band – their RUN FOR COVER cover band – was doing live shows in the festival circuit, and for us personally, this was our first time seeing either version of the band. We were pleased to see that their music sounded fresh and the performance was strong – Netta is one of those people who cleans up real nice and looks very proper, but then comes out on stage and lets absolutely fucking loose. It just goes to show that you don’t need jeans and leather to be metal as hell! Furthermore, the guitar and keyboard solos were tight, and they played all of their best songs, like “Hey Motherfuckers,” as well as keeping one of their old covers – “Walk” by PANTERA in the mix, and of course their first single, “Drive it Like You Stole It,” closed out their set.

Smackbound @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Sami Hinkkanen

Much the same as has been done in previous years at Nummirock and Tuska Festival, Saturday offered an opportunity for families to get tickets to bring their children to see HEVISAURUS. This coincided with the addition of further attractions for the younger but no-less-wild crowd, such as bouncy houses and some small carnival rides. The heavy dinosaurs and dragons came out and put on an absolutely spectacular performance of many of their best songs, like “Juranoid,” “Lisko Disko,” and of course, “Räyh,” though unfortunately there was no realistic way for them to play their best track, “100,” live for obvious reasons. The crowd was full of metalheads and families alike, so it was overwhelmingly heartwarming to see the gentle and sweet moshpits that were totally safe for people of literally any age, with metalheads happily bouncing gently with little ones. There were also conga lines that would absorb you if you cheered too hard as they passed you – we may have inadvertently been sucked into one of them completely by accident, but it was great fun!

Hevisaurus @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

IKINÄ really impressed us at their last show in Tampere, so a lot of the thrill of coming this weekend was holding out for their set on the tent stage on Saturday afternoon. Somehow, I really just love how the ladies look so nice in their outfits, yet if they took off their mesh, they’d look like they’re ready to go for a jog… it suits their music and style nicely. They were full of energy and revved up to go, putting on a pretty awesome set. Katariina Sorsa‘s growls are only getting better and better, but we still agreed that it’d be nicer if they would harmonize rather than singing the same lines together. The new music proves to be even more diverse than their earlier material, so it’s definitely fun to keep an eye on them whenever we get the chance!

Ikinä @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

We took a break at this point, in order to recharge for the evening’s acts, and if SEPULTURA comes all the way from Brazil to play for you, you have to check them out even if you don’t know their music. We didn’t fully go over to watch them, as their music is not really our style, but even from afar we were quite impressed with their sound and they seemed to be chatting a little bit with the crowd, which is always nice. While most of the music had hefty, thrashing parts, there were some really spectacular moments of great melody wafting from their stage that we were more than happy to enjoy with our food and drinks.

Sepultura @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

As we wandered around this afternoon after our swim, we decided to go to the beach, but had to pause by the stage as we saw something unusual: the band scheduled for that time, BLOOD RED THRONE, seemed for all intents and purposes to be a black metal band, yet there were only a couple of people on stage playing strange wailing hippy music. Well, it turns out BLOOD RED THRONE had to cancel last-minute, so a band that we hadn’t caught earlier, PLANT MY BONES had stepped in to take their place. These guys share a vocalist with the somewhat familiar STONED STATUES, so we were quite surprised to hear something a little different from Julie Toddler. In fact, her wild wails were part of the biggest draw of the set. We hope to see them around again soon and will definitely be checking out their music.

On the list of bands worth checking out even if you don’t really know them, is classic German power metal act HAMMERFALL. If you have never seen “Hearts on Fire” live, you have to remedy that if you get the chance, right? Well, we’re not hugely into power metal, but we did poke our heads out for the last few songs, with the hopes that they’d play the one song we knew. They played a few killer hits towards the end, like “Glory to the Brave” and “Hammer High,” with “Hearts on Fire” as the finale, and boy did it slap! It was definitely worth crawling out of our cave just to see the sheer cheesy power metal nonsense that these guys brought to the festival table. Good show!

Hammerfall @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

Personally, I’ve been missing out on all of LÄHIÖBOTOX‘s shows this summer, so Nummirock finally gave me the time and space to see what these guys are all about. As one of Finland’s most up-and-coming bands right now, we immediately figured out what the deal is, as they really killed it out there. Between their socio-political messages in the lyrics and the extremely well-thought-out speeches between songs, they felt extremely fresh and benefited from the intimate connection with the crowd. It was a perfect small-stage setting to see them for the first time and likely, if we had caught them with our Editor-in-Chief at NIGHTWISH‘s recent show, for example, we may not have been quite so blown away. Lucky us, we had a perfect chance to see them up close!

Lähiöbotox @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

Another classic Nummirock band is none other than TURMION KÄTILÖT, who show up here more years than they don’t. Always guaranteed to be some sort of ridiculous disco bonanza, it seemed like everyone at the festival came out for their set. The set was balanced between new material like “Kyntövuohi” and “Sanoo kun riittää,” as well as older favorites like “Teurastaja.” They unfortunately dropped my personal favorite, “Kirottujen karnevaali,” and we noted that there was something lacking in their performance when compared to Saku Solin‘s other band, FEAR OF DOMINATION, who are made for the stage, which in this case, the music wasn’t translating quite so well from the albums into the open air. Nevertheless, the crowd was all over the place!

Turmion Kätilöt @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

The festival’s final band to headline the mainstage was APOCALYPTICA, which was a bit of a surprise choice but not a terrible one. Their latest album, “Cell-0,” almost snuck past our radar last year, but managed to intrigue despite the low promotion. The show had an absolutely spectacular light show, which made it far more epic than it may have been. Immediately, they played some of our favorites, like my personal highlight, “Path,” but their usual guest vocalist showed up for three songs, making for a pleasant change-up. The set was pretty nicely selected and made for a strong, bombastic finish to the night.

Apocalyptica @ Nummirock 2022, (c) Janne Puronen

If you still had energy to mash, RATFACE was the last up on the beachside stage, with someone (we didn’t catch who) celebrating a birthday. Meanwhile, the STEREO TERROR DJs were back yet again in the tent stage, making sure that no one would have a single drop of energy left by the time they straggled out of the campsite the next day.

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