27.10.2022 Come To Latin America Finalists @ On the Rocks, Helsinki

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If you follow the Finnish metal scene at all, chances are that you’ve heard about the Come to Latin America contest that was running throughout the summer. However, if you’ve been wondering what exactly this contest was, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Arranged and organized by Niina Fu and coordinated by Jules Naveri (SPIRITRAISER, ex-PROFANE OMEN), this contest aims to bring some of the artists from his homeland to the southwestern hemisphere. It’s a fairly well-known fact that most bands can’t afford to tour Latin America despite the demand, due to the sheer cost of getting there from Europe, meaning that the metalheads there almost exclusively gets the huge established names for events like Rock in Rio. As such, it’s vastly beneficial for bands to have a foot in the door down where it’s hard to make waves despite such hefty fanbases. Stay tuned for our brief interviews with both bands about the contest!

The winners of the contest, in case you’ve missed out on this whole deal, were WHERE’S MY BIBLE, with tough competition coming from LUNA KILLS and NOIRA. Of these acts, NOIRA was completely new to me, so I decided not to listen before the show in order to get a fresh perspective on them. Unfortunately, they had to cancel last-minute, so that was a bit of a bummer, so it seems I have to go listen to their music online after all.

LUNA KILLS, of course, released one of my favorite albums last year, and as they are from out of town, there aren’t as many opportunities to see them perform as we would hope, so they were one of the main pulls of the evening. Coming on stage to an intro, LUNA KILLS started out their set with the first song from “not to be bitter, but it helps,” “honey trap,” proving instantly that a Thursday evening is no time for slacking – holy shit, what energy! I could and would gladly listen to Lotta Ruutiainen wail into a mic all night, so it didn’t hurt that they followed up with one of my favorite tracks, “DEAD2ME,” before greeting the crowd. This continued with another certified banger, “bITTER sONGS cOME eASY,” and the crowd was a dismal disappointment – how on earth can anyone sit still to this music!? There were a few people bobbing around, but there should have been dancing and/or moshing. Come on, Finns! This is getting ridiculous!

They threw a newer single in there, “good guy,” to shake things up a bit before returning to “prove me wrong” from the newest album. This was followed by a band jam-out, which really showcased how talented everyone is, though one really has to give some credit to Samuli Paasineva for his fantastic riffing. How old are these guys again?!

Lotta continued to be charismatic and talkative in her moments chatting with the crowd, following with “hazy lines” and some more new tracks, “i’m here for the drama” and “BULLET,” which Lotta set up so she would sing the vocal melody and the crowd would follow with “you hit me like a bullet.” They then wrapped up with another big hit, “liar, liar,” in which Lotta jumped down to run around the crowd to dance and sing to people during the final track, which made for an explosive end to their set, definitely leaving us wanting a much longer set than their 40-minute allotment.

It comes as no surprise that WHERE’S MY BIBLE won the competition, as we’ve seen them making waves all throughout the summer festival scene, with the performances at Dark River Festival and Saarihelvetti having really impressed us. I swear, this band might actually lure me over to being able to say I like an extreme metal band for the first time. The screaming is intense and utterly brutal, while the clean vocals add melody and texture to the sound, balancing the dynamics and heaviness. The drumming is relentless without being annoying (re: thrashy), and the bass (and its player) didn’t hide in the shadows. It’s not hard to see why these guys were able to sweep the metal community by storm!

Brutal screams opened their show with “Chapter I: Escape,” while “Chapter III: Nest” begged for circle pits at certain parts. “Chapter II: Void” has magnificent deep growls and almost classic heavy metal guitar riffing, which works surprisingly well despite the heavy sound. Frankly, this track seemed like it had it all. Not to be upstaged by Lotta, vocalist Jussi Matilainen made sure to chat with the crowd a bit as well, before the fourth song entered dank and grungy black metal territory, but with a pleasant groove to it.

“Transcendence” was also announced after a bit of a chat with the crowd, and frankly, didn’t even sound like an extreme metal song until the unearthly vocals kicked in. This sound is so hard to pin down as it continuously keeps you on your toes, which is a rather intoxicating quality. No two songs sounded quite alike, yet all of the material had a distinctly unique sound to it that can only be described as the band’s own. Their set wrapped up with a song called “Wolf,” at least per the setlist, leaving us, like before, wanting more than their short set allowed for.

I hate to say that this was a truly fantastic night of surprisingly good sound from a known poor-sounding venue… with an astoundingly shitty crowd, even if they did start to move a little bit for WHERE’S MY BIBLE. Both artists on stage played too-short 40-minute sets and both bands put on spectacular shows with incredible style and energy. The fact that the crowd was so limp completely baffles me, and I will reiterate that I don’t even like extreme metal most of the time. Nevertheless, the Come to Latin America contest certainly picked some winners out of the local scene and here’s hoping they’re able to get the chance to perform over there sooner rather than later!

Written by Bear Wiseman

Luna Kills setlist

  1. honey trap
  2. DEAD2ME
  3. bITTER sONGS cOME eASY
  4. good guy
  5. prove me wrong
  6. jam session
  7. hazy lines
  8. i’m here for the drama
  9. BULLET
  10. liar, liar

Where’s My Bible setlist

  1. Chapter I: Escape
  2. Chapter III: Nest
  3. Chapter 2: Void
  4. ? new song ?
  5. Transcendence
  6. Wolf