After a forced break of one year, we finally went back to Tallinn for Howls of Winter, one of the most interesting winter gatherings of extreme metal fans across the Baltics (even though there were still some restrictions on public events, forcing an early schedule here at Tapper).
A pre-pre-party was already held on the previous day, featuring the Finnish band CADAVERIC INCUBATOR and the local SÜNGEHEL. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend that one, but we managed to land in Tallinn well on time for the warm-up day.
This was once again an occasion to relax and enjoy the live offerings of the day, while trying out the festival beers created by Õllenaut for the event. Without too much of a crowd, the opener TOMB VENERATION took the stage, performing entirely behind a see-through black curtain. Their show went by really quickly, leaving the place to the much more eye-catching VETALA from Portugal. In the 40 minutes at their disposal, the satanic black metal trio offered a dedicated show, captivating the curious metalheads in front of the stage.
The evening continued with BURIAL MOON, perhaps the most international project of the weekend – featuring members from Estonia, Switzerland, and Austria at the same time – and the one band most wrapped in mystery before this evening due to the little information available on them. Their show turned out to be quite engaging and it was a good prelude to the final act of the night, OBSKURITATEM.
The Bosnian band is more of a one-man project, but performs with live musicians from VOID PRAYER (who would play again the following day). The vocalist, in his stage appearance and moves, was a bit reminiscent of Attila of MAYHEM fame (given his dialogues with the skull in his hand); however, the sound not so much, as their music included quite a lot of ambient/noise elements. Towards the end, the singer of VETALA also joined them on stage and so did also some apparently random guy from the audience, whose relation with the band remains unclear.
This was a good opening day all-in-all, and was not all that bad that the evening had to end at 23:00, as it gave more time recover and gather energy for the actual festival.