On the second day of Turku Saatanalle IX, getting to the festival was way easier, as the trip to Utopia was no more than a 5 minute walk. VENENUM DEI started with a very short yet equally eye-catching show: the guys took the stage wearing black capes and white half-masks (not the anti-COVID masks, to be clear) that gave them a more mysterious look. In front of the early crowd, they made a positive impression in the few minutes (24 to be exact) at their disposal.
Following them was CHAMBER OF UNLIGHT, another young project made from four fifths of HORNA (whose members are all extremely prolific with many other bands) and fronted by DEATHCHAIN and AJATTARA’s bass player, Juha Harju, who really takes on a whole different dimension when unleashed as a main vocalist (as one might remember from CHAOSWEAVER many years ago). Aggressive and powerful, it’s just what people needed to get in high spirits for the rest of the night.
NIGHTSIDE was next, holding the flag for the local Turku audience. The band just recently came back from the grave and that’s mostly why this was probably not a familiar name to the younger part of the audience – or those not too deeply into the scene. The impression was pretty good though and their gig was a positive surprise.
Moving on to the latter half of this second day: TOTALSELFHATRED switched the mood and completely changed the atmosphere inside the venue with their depressive black metal. In a way, I guess I still miss Corvus with his stage presence (and vocals), but on the other hand, when the band started delivering one classic after another, it felt like going back in time more than 10 years.
Nearing the end, BARATHRUM truly ignited the audience – one of the things Sova, as a frontman and entertainer, is best at. Tonight’s show was everything that one could expect from a typical BARATHRUM gig nowadays – a testimony of how they know how to stir up the atmosphere and excite their fans with their live performances. This was a surefire way to get their aficionados to headbang in the sign of the horn.
As always, when things go well, the ending felt as if it were coming too soon, as it was already time for IMPENETRABLE DARKNESS’s special show. As a BURZUM tribute band, it was hard to know what this would have been like, but the delivery was beyond expectations and among the excitement, there were some very emotional moments for part of the audience, as the night slipped through eternal classics like ”Ea, Lord of the Depths” and “Dunkelheit,” striking a chord for the most devoted fans.
One could say that ending a festival with a cover band is a bold choice, but while hearing these songs played live, it became increasingly clear that it was the right one and a very nice finishing touch to a successful weekend of darkness, evil, beer, and of course, black metal.
So this year’s edition came to an end, leaving a lot of good memories and experiences that many of us have been longing for in the past months. The venue fit perfectly for this event and for an audience of this size, and it was nice – and promising – that things finally started looking “normal.” It feels good to be back, now let’s just hope that it stays that way!