After the experiences of the past year or two, with smaller events and live streams, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the organizers of Helsinki Death Fest were still able to once again provide some kind of entertainment to the devoted local fans.
While we still have to wait for the proper fifth edition of the festival, it’s refreshing to see some semblance of normality, even though the event had to be outdoors to allow the exorbitant number of fifty (seated) spectators, resulting in a very intimate setting for a death metal event, right in the backyard of Tiivistamo. The festival was again recorded, but unlike last time, was not streamed live.
Devoid of foreign bands (for rather obvious reasons) and with some last minute defections, the final line-up of this Helsinki Death Fest “Kesä Pilalla” Edition was mostly a mixture of younger acts, topped by the more seasoned SADISTIK FOREST and headlined by the local heroes GOREPHILIA.
Starting from GOREKAUST, the first thought was that there is good hope for the up-and-coming generations of extreme metal fans, and the following OMNIVORTEX provided a solid performance in front of the yet scarce audience. The contagious energy of SADISTIC DRIVE (replacing GHASTLY at the last minute) made these guys the most lively act of the festival so far, especially seeing how the singer was relentlessly moving from one side of the stage to the other. Their music was a positive surprise as well. MORBIFIC followed suit with a very good show before SADISTIK FOREST took the spotlight. The vocalist even tried to involve the crowd, entertaining them with his speeches between the songs, which not an easy feat when you play in front of about fifty people who must be seated at all times. There was even space for new material, which was a nice bonus. Finally, the task of closing the event fell on GOREPHILIA, who did their job dutifully giving, yet again, the kind of brutal, in-your-face performance the crowd has gotten used to from them over the years.
One must really appreciate the effort that the organizers have put in to arrange these kinds of events in these challenging times, while hoping for more stability to come once things settle down with the different regulations and restrictions. We are looking forward to a full-fledged festival next year (fingers crossed!) at Helsinki Death Fest V!