What to expect at Tuska Festival 2022

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Tuonela Magazine (and formerly Musicalypse) have been attending Tuska Festival in one form or another dating back to 2006! Though the coronavirus has kept the festival at bay for a few years, 2022 was the year that Tuska was able to finally make a comeback! Still held at the Suvilahti industrial site since 2011, Tuska is one of the country’s most popular festivals thanks to being comfortably inside the capital city, with easy access via public transportation. Always keeping their eyes open for what’s interesting and relevant, Tuska proves year after year to be worthy of attendance!

In 2019, Tuska changed to a +18 festival, giving them the opportunity to re-organize the festival’s layout. While the 2019 edition had its problems, the organizers opted for a new layout, which includes an entirely new stage. The previous Inferno Stage that was located at Kattilahalli is now the TuskaKvlt Stage at Tiivistamö.

Tuska is a festival that appreciates feedback and listens to its customers. In the past, they have researched what festival-goers were interested in, concerning food and drink, and they have thus invited a lot of new street food attractions to the festival, providing a varied menu with both healthy and greasy options.

Concerning this year’s lineup, Tuska has a varied selection of bands, with eye on all subgenres in metal, so there is a little something for everyone, every day. The addition of the TuskaKvlt Stage also allows the audience to get to know some lesser known bands from the local scene, which is always a plus in our eyes! From our favorite Finnish bands (how can anyone not be excited about WHEEL playing at a festival?) to exciting new headliners (eg. KORN, MERCYFUL FATE, and DEFTONES) 2022 will be an edition to remember!

Read on to learn a bit about who’s playing this year and what’s new…

Friday, July 1st

Eluveitie

Hailing from Switzerland, ELUVEITIE are perhaps best known for their Celtic/Gaulish-influenced folk sound, often sung in those languages, as well as the wide variety of instruments they use. Their last album, Ategnatos,” was released at the beginning of the pandemic, in April 2019, so the band haven’t been able to see many stages since its release. Fortunately, it’s not too late for them to show off the new material – hopefully they’re not playing too early for people to make their set.

Northern Kings

For those of you who were invested in Finnish power metal vocalists in the early 2010s, the NORTHERN KINGS should need no introduction. To everyone else, this supergroup cover band is comprised of Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA), J-P Leppaluoto (ex-CHARON), Jarkko Ahola (TERÄSBETONI), and Marko Hietala (TAROT, ex-NIGHTWISH). Of these four artists, only Tony Kakko can be seen regularly with his band, as Marko Hietala left the music industry (for the most part) and his public life not long after the release of his solo album, while the other two can be found doing solo shows and acoustic sets now and then at most. The band haven’t seen the stage since a show at Tavastia in 2011 prior to this summer, so this set will be exciting for a number of reasons!

Lost Society

There was no way a pandemic could hold LOST SOCIETY back, as they were able to show off their latest release, No Absolution, ” on multiple occasions throughout last summer’s festival season. Thus, we can say with certainty that if you missed out last summer, you should definitely not miss out this year, because these guys will pump you full of energy and kick your butt into overdrive – something we all need a bit of at the beginning of a festival!

Marianas Rest

Though doom metal isn’t always most suited for hot summer days, MARIANAS REST have been proving time and time again that the weather doesn’t make their whole atmosphere, and they can rock a stage, no matter how bright. Recently signed to Napalm Records with a new album, Fata Morgana,” now’s as good a time as any to check these guys out if you haven’t already!

Perturbator

If France has a big name in heavy synthwave, it’s James Kent, aka PERTURBATOR. His last album, “Lustful Sacraments,” was yet another pandemic release in 2021, with the latest single, “God Says,” having been released as recently as this spring. With his latest visit to Finland being back in 2019, it’s just the right time to catch up, as well as – in our case at least – see what the music and atmosphere are like in a festival setting!

Omnium Gatherum

The guys of OMNIUM GATHERUM are becoming somewhat of a legend in Finland, having been the original band of INSOMNIUM‘s Markus Vanhala, as well as having adopted former SONATA ARCTICA guitarist Jani Liimatainen for a time. In fact, this set will be the first show with their new lineup, as Liimatainen has been replaced by Nick Cordle. With a 2021 release, “Origin,” also fairly fresh, there’s plenty of reason to check them out.

Shereign

After releasing a few singles and debuting live at Saarihelvetti last year, and featuring well-known local vocalist and singing coach, Sara Strömmer, it goes without saying that we’re hoping for any chances we can get to hear more of their music, as their debut album is still on the horizon. Now that Sara is back from her maternity leave and the pandemic has cleared up, it’s time to hail to the queen once again!

Beast in Black

If you’re into synthwave and power metal, you surely already know and love BEAST IN BLACK, the comeback band of former BATTLE BEAST guitarist and notorious anime-lover Anton Kabanen. Their latest release, “Moonlight Rendezvous,” was release in 2021 and their headlining tour for 2023 has just been announced, so now’s a great time to check them out at a festival to see if you want to see them in the clubs next year.

Ensiferum

If ENSIFERUM were starting to feel like old news, they sure shook things up with the release of “Thalassic” in 2020, impressing all of us. They’ve done a tour with DARK TRANQUILLITY recently, and have already played a few summer festivals, so they’re warmed up and ready to splash you with their ocean themed album hits, as well as their festival classics. Dip your oars into their waters when you hear new songs like “Rum, Women, Victory,” “The Defense of the Sampo,” and “For Sirens.” Tä-tä-dädää!

Polymoon

If you had asked us prior to 2020 who POLYMOON was, we’d have had no answer, but luckily, we checked out their debut album, Caterpillars of Creation,” and were pleased to discover a stylish psychedelic rock band who don’t fall victim to predictability. As our journalist wrote, “all this shoegaze-tinted astral jamming in the purple-hazed, paisley-patterned Innerspace is truly the music of the spheres, that musica Universalis of the ancient philosophers and the like – the orbital resonance of pure being.” If that doesn’t convince you to check it out, nothing will.

Heilung

If there is one band that our photographers pile up at the chance to shoot, it’s HEILUNG. Known for ambient folk music that can’t really be considered “metal” per se, the band also have a reputation for a fabulous live atmosphere with all sorts of interesting decorations around their stage, as well as a variety of unusual instruments. They impressed us deeply at Tuska 2019, so naturally, with their next album, “Drif,” set for release on August 19th, everyone’s hoping for a chance to hear some new material.

Night Flight Orchestra

If pagan folk music isn’t your jam, perhaps you’d like a taste of the classic ’80s! Delving into a bit of a classic flight crew theme these days, the NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA have been making huge waves with their fabulous recreations of that old sound, bringing generations together. The recent “Aeromantic” releases came out in 2020 and 2021 respectively, so now’s the chance to hear some of that sweet new material after a long wait.

Korn

No one expects nu-metal to make a comeback, yet it seems bands like KORN are still keeping it alive! We were, admittedly, not expecting their 2022 release, Requiem,” to be as good as it was, so shame on us. If you’re looking for a little kick of ’90s nostalgia or something a little more recent, the band have kept things pretty consistent. This will be our first time seeing them live, so we’re looking forward to it!

Saturday, July 2nd

Bloodred Hourglass

If you don’t know and love BLOODRED HOURGLASS by now, for shame. These melodic death metallers have proven time and time again to be the new INSOMNIUM when it comes to consistently releasing dark albums of wildly high quality. Their latest album, Your Highness,” was nothing short of great, so it goes without saying that the live versions of the new songs should be just as good.

Amoth

AMOTH is a name that has been around for a while, but nowadays they have gotten a bit more recognition, as their vocalist, Pekka Montin, joined ENSIFERUM as their new second vocalist and keyboardist. If you, like us, know very little about them, now is the time to learn more!

Insomnium

INSOMNIUM debuted on the Finnish melodic death metal scene in 2002 and have pretty much not let us down for 20 years. Their latest release, Heart Like a Grave,” came out in 2019, yet it’s likely that you haven’t heard enough of it yet, at least on the stage. Having been around Tuska Festival for quite some time now, we know these guys can rock a stage indoors or outdoors, rain or shine, so despite their sadly early slot, they’ll be worth being there for.

Oranssi Pazuzu

Finland isn’t exactly known for our psyche/stoner scene, yet we have a few gems hidden in our midst, such as ORANSSI PAZUZU, who play a blackened psychedelic band that impress us time and time again with their live ambience and strange yet intriguing music. Mestarin kynsi came out in 2021 to strong reviews, so hopefully they’ll bring a little bit transcendentality to the weekend if you catch them on the tent stage.

Reckless Love

If there was every a Finnish rock band that makes for a fun summer festival atmosphere, it’s RECKLESS LOVE. Known mainly for cheesy hair metal/glam rock and vocalist Olli Herman‘s abs, the band have been showing that spandex pants aren’t dead since 2010 and just recently released their latest album, Turbo Rider,” which they are surely promoting at this show! If you want to stop taking everything so seriously for a while, this is a good place to stop by.

Wheel

Britain lost a great asset when James Lascelles came to Finland to pursue a career in music. Known at first as Finland’s TOOL, the band’s 2021 release, Resident Human,” proved that they’re much more than a knock-off of another great band. Despite their mid-tempo progressive sound, they make for a shockingly ambient stage presence, so they’ll surely be worth popping in to see.

Stam1na

There are a few bands that you’re liable to see at Tuska every year, or at least every other year, and STAM1NA is one of them. Known for high-energy thrash metal sung in tongue-in-cheek Finnish, perhaps the best part about seeing these guys time and time again is seeing what they’re going to do on stage. From Hawaiian outfits to prison gear or drag, these guys always shake things up. Their latest album, “Novo Ordus Mundi,” came out in 2021, so naturally, there should be some new tracks in the set along with the classics.

One Morning Left

ONE MORNING LEFT are starting to be a bit of a staple in the Finnish festival scene. We caught them a few times last summer, so if you’re into their unusual chiptunes-tinged screamo music, prepare yourselves for a brightly colored roaring and wailing show. Their most recent album, Hyperactive,” certainly turned heads, so there’ll surely be some new material in the mix again.

Blind Channel

Fairly fresh off of Eurovision, BLIND CHANNEL have been showing up everywhere since their big break. Their newest album, “Lifestyles of the Sick and Dangerous,” however, is still on the horizon, so if you’re hoping for some new material, that remains to be seen. Nevertheless, history has told us that we’ll get a very energetic show from them.

Vola

Danish progressive metal acts are necessity on festivals, considering their latest album Witness,” released in 2021 was a hit, VOLA was a must-include in the 2022 Tuska Festival lineup. To promote the album, the band did a few livestreams, but we’re more than happy to go see their set in real life, especially after their extremely solid show recently at Brewer’s Street!

Amorphis

Yet another Tuska Festival staple is the legendary AMORPHIS, who play here as often as they can, always delivering a solid set of fantastic tracks. Their sets have evolved slowly over the years, now including a lot of utterly wonderful new material from their newest three releases, Under the Red Cloud (2015), Queen of Time (2018), Halo (2022); their set will surely be filled with fantastic newer music, as well as a best-of set of their older material.

Baroness

We saw BARONESS at Tuska 2017, so we can already attest that they will pull a big crowd and put on a great show. These guys had a 5-album cycle of colors, with the latest, Gold & Grey,” coming out in 2019. New material has been in the works since 2020, but unfortunately there is nothing officially planned for release at the moment. Nevertheless, those who never got a chance to see music from the last album will finally get to now, as these guys have been on the roster since the first year festivals were cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Soilwork

SOILWORK is one of those bands that proves that Sweden and Finland can be friends, as they’re always a hot commodity in the festival circuit. They’ve already gotten to show off at a few Finnish festivals this summer, so there’s no way Tuska wouldn’t let us get a taste of their 2022 summer vibes. Their newest album is set for release in August, so if we’re lucky, we’ll get a chance to hear something new this weekend.

Mercyful Fate

If you are familiar with the heavy metal genre, surely you must have heard of either MERCYFUL FATE or its legendary vocalist, King Diamond. If not, these Danes are known for corpse paint, Satanic lyrics, and one of the most unusual falsetto sounds to be found. The band have not released an album since 1999, but this show is part of a reunion tour, which sparked back in 2020. If you never got your chance to see MARCYFUL FATE during their active years, now’s your chance!

Sunday, July 3

Sonata Arctica

SONATA ARCTICA are pretty fairly regular performers at Tuska Festival, at least whenever they’ve got new material to show off. Their latest release, “Talviyö,” was a December 2019 release, but their more recent focus has been on “Acoustic Adventures,” such as they did in a livestream earlier in the pandemic. Earlier festivals this summer have assured us that they’ve brought a few of their most fantastic older tracks back, so if you’re looking to hear some good classic power metal, be sure to check them out.

Devin Townsend

Now, on the subject of semi-regulars at Tuska, if there was ever one from outside the country, it’s Devin Townsend, who shows up pretty much anytime he releases anything new, which is all the time. He’s had a few new albums out during the pandemic, as well as some random shenanigans… frankly, we can’t keep up with it all. What we can do, however, is recommend that you go check out his show, because there’s always something new and weird to see mixed in with a shitload of awesome music.

Edge of Haze

The newest prog revelation of Finland is EDGE OF HAZE! These youngsters already have two albums under their belt, but recently signed a management deal with GVM to take things to a new level. With songs like “Until We Hit the Water” and their latest single, “Remains,” it’s going to be impossible not to get sore neck muscles!

Stratovarius

Yet another Tuska Festival regular is yet another classic Finnish band, legendary power metal act STRATOVARIUS. The band have a new album planned for this year, with the first single, “Survive,” coming out quite recently.

Humavoid

The first time we were impressed by HUMAVOID was at Emergenza Festival and ever since, we’ve been excited about their music. The band luckily got signed to Noble Demon Records and released one of the prog metal revelations of 2020 in Lidless.” We haven’t seen their latest tracks live yet, so we’re excited to catch their show.

Kreator

German thrash metal act make an appearance at Tuska Festival every now and then, returning in 2022 hot on the trail of their latest album, “Hate Über Alas,” which came out on June 10th. They’ve hit up a few other stops on their European summer tour, like Metal Capital in Oulu, so we’d hate to miss out.

Jinjer

After the invasion from Russia, JINJER have been focusing their efforts on raising funds for war relief, but have now been given permission from the country to tour in support of the country. If there’s a band to give some love to right now, it’s JINJER, as there’s nothing like a good cause to rile up some metalheads. It doesn’t hurt that their music is great, but we’re also interested in hearing what they’ve got to say.

Lähiöbotox

Intimate club settings are the way to go when it comes to LÄHIÖBOTOX, but they’re gaining ground so fast, we don’t know how much longer small stages will contain them. Now’s the time to check them and their music out before you miss out, as they are proving to be one of Finland’s best new live acts. They had a new album, “Itä-metal,” out this year, so go check out some new tracks!

Deftones

Tuska saved the odded choice for last, with California alternative rock group DEFTONES closing out the festival. The band are touring with some guest musicians, so this offers a unique opportunity to see a different side of them. Their newest album is 2020’s “Ohms,” and they certainly don’t play in Finland very often, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to see them yet, now’s the time!