|Urfaust + Totalselfhatred + Teloch + Kyy
|Virgin Oil, Helsinki
17 is not considered as an unlucky number in Finland, so Friday 17 (and, even worse, 2017) doesn't mean anything special at all to Finns. I'm not that superstitious, even though I have my honest obsessions and a series of rituals I blindly obey; anyway, I'm still here, wondering whether going to see a live show by four black metal bands was a strategic move against misfortune or not. Judging from how the evening evolved, I'd say the obscure forces of meDal fought the superstition ones quite effectively.
So, Friday 17th. 100% humidity rate and -12°C outside the club were the other peculiar numbers of the few moments I spent outside before attending the gig, which started perfectly on time at 22 PM with the first band, Kyy («viper») from Lahti. A few spectators enjoyed the show by this quite recenlty formed band (2013) that only recorded an EP and a full-length ("Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death", 2016).
Its five members thrilled the few but enthusiastic witnessers with about thirty minutes of blast beats, face painting, English lyrics and nice, to some extent even melodic, solos. The band's performance was flawless and the potential it showed makes me think it has all that it needs to be famous; being one of the supporting bands for Urfaust is certainly a great start.
At 22:50, after a quick set change, it was Teloch's turn («death» in Enochian language), a Finnish band as well, hailing from a further and generally colder city that goes by the name of Jyväskylä. Its five musicians, two of which previously active in Saturnian Mist, drew from a wider repertoire consisting in two albums ("Morbid Prayer", 2009 and the more recent "Thus Darkness Spake", released last year), an EP and a demo tape.
Their performance started as a ritual, complete with all the candle holder and a little gong, held high by singer Odium and hit with a bone; whether it was an authentic one or not, and which creature it belonged to in the first case, we can't know. Forty minutes made up of a slightly bigger audience and, alas, some technical problems that bothered one of the two guitarists in particular: his guitar suddenly became silent and, during the solos, we could also realize it had lost its tuning. Luckily, these were only minor and isolated inconveniences that didn't penalize the good outcome of their show.
Urfaust + Totalselfhatred
Setting the stage for Urfaust took longer than expected and the Dutch band started playing twenty minutes late, after midnight. Virgin Oil was pretty full by then and the duo formed by VRDRBR and IX, fresh from the release of the album "Empty Space Meditation" last year, enchanted the audience with its depressive black metal merged with atmospheric sounds and with a little help from the deep blu shade of the lights, that made it difficult for me to focus the two musicians on stage from my positions. On one hand I would have preferred a better view; on the other, the experience was mystical in a sense. Some songs later it was possible to clearly distinguish a third figure in the blue mist, who lent his voice and sang in IX's place and whom I unfortunately wasn't unable to identify.
The one-hour performance by Urfaust seemed not to last enough; sadly, it was already a bit late for me and my peers and life, or better, Helsinki public transport company gave us two choices: staying there until the end, with the risk of walking home; or leaving, trying to buy something for dinner and catching one of the last buses. We reluctantly chose the latter, also because Totalselfhatred show was running 15 minutes late as well. We just had time to listen to some songs by the third Finnish band of the evening and complain, because those five guys from Helsinki really knew their stuff. We can't but keep up with their studio albums ("Totalselfhatred", 2008, and "Apocalypse In Your Heart", 2011).
I left Virgin Oil hoping to have the chance to meet again all the bands I got to know through the evening, especially the Finnish ones, simply because they're closer and consequently easier to see again around here. I also expect Urfaust to return and play here soon enough and I deeply thank Deer Lord Agency and the effort it put to make this successful event happen. I keep my fingers crossed and I wish it to succeed in organizing events like this in the future.