Festival Report: Nummirock 2014

For this summer’s festivities, Teeth of the Divine sent a festival reporter to the Finnish farming headlands to visit the Nummirock 2014 Festival. The festival is held around 330 kilometers north of Helsinki, away from any major city or municipal, annually on and around the midsummer day, during which time the country is often on a nation wide hiatus and a booze binge. So come on in, educate yourself and see how bands like Behemoth or W.A.S.P handled their business.

by Matti Manner

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Managing to get two or three hours of shallow dog sleep, it was Friday morning’s own hailstorm that woke me up a bit early. Shaken but not stirred, I waited until the ice shower ceased before going out to check up on the damages. Luckily there were none and even the sun had made its first rare appearance. The day seemed to begin with a slow crawl, followed by a few morning drinks and off to the sauna we went. During all this I believe Unborn Generation was opening the Koff-stage with their grindcore.

As sauna is a vital ingredient in the Finnish juhannus culture, the festival provided two portable saunas running by the lake side for the customers to use. To gain entry, visitors had to schedule and pay for the 45 minute sessions beforehand, as all the free slots are usually filled well in advance. Both available sweat lodges were named accordingly and our first morning’s reservation was to meet Dimebag, while a date with Hanneman was planned for Saturday. The saunas were located close to the Inferno stage, so it was possible to listen Kuolemanlaakso between sweating and going out for a swim in the refreshingly cold lake.

And, what I gathered through my drunken haze at the sauna, Kuolemanlaakso sounded extremely solid, even if that’s pretty much to be expected from a band that has several experienced musicians from the Finnish metal scene. Behind those deadly doom sounds were familiar faces from multiple metal bands like Swallow the Sun, Chaosweaver, Discard, Elenium and Verjnuamu. In my afterthoughts I would have not minded seeing the gig from the first row, but at this age, cleanliness and mental comfort come first.

After the sauna, I took a break from mindless boozing and from all the socializing that comes up with drinking by going out to catch Medeia’s performance on the festival’s Green main stage. Well known as a great live band, Medeia received a warm welcome from the festival crowd and the band did not disappoint as what followed was one of the best gigs of the whole festival. The new vocalist, Finnish Youtube sensation Frans Aalto, seemed to fit the bill well. On stage, Medeia is not one of those bands that just stand still like those creepy fucking statues at tourist hotspots. While the music stands on its own two feet, the band too is more than willing to burn some calories during their shift on stage.


After getting my photo things done, I moved to the backstage area to enjoy the rest of the set. The platform next to the stage side was empty when I arrived but quickly became crowded as people kept coming in. Among those interested were people like Mokoma’s lead singer, Marko Annala, and Stam1na’s Pekka Olkkonen and Antti Hyyrynen. In short, everybody seems to love Medeia, so should you.

Pairing their undeniable work ethic with a great musical prowess, Medeia have already broken through the Finnish metal scene into the higher echelon and are in many ways more than ready for a wider, international recognition.

On my way back to camp I took a quick look at Assemble the Chariots which started right after Medeia on the smaller Koff-stage. Decent but typical deathcore didn’t really hold my interest, not while being hungry, so I left after four songs in.


A few hours flew by while I was grilling and having a great time at the camping site. This meant that I knowingly skipped seeing Tuomas Saukkonen’s (ex-Before the Dawn, ex-The Final Harvest, ex-Black Sun Aeon, ex-Dawn of Solace and ex-Routasielu) latest and currently only solo project, Wolfheart. I also missed Mokoma and 99% of death metal act Mörbid Vomit’s set.

Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath flew in to the rescue with his Chrome Division band, when a headliner to be Iced Earth made a short-notice cancellation as Jon Schaffer announced having to go into surgery for his neck. Strapped in black leather and boots, the biker-gang-looking Chrome Division took the stage and mustered up a rock-ready set. On stage, Pål “Athera” Mathies had no problem delivering his low vocals all the while blowing out casual smokes. After some time, the fat cigar he had been burning blended in so-much-so that it started to look like a detachable thumb of some sort.


Shagrath sported large mirror sunglasses in support just so that the cool factor on stage would go even further beyond what the cold weather off the stage provided. Looking at the front row and several signs hanging from the audience, Shagrath seemed to be dream material for many of the girls in the audience. While the band catered to a somewhat different audience than what Iced Earth would have, Chrome Division seemed to get their groove going and gathered one of the largest crowd around the Inferno lakeside stage.

Discouraged by the occasional rains, I skipped Stam1na, Fear of Domination and The Black Dahlia Murder altogether, and instead, got consumed by the camping area atmosphere.

By following the mass movement that started within the camping community, I ended up in front of the Main stage just before Behemoth were about to start their set. Iced Earth’s cancellation cast some indirect shadows towards the Polish. Some fans in the vicinity wondered if Behemoth’s Nergal was in a performing condition. All doubts were washed away when Nergal appeared on stage with two flaming torches in each hand while “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” from the latest Satanist album blared in the background.


After the show there seemed to be many opinions about the show, and quite a few didn’t appear to be extremely positive. Some said that the sounds were a mush, while others had an agenda against the setlist. I checked out the show by starting at the photo pit and ending up a few steps away from the mixing board. I did not get the mushy part. Setlist-wise, I felt that it took a bit too long to build up, as it took almost half the show to lose the drowsy tempo with “Christians to the Lions” and “The Satanist”  being played back to back. This made the ending feel like it came when things just started to happen, resulting in a mild disappointment.

Despite the slow start, I felt that Behemoth has come into its own to be considered as a valid headliner for any Nummirock-sized festival. When it comes down to bigger and heavier festivals, Behemoth still have some work to do to fulfil that spot.


After the polish import, home-brewed Sacrilegious Impalement rose to close the day on the second stage. They were welcomed by a dwindling audience as it seemed that Behemoth had squeezed most of the juices out of the people, including me. I took the day’s last shots with the camera, then a few jaeger shots and off to sleep.

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  1. Commented by: Apollyon
  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    Dear Matti Manner:
    I loved the following quote off your review:

    “In the end there is no true substitute for hard work, claim otherwise and you are most certainly a hack full of shit”

    How true.

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