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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To open up Saturday, it really took some effort to prevent the pending hangover from taking over. After this was done, administering the medicine seemed to go a bit overboard before I found the optimized levels of tolerance… Going through the needed process meant that half of the bands performing were left out of this report. To be honest there was no incentive big enough to catch the early worm, as they say. I simply didn’t feel like I was missing much by skipping Tuoni, Ismo Leikola Band, Countless Goodbyes, Poisonblack, Suicide Silence or Santa Cruz.

During my visit to Hanneman, I was assaulted by Blind Channel’s musical efforts which didn’t add any points to my motivation column. I had heard there was some sort of a battle of the bands going on between many of the bands that performed on the Koff-stage from Friday to Saturday. The winner was destined to perform at the Wacken Open Air later this year. Apparently the ones judging the competition had little regard for metal music as I learned later on that they sent that horrific bunch of numetal-biebernites to represent Finland’s up and coming talent. But that seems to sum up pretty much all the band competitions. Usually there is a bunch of executive trolls put on the spot to say what’s good and what’s not. Then you have no good hacks and critics like me scream and shout “you suck” on the Internet. In the end there is no true substitute for hard work, claim otherwise and you are most certainly a hack full of shit. Lucky breaks can come unsuspected, but most of them you manifest by doing the jazz necessary while learning how to not suck. But maybe that’s just me.

First act to lure me out of the woods was the Finnish ‘dance’ metal standout Turmion Kätilöt. Another fan favorite for most casual Finnish festival goers who want to see and hear a circus coming into town. TK could be described as something you would get when you would put two of the biggest German music exports into a mixer; Scooter and Rammstein.


With their blunt but catchy songs that lyrically often cling onto all things perverse, Turmion Kätilöt is a band that gets the party started and the people moving in a live situation, but it’s not necessarily something one listens to sitting on their ass home alone. The techno intro from their latest record, Technodiktator, served as foreplay for the rest of the show that didn’t seem to leave too many souls cold. For those interested but not too keen on listening to Finnish, their 2010’s album, Persetechnique, has a couple of English-sung songs on it. That same record also has people like Peter Tägtgren, Amorphis’ Tomi Joutsen and Marco Hietala from Nightwish doing some features. As I gazed at what transpired on the stage, I tried to figure out what evolutionary misstep spawned this isolated bunch of juggalos on Finnish soil or was it perhaps the result of systematic inbreeding. In the end, it all comes out of love, I guess.

Old workhorse, W.A.S.P., was next up on the main Green Stage. What is there to say about them that has not been said already for the millionth time… The only written notes that I made were as follows: “Great!” and “Doug Blair might be the most photogenic guitarist ever.” …  so basically nothing.  Standing applause, well played sir, or well “played”.


In this case “played” refers to their previous gig in Finland just a couple week earlier that got people talking and making some claims of possible foul-play. W.A.S.P. performed at the South Park festival held in Tampere after which some rumors and rumblings arose that told stories of W.A.S.P.’s old cat, Blackie Lawless, having some pre-recorded tapes in hand to boost up his vocals. Apparently someone pushed the wrong play-button before the actual show and Blackie’s vocals hit the air.

I wasn’t present at South Park so all is up in the air and full speculation as far as I’m concerned. Having been at an ear’s length at Nummirock, I became none the wiser as everything seemed to be about right on stage. On the other hand, the more pressing question is “what’s going on with Blackie’s face?” Is it real or a mask made out of painted, ballistic rubber? But for both questions and their answers, I will revert on making a Glomar response in that I can neither confirm nor deny any of these claims.


Whispered, the Samurai-themed metal band from Riihimäki, Finland, were the second band to suffer from technical difficulties on the Koff-stage. This time the Hattori Hanzò instruments were not coming through correctly. A short delay, few beers and a few laughs later, the problem got fixed and the show went on. With their faces painted in kabuki masks, Whispered play metal that regurgitates Japanese imagery through their lyrical content and by adding a bit of flair to the music with the use of traditional Japanese instruments, such as the koto, added to the background tapes. The thing got me thinking if Whispered might have similar potential to race around the international circuits like Turisas, but personally the theatrics and aesthetics left me a tad cold.


Speaking of Turisas, they too, were on stage later on, sporting their trademark red and black facepaints. I saw them play at Nummi the last time I visited, so there were some déjà vu moments throughout the set. While the band’s following has grown immensely from the last time, the overall show hadn’t changed all that much. The stage was the same as last time and Turisas’ live act didn’t seem to show visual signs of slowing down with wear and tear. Maybe the additional pyros and some of their latest songs could be considered as upgrades? Though, some person near me made a vocal argument against the new songs being any kind of an improvement when “We Ride Together” started playing. “Don’t play this new Bonanza crap!” he yelled to empty out his frustrations. And just like the last time, the set was concluded with the Boney M cover “Rasputin”, but this time it did not result in the same huge letkajenkka worm in the crowd that was going around the trees six years ago.

Old Finnish thrash pioneers, Stone, had the honor to put the final stamp on Nummirock 2014. The band has a bit of a history with the festival, as they appeared here already back in 1989, so having Stone go last seemed to have multiple reasons behind it. Now, looking back decades after Stone’s haydays, the band is somewhat an assembly of aged musical legends that have each been around the block by themselves multiple times, before getting back together to tour again. Everything sounded pretty much like I remembered it sounding while listening to Stone’s songs from my brother’s mixtapes on C-cassettes in the early ‘90s. Janne Joutsenniemi’s vocals were as out-of-tune and all over the place as always and Roope Latvala’s signature riffing still packed a gorilla-like Donkey Kong punch. While I enjoyed the gig wholeheartedly and had multiple nostalgia trips alongside it, the increasing rain made me leave early. So after their sodomy driven epic “No Anaesthesia!”, I headed back to the cosy camping site to find shelter.


The party continued long after music ceased on stage and the show-ending fireworks were blasted up in the air. Hours later, I was still up, sitting around a campfire, drinking beer and shooting the shit with friends as the sun was climbing up the eastern skyline.

Nummirock is still a festival that can be highly recommended to anyone interested in heavy metal and Finnish summer magic. While the featured bands might not compete with larger Nordic or European heavy festivals, Nummirock has its unique feel that is hard to match and replicate.

The organizational aspects are still running smoothly on what could be called maximum effectiveness with minimal bureaucracy involved. For the visitors, the festival has still kept the same warm metal community feel to it that makes the event so special and worth the visit even if the bands alone might not. So if you want to experience a place where metal music meets both the Finnish social and agricultural cultures, Nummirock is a good place to start.


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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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