Lumous Gothic Festival 2014 @ Tampere, Finland
Two Witches, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Leaether Strip
Lumous Gothic Festival is Finland’s largest goth event. It was established back in 2001 and has become an annual event held in central Tampere. The music on offer is strictly non-metal, ranging from goth rock, darkwave, industrial and EBM to neofolk. The actual festival is a four day event but the main shows take place on the Friday and Saturday.
The opening act was meant to be the Russian Harsh EBM band Steelgrout. Sadly they were unable to make it due to some problems with their Visas. Their replacement was the Jyväskylä-based Finnish EBM act Unzyme. Before their substitutes started, they actually played a message from Steelgrout to the audience in which the Russian band apologizes for not being able to make it. Unzyme describe their sound as “biomechanical pop” which is essentially synthpop with lab experiments as a their main theme. Their set was entertaining and it was a good start to the night. 3.5/5
Next up was the Swedish goth rock band Malaise. I’m not a massive fan of goth rock, but these guys were better than I expected. They combined the classic goth rock sound of bands like The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of The Nephilim with EBM for a sound that is truly unique and memorable. I really enjoyed their set and this was my favourite performance of the night. 4/5
The final act of the night was another Swedish band – Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. Their sound is not an easy one to classify; it’s a mixture of dark ambient, neofolk and industrial. They are a returning act to Lumous having played their before back in 2002. Their music has this eerie, soundtrack feel to it and the pace is mostly slow. The problem I had with them is that they were playing dark ambient in the early hours of the morning, by which time my energy was running out. I was too exhausted to stick around until the end of their set. 3/5
The night started with a performance by the Latvian industrial band Autogen. Their style is a mixture of industrial noize and rhythmic/powernoize with an experimental flare akin to the likes of The Klinik. Some tracks were more danceable than others. They also had an interesting range of stage props ranging from fake blood, a fire extinguisher and a contraption that looked like a defibrillator. Their set was definitely entertaining as a result, but I wasn’t super keen on the music itself. 2/5
Next up was the Finnish rock band Two Witches. Their lead singer Jyrki Witch is one of the organizers of the festival. I like their old songs but I’m not too familiar with their new work. Luckily they played a mixture of old and new material including “Zombie Walk” (from the latest album) along with some old classics such as “Vampire Empire” and “Burn The Witch”. They are one of the best and the most energetic goth rock bands that I’ve seen in a while. 4/5
The night ended with a performance from the main band I came to see, the Danish harsh EBM duo Leaether Strip. I’ve seen them live last year and it was great to see them again. These guys really give it their all, playing all their hit tracks including “Evil Speaks”, “Strap Me Down” and “Don’t Tame Your Soul”. It didn’t take long before I joined in, dancing along with the rest of the audience. 5/5
So there you have it. Another summer, another Lumous Festival. It’s always great to see that the goth and industrial scene in Finland is alive and well. I just wish that they would organize more events like this in the future.