Tampere Black Mass III

Ragnarok, Barathrum, Thyrane

Kuivaamo, Tampere, Finland
2nd December 2016

Kuivaamo is a brand new event venue located outside Tampere city centre in one of the nearby suburbs. It opened a couple of months ago and it has hosted only a handful of events so far. Last night it acted as the venue for Tampere Black Mass III – part of a series of black and extreme metal events happening in Finland known collectively as Black Mass Finland. The line-up featured some of the biggest bands from the local black metal scene including: Barathrum, Thyrane and Horna along with the Norwegian black metallers Ragnarok.

The night was supposed to begin with a show by the death metal band Vorum. Sadly they had to cancel their performance for personal reasons. Their replacement was a black metal band called Charnel Winds. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of their show. They started out playing some decent-sounding black metal before shifting towards a slower, more progressive style later on. Their set was a bit of a mixed bag – some good, some rather dismal-sounding music. 2/5

I’ve seen Barathrum live a few times before. Their shows tend to be “hit’n’miss”, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculously bad. It all depends on their frontman Demonos Sova’s state and his ability to perform. I’ve seen the extremes; one show during which he was too drunk to even stand let alone remember his own lyrics and one great show (at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival) where he was in top form. This one can be counted as one of their good shows. Whilst clearly no longer sober, Mr. Sova still managed to agitate the crowds and deliver a decent performance. Highlights included: ‘Black Goat’, ‘Witchmaster’, ‘Saatana’, ‘Legions of Perkele’ and ‘Angelraper’. 3/5

Next up was the symphonic black metal band Thyrane. This was easily the best performance of the night. It was a very energetic and entertaining show even if they only played old songs. They have recently reformed after a long hiatus so hopefully there will be some new material coming soon. 5/5

I’ve seen Baptism live before. They generally sound slightly better live than on the albums. This show was a little different because they had a member of Horna as a guest vocalist on some of the songs. It was a decent performance but a lot of their songs sounded similar without much variety. 3/5

Ragnarok had a late start, almost half an hour past the scheduled start time. They experienced some serious problems with the sound that was never fully fixed. There were times when you could barely hear the guitars or bass. Things improved a little towards the end but it wasn’t as good as it could have been. At least I got to hear some of the hits such as ‘Blackdoor Miracle’, ‘In Nomine Satanas’ along with several tracks from their latest album. 3/5

Sadly I did not get to see Horna because of the confusion with the timetable and the problems with the sound system.

In summary, this was my first time at Tampere Black Mass. The new venue has its quirks and it did not yet look like the finished article. It’s outside of the city centre making it somewhat more tricky to get to. As for the bands, I really enjoyed watching Thyrane, Barathrum was decent and Ragnarok turned out to be a disappointment due to the sound problems. It’s a shame because I’ve heard their albums and I know that they have the potential to put on a great show.

Iza Raittila

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