I left cold and rainy Italy to travel to Finland for an amazing festival that happens every year in the beautiful city of Helsinki. I’m talking about Tuska Festival, a heavy metal 3-day event that this enthusiast visited once already in 2022 and had a blast. So, why not come back once again? First of all, I would like to thank the organization of the festival, Heta, Maria and all the kind press hosts who were there for their incredible professionalism and kindness towards us. Then, let’s dive into the magic of Tuska!


This year I wanted to focus more on quality rather than the quantity of bands that I saw, which is good because everybody loves quality products and bad because I could not see them all. So I started off on the main stage, with Lord of the Lost opening this edition of Tuska. They have a very solid stage presence and engage with the crowd quite often. Lead singer Chris Harms after a couple of songs said “It’s hot here in Finland!”. But since I’m cold all the time, I could not relate. I could relate instead to their performance, which shows why they play on the biggest stage! The best addition to their setlist was the cover of Käärijä‘s “Cha Cha Cha”, which the crowd obviously did not expect! An amazing start to the festival! 

We change the tone of the stage since a bit later it’s time for Alestorm to play. And as much as they are amazing on stage, the ducks they have on stage are cute! Tuska main stage was big enough to host 3 of these “little” animals, and then the fun began. Alestorm‘s shows are uptempo, cheerful and full of heavy metal, which is a combination that we love. When we witness this, it’s like a party that has no intention of ever ending, with dancing, screaming, singing and drinking too! Their songs are catchy and accessible to everyone, and this is one of the reasons that they are so popular! 

After the pirate party time, I took a short trip to the KVLT stage to see Terromania. And boy, did I see one of the best performances of all Tuska. These guys know exactly how to deliver a hell of a show. They are unstoppable on stage, they give to the audience every single ounce of energy that they have. Lead singer Julius Silvennoinen was singing with a leather jacket and gloves too, and it was quite hot inside (rather than outside like the other stages) so I have to really admire and compliment his dedication. Can we give them space on the main stage soon, please? This band has the potential to grow into something truly extraordinary. Fantastic job for Terromania

Coming back to the main stage, we’re switching from heavy metal to thrash metal, with Kerry King and his band to try and awe the Finnish audience. And while he is most of the time static in his position, the other members of his group bring quite a lot of movements and engagement. The setlist is a mix of songs from his days in Slayer and his solo album, and while Osgueda can sing everything, he seems a bit more comfortable in the tracks taken off of “From Hell I Rise”. Then again, what more could I say about them? I had quite big expectations from them, and while the album was a bit of a disappointment, their live show was not. 

We are going deeper and deeper into the metal world, so much so that now we’ve reached the deepest level. Welcome on the main stage Norwegian black metal legends Dimmu Borgir, with a huge crowd waiting for them since shortly after King’s set. Now I completely understand why they are so famous and have this impressive career. Covered in corpse paint, this group delivers a spectacular symphonic black concert, that is sure to please even the most sceptical metalhead. I was surprised to find myself enjoying their tracks since black metal is still unfortunately one of the subgenres that is quite hard for me to appreciate and enjoy. But they are incredibly talented and skilled, it’s absolutely a show not to be missed. 

The clock strikes 22:25 and it’s time for the first band headlining Tuska to take place on stage. This year it was Pendulum to close the main stage, and I was quite curious to see them in concert. I honestly did not know what to expect, because not all bands who headline actually deserve their place there. Luckily, it was not Pendulum‘s case. This charismatic band has all the requirements that are necessary to play as the main act. Power, effort, dedication, special effects, passion, energy, engagement, sophisticated yet elegant melodies… They are the complete package! The whole group has put on a massive show, and whilst some could argue that they might not be the best outfit to headline Tuska, I think it was a stroke of genius. I now have a new favourite band: it was truly impossible to stay still while they were performing, and that is also something that cannot be taken for granted these days. With a fabulous show, here ends the first day of the festival. Let’s see what day two has in store for us! 


If I had to make a list of all my favorite talented Finnish artists we would be here probably until the end of time. But quite in the first places, we will obviously find Marko Hietala, so it’s not going to be a surprise that the first band of the second day was Tarot. Now, the thing with Finnish bands is that they talk and explain stuff in between songs, but given that my Finnish knowledge is very basic, I missed out on probably some funny skits. In anyway, Tarot also had a good performance at the festival, while they did not move around much like other artists. Also, after a couple of tracks most of their songs began to sound too similar. But this is probably me being not completely familiar with their discography, rather than their fault! Marko and Tommi Salmela alternate vocals on the tracks, and they have such a similar voice that at the beginning I thought Marko had a playback track in some moments. Luckily it was not! 

The day continues with another Finnish band on the main stage: Amorphis! Now, I was supposed to see them last year at Wacken Open Air, but given that too many bands play at the same time, I unfortunately missed them. And after seeing them here at Tuska, I regret missing them at Wacken even more. Their performance is absolutely superb, lifting the standards for all the other groups that will follow. Lead singer Tomi Koivusaari alternates with ease between clean and harsh vocals, and the whole band has such a special energy on stage. The group seems very cohesive and when the artist is having fun on stage, we have fun in the audience! It’s too bad that at some point the audio cut and nothing was audible. But no matter, because this has not diminished the quality of their set. 

The last band I saw on the second day was the headliner, Bring Me The Horizon. Bear with me: I have heard about them for so many years but I have never heard any of their songs nor seen them live, so I was quite excited and ready to be amazed, given the fabulous show of Pendulum on the day before. Now I can honestly say that they blew my mind! I was told that this was actually the first time that they performed with corpse paint on their faces, and this was a very unique touch. The band not only is simply phenomenal but also has quite a lot of effects and videos during and in between songs. I think that this is one of the few cases where the videos and effects, were they not used, would not impact the quality of the show provided. At one point, an amazing fan called Leo was called on stage to perform with Oli, and Leo completely smashed the stage! Oli beware, because if Leo keeps on growing, your job is in trouble. Jokes aside, then Oli almost at the end of the show went to the barrier and sang with the fans, whilst holding a camera to film every second of it. The show was closed by “Throne”, which is surprisingly the only song I knew because my favourite band (MoonSun) covered it brilliantly. After this inspiring set, I was ready for day three! 


On the last day of the festival, I focused more on interviews which can be found here and here, so I could only properly enjoy the set of the headliner band, Parkway Drive. This Australian sensation took the main stage and smashed it into pieces. Only literally (lucky us), but this metalcore group has honestly given the Finnish audience a stunning experience. I used the adjective stunning because multiple times they have pyros and explosions, so they were sort of startling me (but I was not the only one, so that’s comforting to know). Lead singer Winston McCall continuously asked for mosh pits and circle pits, which the audience obviously obliged. He even sang one song in the audience, with people running all around him! I thought that their set was going to be 1 and a half hours of pure power, but I was gladly mistaken. At one point, the band performed an acoustic song and a string section played with them multiple tracks. That was a beautiful addiction that the symphonic side of me really appreciated. Parkway Drive has fun on stage and they seem like very funny people too. During the last song, on the head of the lead guitarist Jeff Ling was placed a plushie of a dog, and then he and Winston got flower crowns. This shows that metalcore can be appreciated by everyone and it was a magnificent closure to another incredible year of Tuska. So thank you, Tuska, for all these memories, for the music, and for the opportunity!

Benedetta Baldin

Hi! My name is Benedetta, I’m 29 and I live in Northern Italy. My passion has always been music: I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6. Now I work as a sales representative, but in my free time I interview talented people, I spread the word about my favorite band (MoonSun), and I go to concerts or travel around Europe. I am a huge collector of anything Tolkien-related, autographs, merchandise, and CDs. I am quite an original person and don’t mind being the voice outside of the choir (even though I play in the church’s choir!).