Saturday started in a beautiful sunny weather as did Friday. We arrived just on time when gates were opened, and it was nice to see that big crowd was already gathered to wait gate opening. Just by looking around it was clear who was going to be headliner of the day. I don’t lie much if I say that every other had Slipknot shirt or cap on! If you didn’t have that Slipknot shirt, it was now the best time to get one from the merchandise stall to avoid those most massive lines.
Main stage opener for the Saturday was Blind Channel. Show started with familiar known style with the song “We Are The Saints” with pyros and fans screaming loudly! BC is well known for energetic and fast-moving band and so it was this time too. The other of the band’s singer Joel Hokka was really on talkative mood. I haven’t seen such side of Hokka, since really Niko Moilanen has been taking care more of the speaking parts. Hokka had a reason to be talkative and in a good mood because he said that first gig or festival, not sure which he said, was Slipknot in 2009. He added that if he could someday play on the same stage with Slipknot, that would be a dream come true state. Well, now Hokka can cross over that one from his bucket list, it was very clear that this show on the same stage meant much for him. Gig was very good, the best I have seen so far, big crowd and much emotion. Hokka also added little later that, despite that we are a disgrace for Finnish metal scenery you guys have bought us! There is so many kinds of metal music and their fans, everyone has their own opinion. Truth is that if band plays on the Knotfest festival, there shouldn’t and there’s not any disgrace whatsoever. In Finland we have this saying “karavaani kulkee ja koirat haukkuu”, which roughly means “do your own thing and don’t care what other say”. Superb gig!
Blind Channel has their biggest show forthcoming in December at Helsinki Icehall. Be sure to get tickets there if you want to see something special from BC.
Shiraz Lane was one of my most waited bands from the smaller stage. I have seen the band once in Nivala Tuiskula in the end of 2019. Shiraz Lane left very positive vibe from that gig and if I ever cross with them I sure will go check them out again and again. The band got out a new album just a day before Knotfest show and it is called Forgotten Shades Of Life. Singer of the band Hannes Kett said that they wanted to make little heavier song “Maniac Dance” for new album. Of course, we had pleasure to hear that one too, and Kett requested that if we could see mosh pit too that would be awesome. We sure did see, even two!
Shiraz Lane had this positive and relaxing atmosphere and it took mind just somewhere else. It is not the atmosphere alone, since guys can really play amazingly too. Special props for the singer Kett and drummer Ana Willman for flawless show! The band has so much potential in sleeves, I hope they can make more bigger shows and to be noticed even more. Although band’s career has seemed to be in pretty nice ascend past years already.
Tesseract was for me whole new band that I haven’t heard before. Tesseract is formed 2003 by lead vocalist Daniel Tomkins. The band plays progressive metal with djent nuances. Gig started pretty clinical as band just walked to stage with crowd cheering. Tesseract didn’t have any back canvas or screens so the stage was pretty empty, except for the band itself. The sounds were very good. Bass drum kicked snappy and had that little edge and punch. Overall, throughout the whole weekend sounds were good in both stages, probs from that to technicians and mixers.
I had pleasure to see Stoned Statues first time at Oulu Qstock festival few weeks before. Qstock didn’t have so good weather and stage was also smaller tent where the band played. Sunny pulse of the maggots stage was now more interesting place and gave this more snappy feeling. Also I had to say that sounds were so much better this time too. Sinning was little bit too much on the afloat at Qstock, but at Knotfest mixing and sound were much more in balance. Actually I wasn’t even so convinced the previous gig, but this time I had just opposite feeling. That just shows how much little things affect to overall feeling and after taste from the gigs.
Gig started with swinging song “Burning Feathers” and band was immediately rocking and tacking the crowd to their side. Stoned Statues drummer Allu Tanskanen mentioned that for him specially Slipknot has been important band since childhood. While I was watching Finland’s WRC rally from Yle Areena I was surprised that at the end of broadcast there were Stoned Statues song “Glory Pictures” playing while they showed outro. So the band seems to be in very high lift currently. Refreshing band, something else from current mainstream!
I think Cradle of Filth must be one the most recognized extreme metal bands. At least if we ask from random person who isn’t so much in genre. Dany Filth face might ring a bell. Dani marched to stage hood in his face and when the song started hood left and of course he had slipknot stylish mask on his face.
Cradle of Filth had some changes in lineup briefly. Guitarist Richard Shaw and keyboardist Anabelle Iratni left the band in May 2022. New members of the band are Donny Burbage on guitar and Zoe Marie Federoff on keyboards and vocals. At least the new keyboard vocalist was superb with his voice, very nice upper register, and clean sinning. Dani Filth has this own style of his to sing and same moves as always while sinning. Left hand handles mic and right-hand’s palm swings on hips in rhythm.
Cradle of Filth is little bit those bands that you must grow into their music. If you hear them from first time on the festival stage, I bet it won’t necessarily make impact straight away. But I have heard that it is very giving those who have listened to their music for a long time and see their gig first time. Dani asked some songs later that “Are you drunk yet? I bet you are, you are Finnish after all!” And I bet that many started to be at that point of the evening.
Medeia played after Cradle on pulse of the maggots stage. We had to take some break, get some food and rest so we couldn’t watch every band start to finish.
Bring Me the Horizon name comes up every now and then. The truth is that I haven’t been a fan or followed their music at all. Actually, the band has bunch of award wins from different galas and even more nominations. Band has two Grammy nominations, 2019 best rock song and 2020 best rock album.
BMTH had screen behind them and on the stage, there were three step platforms which each had screen on side of the step. Gig started with singer Oliver Sykes yelling that we are warming you up for the Slipknot – Are you ready? The show was fast moving and very professional style from the beginning, real big world style. The band played also a new song called “sTraNgeRs” which came out July 6th of 2022.
Sykes said that if someone has said to 14-year-old me that you will be playing on the same stage with Slipknot, I would have gone mad. Without hesitation Slipknot has been idol and role model for many bands, even from bands at this festival and to many other more. Knotfest was first show over a month for BMTH, Sykes said that he is little speechless from all the attention and cheering people gave.
Moon Shot had privilege to play at the Knotfest. We saw the band at Qstock just few weeks earlier and they were in very sharp shape! The food brake that we planned on Medeia’s gig time didn’t quite do it. The lines were long and BMTH gig was pushing over, so we tried again with cost of skipping Moon Shot pull. If you had similar experience and didn’t quite get to see them there is still time before the band takes tour to Europe. There are at least three gigs at Finland so you can still experience the great band!
It was time for evening and whole festival last band turn – Slipknot. Festival was sold out and now there was really crowded since, 30 000 people were gathered to see their favorite band. While festival crowd was waiting the show really to start there was this country style intro from Billie Jo Spears called “Get Behind Me Satan and Push”. Song has this chorus part where it repeats line “get behind satan” and Slipknot had made the song sort of stuck, so it repeated just the part satan, satan… Seems that that wasn’t anything new and the band has used it already years ago. For me it was something new and was funny clever gimmick to make excitation rise and know show is one curtain lift away. So did the Slipknot curtain lift and it was some sort of chaos, looked like the curtain didn’t rise like it should, but in the end whole show is so chaotic and everything is happening that you couldn’t really tell for sure if it was planned like that.
Tempo was high throughout the whole gig and there were so much happening on the stage that everything couldn’t even be seen or noticed. It is just way easier to watch the show than that list every stunt and theatrical aspect from the show. But let just say that there were mans running side to side on the stage, someone beating hanging cask with baseball bats, percussionist jumping from their high towers to stage and so on. No wonder Slipknot has been said to be hell of a live band. I was little wondering earlier on Friday why the stage was so high. I thought it is just for the looks and big bands need big stages to look superb. When the first pyros hit on the Slipknot gig, it was now clear as day why the stage roof was so high.
The band’s singer Corey Taylor started the first speak with saying that he has waited whole day for to say welcome to the Knotfest! 30 000 people crowd was very loud for cheering back. If the ground was shacking already on Arch Enemy gig, now it was freaking earthquake because all those people jumping in some point!
Slipknot has new album coming about in a month, 30th of September to be precise. The new album The End, So Far has 12 new songs including single “The Dying Song (Time To Sing)” which came out July.
Whole festival was very well organized. Of course, when there is K18 areas for refreshments, this Colden Cirlce area in front of the main stage and VIP-section, there comes these sort of funnels where crowd tightens little bit. The evening started to be pretty dark at this time of the year already, so some more mood lights would have brought easiness for walking. Especially for those who were taken more or less refreshments.
Festival area had also Knotstop Circus Show and for my belief it was on going the whole festival time in the side of pulse of the maggots stage. That really gave something extra for the festival audience! More later on the evening there were two fire shows at Saturday just front of the VIP-section giving some light for darkening evening. One way or another 12th and 13th August was something unique in Finnish metal festival scene, that we most likely will not see again.
Article: Tanu Jänkä
Photos: Sini Sulkakoski