The organizers of this year's Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki, Finland have been forced to make a couple of slight but very regrettable changes in the program.

British cult band BAL-SAGOTH have been forced to cancel their performance at the festival. For some time now, the band have stated on their web site that the recordings of their forthcoming album are still in their final stages. As a result, the Tuska organizers have received the following message from the band's frontman Byron:

"BAL-SAGOTH will regrettably not now be playing the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki, Finland as previously planned. This is due to the fact that the band are in the final stages of recording the long awaited and much delayed sixth and final album, and all available time and effort is being directed towards the completion of the opus. However, BAL-SAGOTH greatly look forward to playing in Helsinki and meeting their steadfast Finnish supporters later in the year once the sixth album has been completed."

Plans for a club show in Helsinki this autumn are currently underway.

Replacing BAL-SAGOTH at this year's festival will be British folk metal pioneers SKYCLAD. The band were one of the first to combine traditional metal with folk influences in a way that has attracted a large number of followers. SKYCLAD's last studio album, "A Semblance of Normality", was released in 2004.

Immediately prior to their Tuska appearance, SKYCLAD will perform two days in a row at the Dong Festival in Germany, with a regular performance scheduled for Friday, July 15 and an acoustic one slated for Saturday, July 16. SKYCLAD will perform at Tuska on Sunday, July 17 at 4:45 p.m. on the Sue Stage.

There are still a few hundred tickets left for Friday, July 15. All other tickets are sold out. Remaining tickets for Friday cost 32 euros each and they are sold at Tiketti ( and Lippupalvelu (

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival is set to be held July 15-17 at Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki, Finland. Bands slated to appear at the festival include MONSTER MAGNET, APOCALYPTICA, FINNTROLL, PRIMAL FEAR, DESTRUCTION, DIMMU BORGIR, TESTAMENT, GAMMA RAY, ACCEPT, SENTENCED, CHILDREN OF BODOM and EVERGREY.

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