Nosturi welcomes the kings of both death and thrash metal tonight! Package tours organized by Rock The Nation usually don´t stop by Finland, which is a shame. Luckily, Finland isn´t left behind this time for one of the biggest shows of the year, co-headlining Kreator and Morbid Angel! Unsurprisingly, the show is sold-out. Let´s see if it´s indeed as exiting as it sounds.
Fueled By Fire is the first band and might have felt some pressure playing for a crowd waiting for one of the most legendary thrash metal acts. And I need to admit that they do a very good job. That young band from California plays some typical thrash metal from the eighties. Some will complain saying what they play has already be heard thousands of times before… It´s true that Fueled By Fire doesn´t offer anything new, but at least their songs are efficient. The band has a good energy on stage, their songs are in the same vein as early Slayer albums: who can complain about that ?! The young Americans combine all the elements so that the crowd can have a good time.
It´s indeed surprising to see young people conveying the atmosphere of an era when they were probably not even born. Thanks to songs similar to the Accept-sound and Metallica style (“ Kill ´Em All” period), Fueled By Fire plunges us into the eighties and most of the crowd seems to enjoy it. The first headbangs of the evening flourish in the pit, but for sure not the last ones ! “Thrash is Back”, I guess Fueled By Fire couldn´t have found a better song title !
Now we´re getting prepared for some death metal, more exactly for some fast, complex and technical death metal. Who is better at it than Nile ?
The band is part of this tour to promote its latest album “At The Gate of Sethu”. That impressive album is filled with very technical and complex song structures. I was curious to see how the band would handle those songs during live performances. The challenge is executed perfectly! The four musicians deliver a great performance: the bass player Chris Lollis obviously has a secret not to feel dizzy after so much headbanging. However, my attention is more directed towards guitar player Karl Sanders. Just have a look at him and see how relaxed he looks while playing some extremely technical guitar parts. I am amazed to see how it appears so easy for him to play such parts. Plus, Karl has a smile on his face during the whole set and appeared to be very friendly with his fans. It´s always nice to see such skilled musicians who don´t take themselves too seriously. Do I need to mention George Kollias and his amazing playing ? He´s been great tonight behind the drums.
Although it´s very loud, the clear and audible sound contributes to render the songs accurately – especially the new ones. Honestly, I didn´t know what to expect regarding the songs from “ At The Gate of Sethu”as to be played live. Although that album is one of the best death metal albums I´ve ever heard, I feared they might be too technical for a live performance, and no that interesting. And I was wrong, very wrong ! “Enduring the Eternal Molestation of Flame” and the excellent “Supreme Humanism of Megalomania” are such great live songs. They just work in spite of their high level of technicality. .Apart from the performance itself, I think it´s first and foremost the set-list which mostly makes that show so great. Alongside with new songs, the crowd can also enjoy older songs like the mighty “Black Seeds of Vengeance”. It seems the band had as much pleasure playing as the crowd has watching. The death metallers seem to be happy to play in Helsinki tonight.
Too bad Nile don´t get to play a longer set, though (barely 40 minutes ). Some great songs are left behind (“In Their Darkened”). However, the band still managed to play a diverse set by including songs from almost every album.
After a short break, some more death metal is coming to us ! Morbid Angel starts its set with “Immortal Rites”, an evidence that the Americans are still attached to their early days and their roots. Basically not so many new songs are played and I guess it was a pretty smart choice from the band. Some fans were really disappointed by the latest Morbid Angel album “Illum Divinum Insanus”.
I assume the band probably didn´t want to take any risks tonight. The few songs they play from their latest album turn out to be the most death metal songs, so the atmosphere doesn´t go down, although it´s obvious the crowd is more reluctant to those new songs and less recptive ( “Nevermore” , “Existo Vulgoré”). The set-list actually revolves around two albums : “Altars of Madness” and “ Covenant”. Many will agree that those two contain the best songs from Morbid Angel, so you can imagine how delighted the fans are to hear those good oldies live.
Some fans almost lose their minds when “Chapel of Ghouls” is played, which must have been the most awaited song; and also the occasion for the gifted guitar player Trey Azagthoth to show all his skill. And all the looks suddenly switch from David Vincent to Trey. His playing is even more impressive to see live than to hear on the album format. The band seems happy to play too! The leader David Vincent is impressive and he ´s got much charisma. We can´t help looking at him and his evil smile… he does whatever he wants with the crowd which is mesmerized by him.
It is seriously getting hot in the Nosturi which is now filled with moshpits. That show was the occasion for Mobid Angel to remind some people that they´re one of the best death metal bands. After this show, I bet that even those who hate “Illum Divinum Insanus” are now brought back together with the band. I´m sure that Morbid Angel secretly aimed at winning back fans with this tour and the mission is accomplished! Fans are satisfied, really exhausted though. Will the crowd now be strong enough for the Kreator show ?
Lights are turned off and footage – flashbacks on the career of Kreator – is projected on a screen. Okay, that´s nice but the crowd is really getting impatient. The legendary Kreator finally hit the stage and I have the feeling the band wouldn´t even have to do more to conquer the fans… Indeed, the venue is now really packed – and restless. We can feel the excitement of the crowd at the idea of seeing the kings of thrash metal playing live. Thrash metal must be on the most popular metal genre, since it appeals naturally to people who used to listen to it in their twenties, but also to younger fans and teens.
The stage setting goes along with the theme and the artwork of “Panthom Antichrist”. Zombies and other creatures appear on the backdrop and everywhere on the stage. Like a the head of a zombie facing the drum kit. The lighting also goes along with this atmosphere, the bandmembers are just shadows… Not so nice for photographers, it had a good impact on the overall atmosphere though. As usual, the German band doen´t take any risk regarding the set-list and includes songs from many albums, making sure to pick the best ones. Songs from recent albums ( “From Flood Into Fire”, “Civilization Collapse”, “Enemy of God”, “Voices of the Dead”), but also the classics and probably the most awaited (“Flag of Hate”, “Extreme Aggression”, “Pleasure to Kill”).
Mille Petrozza is way more than a frontman, he acts as real war officer tonight! And he does know how to lead the battlefield that the pit has been transformed into. He is also enthusiastic and he thanks his fans for having come to the show over and over again.
Actually Kreator played a great show as usual, but the show also takes place in the pit. I need to admit that Kreator provides the crowd with all the conditions to unleash its energy: Towards the end of the set, the crowd seems a little tired though. It´s been some sports, especially for the ones who have been here since Fueled By Fire.
Thanks to a mix of new and older songs – and thanks to the incredible energy of the band – Kreator put Nosturi on fire tonight.
It´s great to see that even after so many years, the band is still happy to play as if it was their first tour. It seems like the thrash metallers still have that same motivation, and that´s probably the reason why they still deliver some breath-taking shows. Oh, and probably also why they keep on releasing amazing albums even today – which is not always the case with “old bands”…
Thanks, Kreator, for having provided us with some high-class metal tonight!