& MESSIAH PARATROOPS, 26. 8. 2016, Ravintola Ottopoika
A special event: Markus Laakso – e.g. the mastermind of Kuolemanlaakso, author of the Amorphis biography – presents his first solo album, performing as a singer for the first time in his long music career, and he celebrates a round birthday as well – unfortunately in his hometown, which means a 4-5h trip for me… and catching a bus directly after work. Traffic jams resulted in a 1h delay, therefore I missed the openers, the resurrected local 90s Death Metal legends MESSIAH PARATROOPS. Indeed it was so tight that the headliner began within 5min after my arrival. Then another shock – the camera doesn’t work…
Well, questionable whether I might have got better results with camera instead of cellphone, for several reasons. Mr. Laakso has always been anything but eager to be in the spotlight, and I had already wondered how he would deal with his new role as a front man in the limelight. Well, not much of limelight – the atmosphere remained Gothic-atmospheric with lots of fog effects… which means, you hardly ever caught the star of the evening in full view.
Which suited the music well – the major part of The Gothic Tapes, dominated by a wonderfully sonorous powerful voice – a bit like Jyrki69 – and also competent in a higher pitch; Laakso also added the occasional shout or growl. You could not help thinking why on earth it took this guy so long to grab a mike?
A congenial live band: Tiera (KL) – drums, Maasu (Kaikkeus) – bass, Tomi Henttunen (Royal Lips) – guitar und V. Santura (Triptykon, ex- Celtic Frost) – guitar, and the sound in the club was excellent. Despite a certain anxiety could be sensed in the beginning, when not everything went according to plan, Laakso eased into his new role quickly and entertained the audience, e.g. When announcing the Tiamat cover “I Am In Love With Myself”. The live version of My Last Words – instant gooseflesh. The special guest of the night, Helena Haaparanta, provided another highlight with Deeper into the Unknown – just voice and Kantele – another gooseflesh moment.
Naturally the solo album hit song “The World’s Intolerable Pain” was not to be missed (video below).
After the encore – Ramones’ “Poison Heart” – it was over, at least with singing from the stage; the audience serenaded Laakso’s 40s birthday. A nice conclusion of a great evening, with a gig that felt being way too short. More about the album – out in September – soon.