19-20 January 2018, Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
The original idea was to put the first Metal Crane Festival as Elmu Bar Event into the adjacent Nosturi foyer, yet the ticket demand suggested to move it into the much bigger club hall… not really surprising for me considering the line-up, some of the band names promised a full house…
Well, maybe not the first one. Not sure whether some people might have heard of Among The Prey before (I haven’t). Nevertheless they faced a nice crowd at this early hour – even the balcony was open, always a good sign. And a familiar face in the background (literally, drummer Atte Palokangas, e.g. Thunderstone, Agonizer) promised value for money. Indeed, this Melodic Death version with Pantera elements of this band from Jyväskylä is worth to be checked out. facebook.com/amongtheprey/
No need to say much about Brymir – and considering the number of enthusiastic fans (plus the amount of band merch they were wearing), I think quite a lot of people have come to see this band in particular… No big surprise here either as Brymir have made a name already, providing first class Power Pagan Metal with some tongue-in-cheek attitude. Viktor’s announcements alone can turn a bad day into a good one (e.g. the show in Tampere about a week before) … facebook.com/Brymir/
Another nice aspect of Elmu-Bar-organisation and age limit 18 – you could move around freely around the building even when holding a malt-based refreshment, which is rather unusual for a Finnish event. Which might have added to the overall good mood? Well, no need for this extra magic potion to enjoy the show of Catamenia. The audience appreciated to see them back on stage again after quite a long time-out. A brilliant return gig of this legendary Melodic Metal act from Oulu. and several other follow in March – don’t miss them! www.catamenia.net
Mentioning enthusiastic reactions due to a long Metal scene absence – well, the headliner of this evening inspired those even more: Kalmah. It is about 5 years ago those Swamp Metallers have released a record – no wonder hell broke lose as soon as they entered the stage. They should also claim the attendance record of the entire festival … A tight delivery of dirty riffs of those swamp-things, even a song they have not played in 10 years was included. www.kalmah.com
Day 2 attracted about the same amount of people as the day before, which means that also the first band of this evening faced a quite impressive crowd. Again, not such a surprise because The Hypothesis had released a brilliant debut album (review here) and presented some more new material, even a brand new single named “Illusion Now” . Check them out! facebook.com/TheHypothesisband/
Bloodred Hourglass I had begun to like the first time I saw them live, several years ago, and since then they even got better and better. In case you still miss Before The Dawn – this could be a replacement, as they deliver a string of Melodic Death ear candy, grooving and totally addictive! My only complained, they played one of my faves from te new album HEAL when I was still in the photo pit… Btw, guitarist Lauri Silvonen (who plays bass for Wolfheart) had found a substitute in brother Eero – and for some reason people chanted his name several times… www.brhg.net
Whispered proved once again their unique appeal. After delivering the brilliant “Metsutan” Album the quality of those Melodic Death Metal Samurai’s music should be apparent, not to mention their live presence. The enthusiastic crowd at Nosturi just proved that the band has inspired quite a following in their home country. And Whispered were definitely the most photogenic band of this festival … www.facebook.com/whisperedband/
As and Austrian I definitely enjoyed to see my countrymen on a bigger stage than last time – Harakiri For The Sky. Their doomy-melancholic music fits the Scandinavian mood quite well, their style of live presentation was a bit different to the other bands of the festival. Not much of show effects regarding lights or movement, no speeches between songs – yet vocalist J.J. delivered an intense performance rather in Hardcore voice style, maybe reminding a bit of Primordial – raw existential urgency in every line, every syllable. The Finnish fans were impressed and wanted even more after an encore – yet at some point every festival has to end.
See you next time, because the big success suggests there will be another Metal Crane event!
photos: K. Weber – more photos HERE