Emergency Gates, Eluveitie, Caliban
The 23rd of February 2009
Tavastia Club Helsinki Finland
Pics and article by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
Attending to gigs on a Monday is kind of a painful task for metal bangers after the heavy alcohol consumed and filled-up weekend. As witnessed before at the Destruction gig, a little bit over 100 old school thrash metal worshipers crawled in to check out one of the German thrash legends, which was quite embarrasing. When another one of the three German thrash legends conquered the soil of Finland with three support acts, presumably 450 people entered to witness these enemies of god in the “horde of chaos” at the Tavastia club. Well it wasn’t that horrible of a turn-out, but it could have been better. As to these opening bands, each of them represented a different metal genre as there was metalcore to folk/forest whatever metal? The combination was quite weird as well as interesting, but several old school metal maniacs arrived at the venue before Kreator arranged the real run amok run in the pit.
The club was pretty empty when the opening group, previously unknown for sure, called Emergency Gate opened the night early at 7.30 pm. Although Emergency Gate appeared to be less known up in Finland, they have been around since the mid 90’s and got a few albums out. The German six-piece obviously presented more of a modern metal approach than relying on the old school metal. The stuff by Emergency Gate could be easily described a hybrid mix of classic and power metal meets metalcore. The guitar duet definitely did have killer riffs in several songs, but the vocalist’s trendy core style growling ruined most of songs. Hmm… does every band rely on having these sorts of non-inspiring metalcore vocals as there are a number of bands trying the same thing. Whatever....as the opening band, none of the people were that keen on them even though most politely cheered. The output handled the opening slot with a professional attitude and probably gained a few new fans regardless.
The folk metal, or whatever it is called anyway, has spread out throughout Europe like a wildfire during the whole decade. To be honest, there are a plenty of killer awesome sounding bands, mediochre ones, and less appealing ones. As far Eluveitie, hailing from Switzerland, the band had a massive boost after their second album. The band features more members than the one can calculate and has been to plenty of festivals. Unfortunately, the half of the band’s line-up was unable to make it to Finland, therefore guitarists from other bands had been recruited to handle the guitarist slots. Besides the departure of the crazy twins was definitely a huge blow to Eluveitie. But they will be making a return to Tuska, presumably with the missing members. When following Eluveitie, some could say they are a poor man's version of In Flames if it weren't for several other instruments like the violin, flute and other exotic instruments. They truly creates the sound world of Eluveitie, giving one kind of folkish metal approach and separates Eluveitie from others. Both the ladies appeared to be quite active banging their heads severly, whereas the bassist remained mostly in the background. The short gig mostly consisted of tracks off SLANIA and a few picked up from SPIRIT.
Caliban made their debut to Finland years ago, opening for Machine Head. These German metalcore bashers delivered an asskicking set back then and gave a lesson in the formation of the wall-of-death. Some waters have flown in the river since that visit. Their return to Finnish soil had the same aggressive rage and the bluster, but hold on… Somehow Caliban have more and more ventured into the eccentric format of emo-core-something. The whole band looked like a strange combination of metal, hardcore and emo guys in the same package. Well the singer may have adopted make-up tips from all kinds of emo-clowns a little bit too much whereas the guitarist could be in some NY hard core group. Obviously the audience wasn’t correct for Caliban, even though some kids were jumping in the front of the stage. The singer didn’t give up attempting to lure the audience to arrange pits, there were some pits and even a wall-of-death. Caliban’s didn’t sound that umcompromising tight. The 2004 gig was excellent at least.
Kreator’s previous gig at Tavastia wasn’t that convincing a few years ago. One of the main reasons was Celtic Frost’s dominating, mesmerizing and obscure lead to into the pandemonium of monotheist, dethroning Kreator and usurpring the jewel throne during that night. Secondly, the German thrash legends’ attempt by reconquering the throne was ruined by some unseen technical problems. A visit to the Tuska festival last summer didn’t cause much of a 'riot of violence' feeling either. But things keep changing even into the positive vibe. Kreator's latest opus HORDES OF CHAOS is a refreshing brutal thrash whipping metal output to the bone. The whole album sounds extremly vital, brutal and above all presents the raw nihlistic approach of Kreator. Therefore it was quite logical to expect the songs off the output would work more than well in a live situation. To be honest, the newer material off the 12th album fit to the set perfectly along with other tracks. For example “Warcurse” and “Amok Run” are brutal as hell and sounded extremely aggressive. In general the setlist contained the stuff from last three outputs mixed with mandatory classics from the past albums of the 80’s for obvious reasons. It could be argued about the setlist forever, but picking up less played ones like: "Leave This Word Behind", "Blind Faith", “Terror Zone” or anything from 90’s era Kreator would be definitely a welcome addition to set list.
Fortunately there was one exception here; “Riot of Violence” from the 1986 classic PLEASURE TO KILL had been added to the list and it caused an enormous thrilled reaction in the audience. In fact the floor was literally burning up when fans were pushing each other, raging like maniacs in the pit. It must be said that, compared to their last few previous visits here, Kreator now sounded really fresh and vital. Mille Metrozza was his usual himself. Politics and other decision makers got again to feel Mille’s endless anger while bands Finnish guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö and bassist Christian Giesler stayed more in the background. The star of the evening was still sitting behind the drum stool. Ventor’s playing was simply awesome and among with such names as Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph, he’s one the best drummers in metal world. Really impressive!!
Summing up this show in brief it can be said that Kreator had successfully recharged their batteries for the tour, as being in a real vicious strike during their one hour plus set. There was nothing wrong there, but the other things… the number of support bands was something which was difficult to understand in this kind of event and not to even mention; what was the purpose to have bands from such different genres here at the same time? Barely anybody gets a benefit on such a thing, right?
The Kreator tour continues around the globe supporting their new masterpiece and after the European trek is finished band will hit the North American soil together with Exodus, Belphegor and Warbringer. That will be an utter pleasant way to attend to check out how Kreator sound with the new stuff on the stage.
Hordes of Chaos
Voices of the Dead
Enemy Of God
Destroy What Destroys You
Pleasure To Kill
People of the Lie
Coma Of Souls
Riot Of Violence
Flag Of Hate/Tormentor