As part of a greater gig featuring DEAD BY APRIL and BLIND CHANNEL co-headlining, Ember Falls played a show at Nosturi in Helsinki on 20 April 2019. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to come see them to write my first-ever report.
I had never seen EMBER FALLS live before and I only knew maybe two of their songs by name beforehand. Nevertheless, I had enjoyed the material I had heard before and was excited to see how those songs would fare live; particularly their most famous song to date, “Shut Down With Me,” which is such a catchy, motivational rocket of an anthem that it carved its tune into my mind from the very first listen.
We arrived at Nosturi just in time to hear the intro tape starting while we were walking upstairs. The sold-out venue was not at its full capacity yet at his point and we found ourselves a nice spot in front of the sound booth to view the show. After the intro finished, they started the set with “COE,” which I thought was really recognizable and sounded like EMBER FALLS, even though the song was unknown to me. Piercing synth melodies played alongside catchy and clear, yet still-heavy, guitar riffs were accompanied by an awesome and hectic lightshow. It surprised me to notice that they don’t have a keyboard player on the stage with them at all, although their music relies heavily on keyboard melodies. The band seemed energetic, if also a tad bit stiff in the beginning, but they loosened up quickly after a few songs.
The playing was technically solid and it was evident that the band really had some skills. Vocalists Thomas Grove and Calu, with clean and growling vocals, worked well together and added good some variation and richness to the songs. Thomas Grove doesn’t have the highest voice register, but his voice is so powerful and clear-sounding (with a little rasp) that you could hear it well through their very bombastic and buff music. Of course, this has also to do with the mix, which all-in-all I had no complaints about. I felt as if l could hear every element and instrument well while not even using earplugs
The audience, while seemingly interested and excited, were a little bit passive on the fist pumping front at first and needed of some encouragement; the band were eager to assist in that matter during almost every opportunity the music granted. This effort, combined with bands positive energy, worked well and little-by-little the action spread across the floor.
The band had had quite a break in touring and had prepared a nice surprise for the audience in the form of two new songs. Although for me, most of their material was all kinds of fresh, there was something special in the new stuff. The band seemed really eager to perform the new material, so they kicked up their game a notch yet again. This surprise also filled the audience with excitement. For me, these new songs were the highlight of this gig; I was already impressed with the first new song called “Heart Shaped Black Scar,” but the second one, called “Divine,” was even better! While standing on their own as songs, they presented the same new style in the sound; the new material was clearly EMBER FALLS, but for me it felt more massive and with more aggression, not forgetting their trademark super-catchy melodies.
After the exciting and promising glimpse into what the band has in store for us in the future, it was time for the first song I had been waiting for: “The Cost of Doing Business.” I felt it would be one of their sure-fire crowd-pleasers and it seems I was right, considering the reaction to it. Also, now that I actually knew the song, I could tune myself even better into the party mood the music called for. After two more songs, they finished their set with the one I believe many of us had been anticipating the most: the shamelessly catchy rebel act calling for you to stick it to the man, “Shut Down With Me.” The band played it with vigor and got us to sing along, fist pump, and “dance” to the tune. It was a great finale for my first Ember Falls experience.
It was a compact gig, with the nine songs they played, energetic without any dragging moments, and made me yearn for more in a good way. By the next time I’ll be sure to get more acquainted with their catalog to get the most out of this party metal experience.
- Rising Tide
- One More Time
- Heart Shaped Black Scar(Uusi kappale)
- Divine(Uusi kappale)
- The Cost of Doing Business
- Falling Rain
- The Lamb Lies Down in Sacrifice
- Shut Down With Me