Wed. Dec 2nd, 2020

28.11.2019 Ghost: The Ultimate Tour Named Death w/ Tribulation & All Them Witches @ Hartwall Arena, Helsinki

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to see GHOST as a special guest during the METALLICA tour. Over the past decade, the band featuring Cardinal Copia and the Nameless Ghouls have dominated the stages of Europe, making appearances at thousands of festivals and clubs. No surprise that the band would make a stop at Finland’s biggest concert venue: Hartwall Arena on 28 November 2019. The Swedish metal act invited the dark TRIBULATION, and the heavy ALL THEM WITCHES along to ensure the audience would have a great night out. Check out our photo gallery of TRIBULATION here.

Opening the event was TRIBULATION, emerging from the Swedish death metal scene in 2004, this band has an uncompromised vision of breaking boundaries. I discovered the band at Tuska 2018, and not only fell in love with their sound, but their aesthetics also convinced me that this was something truly unique. The band recently released their latest live album “Alive & Dead At Södra Teatern“, which truly showcases their full potential. Unfortunately, we weren’t as lucky as the people at Södra Teatern, we only had the pleasure to watch the band play 40 minutes, mostly dedicated to their latest full-length studio album “Down Below”, which was released in 2018. Nevertheless, we witnessed a breathtaking performance with a unique atmosphere due to the incense smoke mixing up with the green and dark blue lighting. Whilst the crowd at the beginning of the show is still relatively small, it quickly grows throughout their set. With the fairy-like movements of guitarist Jonathan Hultén and Adam Zaars, the show felt like ethereal. Check out our photo gallery of TRIBULATION here.

Setlist

  1. Nightbound
  2. Melancholia
  3. The Lament
  4. The World
  5. Cries From the Underworld
  6. The Motherhood of God
  7. Strange Gateways Beckon
  8. Across the Universe

Next, it was time for ALL THEM WITCHES from Nashville who played their stoner and psychedelic rock to the audience at Hartwall Arena. The hefty trio started banging out their guitar riffs and seemed to lose themselves in the lengthy guitar-centered tracks. The three-piece definitely is fun to watch live, but somehow felt a little bit out of place in the lineup. With big instrumental pieces at times and atmospheric elements, it seems like the momentum that TRIBULATION had built, gets a bit lost in time and space. It would have perhaps made more sense to switch the bands around in the lineup.

Finally, it was time for the Swedish heavy metal act GHOST. After the atmospheric intro music “Ashes”, the gigantic curtain drops and the Nameless Ghouls arrive on stage playing the hit single “Rats”, quickly joined by the infamous Cardinal Copia. The band had dedicated their set to a couple of heavy-hitters coming from their entire back catalogue, and thus surprised us track by track with another great song. But it’s not only the songs that are great, but the whole production also is astonishing with the exception of the at times muffled voices from where we were sitting. Darker tracks like “Ritual”, and “Satan Prayer” are blended with more experimental and poppy tunes.

Cardinal Copia charms the crowd often with a lot of humor, urging them to go crazy because tonight was not a Thursday, it was a Friday according to him. The audience clearly agreed, and a lot of times we were able to single out some ladies screaming at the top of their longs. A marriage proposal, and a lot of songs later the visual experience came to an end with the closing duo of “Dance Macabre”, and “Square Hammer”. Before we knew it the arena was empty, and there was almost no proof that a magnificent event had taken place.

Setlist

  1. Ashes
  2. Rats
  3. Absolution
  4. Faith
  5. Mary on a Cross
  6. Devil Church
  7. Cirice
  8. Miasma (Papa Nihil Sax Solo)
  9. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
  10. Helvetesfönster (abridged)
  11. Spirit
  12. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
  13. Ritual
  14. Satan Prayer
  15. Year Zero
  16. Spöksonat
  17. He Is
  18. Mummy Dust
  19. Kiss the Go-Goat
  20. Dance Macabre
  21. Square Hammer

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