Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

29.11.2019 Silver Dust, Rotting Christ & Moonspell @ Tavastia, Helsinki

Portugal’s excellent dark metal band MOONSPELL along with the Greek legends of ROTTING CHRIST will be putting their final touch on the Finnish November darkness with a couple of shows all around Finland. The snowfall on the evening of 29 November 2019, made the perfect setting for the dark entourage to celebrate darkness at Tavastia in Helsinki. The bands brought along their support act of the night SILVER DUST, and we were there to witness the grim evening of excellent metal tracks. Check out our gallery here.

Due to the fact that the event was sold out, a lot of people already gathered to see the Swiss support act SILVER DUST. I hadn’t heard of the band before and had no expectations whatsoever. To my great surprise, SILVER DUST appeared to be a fun band, with theatrical performance. As the intro of “Libera Me” starts playing, the band enters the stage, followed by the second track of their latest album “House 21”, “The Unknown Soldier”. The stage also is the host of a vertical video screen that is showing mysterious videos accompanying the songs. The steampunk-inspired band only have a limited time to play their tracks, so it felt like perhaps we only witnessed a light version of their show, but altogether I surely enjoyed their music thoroughly, and hope to someday even see a headlining show with a full stage production.

The crew did their best to guarantee a quick stage makeover and made room for ROTTING CHRIST to start their show well on time. In comparison to SILVER DUST, ROTTING CHRIST lets their music do the talking. Their music is incredibly dark, and atmospheric, which is perhaps why their show is a little bit more minimal. Even though indeed their production is indeed quite minimal, it surely is a lot of fun to see the two guitarists synchronize their windmill headbanging. Songs like “dub-sag-ta-ke”, “Fire, God and Fear”, and “Apage Satan” surprised me a lot. I had heard of the band before, but never really took the effort to listen to their music, and I sure seem to have made a huge mistake not doing so. “Dies Irae” was definitely one of the highlights for me, but the audience doesn’t seem to care much about which song is being played when, as they go completely insane to every track, showing me just how much of a fan base these Greeks have. Unfortunately, the show ended way too soon, but one thing I’m sure of… Next time ROTTING CHRIST is in town, I’m going to be there!

MOONSPELL was scheduled to play next, and I couldn’t have been more excited. The last time I was able to attend one of their shows, was at least ten years ago. The set was transformed into ruins of a church-inspired environment, including keyboards that remind me vaguely of the Sibelius monument at the Sibelius Park in Töölö. Much of the set included a lot of songs from their latest studio effort “1755”, which is a concept album, detailing the story of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. This setting kind intrigued me and while delving into what this might represent, I wonder if the band has chosen the ruins of the Carmo Convent which was destroyed during the earthquake as a setting. Nevertheless, not only the decor provided a beautiful atmosphere to the show, frontman Fernando Ribeiro came to the stage accompanied by a lantern during “Em Nome Do Medo”, creating a strong start to what would become an even stronger evening.

With their remarkable presence, the Portuguese metal band dominated the stage at Tavastia without any effort. Each song is played with uttermost precision and a lot of energy. It’s not a surprise that they thus delivered a topnotch set. Ribeiro changed his outfit and came back on stage dressed as a Plague Doctor on the title track “1755”. I’m assuming that after the earthquake at Lisbon, an epidemic of the plague killed thousands of the population, the epic song definitely was a highlight of the show for me.

Apart from songs of the latest album, the band also had room for classics from five other albums, covering the band’s long career. Songs such as “Opium”, which came surprisingly early in the set, “Mephisto”, and “Vampira” were great additions to the setlist, and definitely gems the band kind of is obliged to play to their fans. After the emotive “Alma Mater”, the band left the stage but came back with three more songs: “Todos Os Santos”, “Mute”, and the inevitable “Full Moon Madness”, which formed a climax. While exiting Tavastia, I looked around me and was surrounded by people who had just witnessed the performance of a lifetime, their smiles made that very clear.

Setlist

  1. Em Nome Do Medo
  2. 1755
  3. In Tremor Dei
  4. Opium
  5. Awake!
  6. Night Eternal
  7. Abysmo
  8. Breathe (Until We Are No More)
  9. Everything Invaded
  10. Evento
  11. Mephisto
  12. Vampiria
  13. Alma Mater
  14. Todos os santos (Encore)
  15. Mute (Encore)
  16. Full Moon Madness (Encore)

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