Sat. Nov 28th, 2020

31.1.2020 Keoma, Awake Again & Crimson Sun @ Bar Loose, Helsinki

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, the melodic metal act CRIMSON SUN was the first show we ever covered with Tuonela Magazine. That was also the last time we saw them. This was 2017. Three years ago… When CRIMSON SUN announced they would have an album release show at Bar Loose in Helsinki, we knew we had to be present to find out how the band had translated their new songs to the stage. On top of that the band was supported by the energetic alternative metal act AWAKE AGAIN, and the progressive metal act KEOMA, who also happened to have the first show with their new singer Katri Hiovain. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery here.

Two years ago the Finnish progressive metal act KEOMA won the Tuska Torstai competition and as a result, they won a show at the popular festival. Ever since I’ve been excited about the music these Finns have brought forward. Having seen a handful of shows of the band, I was kind of curious to see their new vocalist Katri Hiovain perform. From the teaser video the band posted, I could tell the frontwoman had a powerful, but yet tender voice.

It was no surprise that the teaser really gave an accurate picture of what we were to expect. Both clean vocals and growls were very impressive. The band managed to attract quite an audience, which filled up Bar Loose neatly. Due to the length of their songs, the band only was able to play a handful of songs, nevertheless, they showed great musicianship with their intricate songs. Even though their music is quite complex, KEOMA is quite energetic on stage, which makes the small stage of Bar Loose a little bit limited. This band clearly belongs on bigger stages. They all seemed to be in trance by the music, and it was no shock that when the thirty minutes of performing were over, the venue burst out in applause.

The next band to perform was AWAKE AGAIN. I saw these guys as a support act to CYHRA about two years ago, and they surprised me with their uplifting and energetic set. I have to admit that musically, I’m not really a big fan of their respective genre of music, but I do have to say that whether you like their music or not, there’s no denying this is an entertaining band that will ensure you to have a good night out.

AWAKE AGAIN probably had the most energetic audience, who all seemed to know their catchy songs, sang along and danced to their bouncy tunes. Vocalist Matti Österman is especially fun to observe as he jumps around from left to right, from back to front and engages with the audience a lot. We all know the rivalry between Turku and Helsinki, what surprised me, however, was that when Österman shouted that Turku is the best city of Finland, everyone burst out into a loud cheer. The frontman most likely can wrap just about anyone around his little finger. The band ended their set with the catchy cover “Dark Horse,” and then continued with their own fan’s favorite “Below.”

Finally, it was time for CRIMSON SUN to play their set. Bar Loose was completely full, and it was hard to move around the stage to take shots. This is probably a sign of how loved this band is, and how much everyone has waited for a shot to see the melodic metal band live again. The band kicked off their gig with the energetic “Beast Within,” the workout-friendly track made up for a dynamic start of the evening. Unfortunately, Bar Loose is not the best bar sound-wise, and the band was struggling with some technical issues, I could barely hear the keyboards during the beginning of the show. Luckily, this was solved during the course of the night.

Right from the start, however, it was clear to me how much this band has grown in recent years. For starters, they had a unified stage look, which looked really cool, but the band from Kotka also worked a lot on their performance and gave a great show. What was extremely endearing for me to see was just how happy these guys were. Aside from headbanging, the band was mostly smiling and excited to be back on stage.

The band played through their latest album “Fates.” Songs like “The Prison,” “Trailblazer,” “We Are One,” and “Essence Of Creation,” were truly meant to be played live, as the songs sounded a lot heavier than on the album. The setlist also had some room for oldies such as “Towards The Light,” and “Forever And Away.” But the highlight of the evening definitely was the epic from their latest album “Fates,” named “The Last Day On Earth,” which turned out to be an excellent choice to wrap up the set, but not before the band played their classic “Awaken.”

Even after the encore, the audience was screaming for more, but unfortunately, the band had no more songs to play. All-in-all the show was really energetic, and it showed just how much these guys belong on a stage. I can only hope the band gets to show other venues their worth as well, and that “Fates,” also brought more touring opportunities to them. I truly would recommend a CRIMSON SUN show if you have the chance to check them out.

Setlist

1. The Beast Within
2. Virtual Reality
3. Fate Of Nora
4. Towards The Light
5. The Prison
6. Trailblazer
7. We Are One
8. Essence Of Creation
9. Forever And Away
10. The Last Day On Earth
11. Awaken (Encore)

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