If ever there was an eclectic selection of artists playing together, it might be trio who played at Tavastia on March 11th, 2023: LUNA KILLS, BALANCE BREACH, and LOST SOCIETY. The headliner among these recently released their fifth (damn, has it been that long already!?) studio album, “If the Sky Came Down,” last year, so this local tour has been in heavy celebration of their new material. Having casually started in January, this was the final stop on this tour, which meant we were expecting a party!
The first act of the night was also the act I was most looking forward to, as I am a big fan of LUNA KILLS. The weather driving into town made me late, so I was please to get lucky with parking and make it inside just before they started. They opened with a few familiar tracks off their most recent album, “honey trap” and a personal favorite, “DEAD2ME,” before introducing bassist Lassi Peltonen for “liar, liar,” as the track opens on a very slick bass line.
Vocalist Lotta Ruutiainen was, as always, a marvel to behold – she sounds as though she’s somehow managed to pack decades of experience into a few short years and it is baffling. I was pleased to see some movement in the crowd as well – people were actually bouncing around a bit! Lotta asked the crowd if we’d like to hear something new, encouraging even those in the back to speak up, before launching into “deep cuts”; I love this track particularly because it’s a good bump forward from the sound of their latest album, while other singles have perhaps more continued where they left off (which isn’t a bad thing, I’d easily give their last album full marks if I was in the habit of dishing out scores). Lotta‘s screams were particularly powerful and you can really feel the band’s passion and energy on stage from start to finish. Man, how do we get these guys on Eurovision? Finland might actually stand a chance of winning if they were up there.
“here for the drama” is one of those aforementioned singles that shows off their delightful attitude, which allowed for great headbanging opportunities. Lotta got the crowd singing along to the melody and the words to “BULLET,” taking complete command of the crowd (also, shout-out for for speaking equally as often in English; the foreigners in the crowd surely appreciated it). The final track is a bonafide killer and one of their hottest new tracks, packed with life and energy, which was translated through to the crowd in a glorious moment of moshing. It was an awesome wrap up to the show, so we hope it’s sooner than later when they’re back in town (or back with a new album)!
- honey trap
- liar, liar
- deep cuts
- here for the drama
BALANCE BREACH, who followed, were a completely new experience for me, as I knew the name but hadn’t listened to their music before the show. Not being familiar with their material, they seemed to have some metalcore energy mixed into high energy melodic metal. The audience had packed right up for their set; these guys were the special add-on for the night, with CRYPTIC HATRED having been in the second opener slot during the rest of the tour.
The band kept moving on stage, as if the floor was lava and, after a few songs, the vocalist greeted the crowd and shouted out both LUNA KILLS and LOST SOCIETY, before getting the crowd to cheer before “The Spark.” They had some dank and heavy material in there, as well as some interesting surprises, like an intriguing intro before blasting into something heavy. Overall, they put on a pretty strong show and I’ll definitely have to give their music a spin sometime to get a better idea of what they’re all about.
- Empty Eyes
- Escapers of Paradise
- November Forever
Last but not least, it was LOST SOCIETY‘s turn to take the stage. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually seen these guys in a club setting before, despite having seen them a multitude of times at festivals, so this was bound to be something a bit new for me. The stage was changed over and as the lights dimmed, the “Blood Sugar Remix” intro started and the band busted out to “112,” which – for those of you who may not be Finnish, is the emergency call number in Finland (the equivalent of 911 in North America). This was a pretty bangin’ new live track and the band looked like all the touring had them well warmed up.
Admittedly, I was quite startled by the stark change in Samy Elbanna‘s style – he’s steered so hard into the emo vibe that I completely didn’t recognize him at first. But hey, whatever floats his boat; it sure didn’t affect his ability to scream and fly around the stage like a wild-child. The crowd was properly loud and properly warmed up, getting their hands up and jumping for “Riot.” Samy is relentless at getting the audience hyped up and got all hands in the air for the title track of their latest release, though he had to stop the show, as somebody in the crowd wasn’t feeling well; security reacted swiftly, despite the packed and sold-out venue, so shout-out to them for being fast to respond and take care of this person! They then played the title track to the latest album. While their newer material is a lot less thrashy and far more melodic than their original albums, it nevertheless worked fairly well live, but they made sure to keep all fans in the loop by then bouncing back to “(We Are The) Braindead.”
The set was a nice selection to show off their sound, with the heavy stomping “Awake” being one of my personal highlights from the new material. They wrapped up the main set with “Creature” from the new album and “Outbreak (No Rest for the Sickest)” from their second-last release, but came back for three more songs: “Into Eternity,” “No Absolution,” and “Stitches” were the final tracks of the night. Alas, my old whiplash injury was acting up and I had to skedaddle before the end of their set, but word on the street was that they kept Tavastia lit up until the very end. Of note, there was an ambulance outside when I was leaving, so I hope whoever had gotten ill got the help they needed.
This proved to be a great night full of awesome energy. Naturally, LUNA KILLS was my personal favorite, but LOST SOCIETY proved that they can handle a club just as well as any festival, while BALANCE BREACH definitely should be looked into. I’m only sorry that my old bones couldn’t handle a bit of a longer night, especially since the doors had already opened at 18:00 (an hour earlier than usual here).
Written by Bear Wiseman
Photos by Laureline Tilkin
- Blood Sugar Remix intro
- If the Sky Came Down
- (We Are The) Braindead
- What Have I Done
- Hurt Me
- KILL (Those Who Oppose Me)
- Outbreak (No Rest for the Sickest)
- Into Eternity (encore)
- No Absolution (encore)
- Stitches (encore)