12.3.2024 Fight the Fight & Leprous @ Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki

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In recent years, the progressive metal outfit LEPROUS have become a staple in Finland, having toured extensively in the region. It was only fitting to add another date in Helsinki, Finland on March 12th, 2024, to their Aphelion tour, which is slowly but surely coming to its end. The show at Kulttuuritalo on March 12th, 2024, was supported by the Norwegian progressive metal outfit FIGHT THE FIGHT.

As FIGHT THE FIGHT began their set, the floor at Kulttuuritalo had yet to fill up entirely. However, it became apparent that people gradually made their way to their performance, and by the end of their set, the venue was packed. While I hadn’t heard of the band before, I managed to listen to two songs on Spotify prior to the show and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. The band sounded heavier live, exhibiting boundless energy on stage, and their track “12800” particularly impressed me. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I’m now eager to delve deeper into their material.

Before their Finnish dates, Norwegian progressive metal act LEPROUS posted a video on their social media announcing that they would shake up the setlist a bit, promising to include some of their older material. This decision proved to be a good one, considering Finland’s popularity as a tour destination during the Aphelion tour. Fans were treated to the opportunity to hear songs they may not have experienced live in quite some time, despite the exceptional setlist from the previous year.

The band had typically kicked off their sets during this tour with “Have You Ever?,” so it came as a surprise when they opened with the hard-hitting “Third Law.” This heavy opener set the tone perfectly, as the band unleashed an immense amount of energy from the start. The intense beginning was balanced out by “Angel,” the band’s MASSIVE ATTACK cover, followed by the fan-favorite “The Price,” which always captivates audiences with its dynamic live performance.

The setlist featured a good balance of emotional tracks like “On Hold” and “Castaway Angels,” alongside the band’s hits like “From the Flame.” Following this, vocalist Einar Solberg engaged the audience, asking if they appreciated structure. While the crowd enthusiastically responded, it begged the question: what true progheads truly appreciate any form of structure? Einar seemed to cut to the chase, exclaiming that the next song definitely wasn’t for the crowd, before launching into “Forced Entry.” Despite this disclaimer, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the rollercoaster ride that is this song.

It’s worth noting that despite giving his absolute all, Einar was still struggling a bit at the beginning of the show, having experienced vocal issues during this run. However, towards the end, his voice warmed up a bit better, and he was at least able to hit most of the high notes.

The band then delved into “Slave,” another older track, with Einar explaining that the subsequent song originated from their first album, which they disdain and therefore seldom perform live. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to hear “Passing,” judging by the fans’ reactions, suggesting it would be wise for the band to include it more frequently in their setlists. Einar‘s rare growls added an impressive touch to the live performance of this track.

“Distant Bells” began with a unique introduction, incorporating twinkling sounds alongside the familiar piano intro. The minimalistic nature of the song, combined with atmospheric lighting, seamlessly integrated it into the show’s setlist. “The Cloak” and “Below” provided a fitting conclusion to the setlist, before the band wrapped up the evening with the intricate encore, “The Sky Is Red,” a perfect choice to conclude the evening due to its ominous character.

Overall, it was a pleasure to witness the progressive metal act LEPROUS conclude their album cycle with many of their strongest songs from “Aphelion,” while also treating the Helsinki audience to some rare tracks. Although it may be some time before we have the opportunity to experience the band’s progressive music once again, the wait will undoubtedly be worth it!

Article & photos by Laureline Tilkin

Setlist

  1. Third Law
  2. Angel (Massive Attack cover)
  3. The Price
  4. I Lose Hope
  5. On Hold
  6. Castaway Angels
  7. From the Flame
  8. Forced Entry
  9. Slave
  10. Passing
  11. Distant Bells
  12. The Cloak
  13. Below
  14. The Sky Is Red (Encore)