Swiss emissaries of folk metal also known as ELUVEITIE are currently on a European tour to promote their new album “Ategnatos” and they presented us a fabulous pre-Christmas gift by bringing their tour to a stop in the cold and dark north. The show took place in Helsinki at Tavastia on December 13th. The tour brought the band to Finland for two shows, after Tavastia their next stop was at Pakkahuone in Tampere. Supporting ELUVEITIE were the by now legendary Italian goth-metal band LACUNA COIL and the rising Moldovan nu-metal/metalcore-squad INFECTED RAIN. Check out our photo gallery here, and our interview with Chrigel Glanzmann.
I arrived at Tavastia just before the first band INFECTED RAIN started playing. There were a bunch of people already queuing outside in the breeze and cold, as it always tends to be this time of the year in Finland. The gig had been sold out for months in advance, so it was clear that the bands had been long overdue with their visit. Despite the queue outside the venue floor seemed rather empty upon arrival, but steadily more people started to gather in front of the stage before the first band. I was eager to see how tonight’s performances would turn out because it was the first time I saw all of these bands.
Moldovan INFECTED RAIN opened the evening with a firm grasp as they stepped onto the stage. They have been known for various musical styles from nu-metal to melodic death metal and metalcore. They released their new album “Endorphin” on October 18th, which was strongly present in their show, covering half of their setlist.
The band kicked off the show with a calm intro before singer Elena “Lena Scissorhands” Cataraga opened the show with a very dynamic and strong performance of “Mold”. In the beginning, the crowd was a bit benumbed but after a few songs (and Lena making contact with the audience) people began to warm up to the band and started jumping and raising their hands.
Before the last song, Lena commanded the audience to make a large mosh pit, despite her best efforts the pit only consisted of maybe 10-15 people, but it was enough to make her happy. They played songs from the new album like “The Earth Mantra”, “Black Gold” and “Lure” and older songs like “Sweet, Sweet Lie” and “Orphan Soul”. Singer Lena Scissorhands dominated the stage with her flirting performance and strong vocals. INFECTED RAIN played a rather short, half an hour set, but it was very dynamic and interesting, also you could see that some faces in the crowd were new to the band but still got excited by the show. The stage was officially warmed up for LACUNA COIL. Personally, I hope I can catch them next year when they come to John Smith festival.
4. Orphan Soul
6. Black Gold
7. The Earth Mantra
8. Sweet, Sweet Lie
Next the legendary goth-metal band LACUNA COIL took the stage. They released their new album “Black Anima” on October 11th. The band opened the show with strong self-confidence, of course, since they have been around for so many years with hundreds of shows.
They performed golden oldie songs for their fans like “Blood, Tears, Dust”, “Enjoy the Silence” and “Heaven’s a Lie” and songs from their latest studio effort such as “Save me” and “Sword of Anger”. One can really tell that they have a long career behind them, from their confident postures on the stage. Every move and contact they made in front of the audience seemed well planned and it shows they’ve been doing this for years.
The band has a very theatrical way of performing. The gothic horror makeup with dark hoods fit very well with the overall feel of the performance. All of this, along with the lighting, created a dark mysterious atmosphere that made me think of a cemetery. Cristina’s strong vocals and Andrea’s harsh vocals sounded perfect together. With only 11 songs the setlist was quite short, but they gave their best to all their fans.
1. Blood, Tears, Dust
2. Our Truth
4. Layers of Time
5. Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode cover)
6. House of Shame
7. Sword of Anger
8. Heaven’s a Lie
10. Save Me
11. Nothing Stands in Our Way
The headliner ELUVEITIE made a strong and mysterious entrance. At first, the stage was only covered by a curtain with a spotlit sign from the “Ategnatos” and in front of it came a white-capped woman with a mask and a Celtic-styled horn, then she was joined by two similarly dressed women when all three began chanting a powerful and mystical song in Gaulish language I believe. The curtain dropped as the women left the stage and the whole band appeared theatrically and started to play strongly.
The band mixes many traditional folk instruments such as mandola, bagpipes, Celtic harp, hurdy-gurdy, violin and various flutes with modern ones and the sound of it all was amazing. Each instrument complementing one another beautifully. Fabienne Erni’s clean vocals and Chrigel Glanzmann’s growling blended well together and created this stunning balance between each other in the songs. Not forgetting other band members who truly were mastering their instruments without even breaking a sweat. They really deserved their place on the stage. All band members looked like they had lots of fun and really enjoyed themselves and the whole performance was energetic. They were interacting very well with the crowd throughout the whole set.
The stage looked a bit too small to hold all the 9 members, and even Chrigel said in one of his speeches between the songs that the only bad thing about the evening is that they barely fit on the stage. Still they somehow made it look so easy and not uncomfortable at all.
At the beginning of “Call of the Mountains”, Chrigel asked the crowd if they should sing the next song in English or Swiss-German. He made a decision after listening to the crowd shouting vigorously and gave to us a little present when Fabienne started singing the first verse in Swiss-German. They really know how to add value to their performance and what makes them stand out from the bunch.
Fabienne lulled all of us to into a sweet beautiful trance with the song “Artio”. She sounded like an angel with her clean voice and impressive range. The lighting combined with her voice created an atmosphere of mysticism and calmness. The moment slowly was brought to an end with the beginning of the next song “A Rose for Epona” when the whole band ran to the stage and started to play. The whole crowd started to jump on the fully-packed floor of Tavastia. The set consisted of a really good mix of songs from the new album and old ones.
In conclusion, I have to say I was impressed with ELUVEITIE’s performance. I didn’t know anything about the band before that night’s show, so I didn’t have any expectations. During the week before the show, I listened to their music on Spotify and it didn’t have any effect on me whatsoever. They truly are a live band that has to be witnessed before making any judgments, because after a few songs into their show I came to realize how good they truly are and after the show, I added a few of their tracks to my Spotify playlist. I was really eager to see INFECTED RAIN even though it was a pity that their slot was so short, but all-in-all the night was not a disappointment because I got to know a new band as well as seeing an old favorite perform live. I hope one day I can see them both again.
4. Call of the Mountains
6. Quoth the raven
7. The Slumber
10. A Rose for Epona
12. Drum solo → Havoc
17. Inis Mona