15.4.2022 Ember Falls & Arion @ On the Rocks, Helsinki

0
42

If there were ever two hot local bands to check out, they’d be ARION and EMBER FALLS. Both released new albums last year, Vultures Die Alone and Ruins respectively, but neither were able to properly tour because of the global pandemic. Well, now they’re able to pair up and set out on a short tour of Finland, starting on April 15th in Helsinki at On the Rocks. If you think we weren’t there, you’re sorely mistaken!

Having just seen EMBER FALLS the previous Saturday for their album release show in Tampere, we were quite excited to see which songs they’d be playing – would we hear the whole new album again or not? Well, we started on the same note as the band took the stage for their intro/title track, “Ruins,” though WOW did this stage feel cramped compared to Olympia. While EMBER FALLS have, in the past, had a little trouble pulling a crowd in Helsinki, it seems that “Ruins” has done them credit, as the floor filled up quickly before they made it into “Divine.” Still a great banger to start out at show! It was already clear by “Heart Shaped Black Scar” that they had loosened up after playing that pent-up first show, so even if the space was more cramped, the not-so-serious fun shone through. Fists went up and people started jumping for “We Are Become Fire,” which was great despite the sound system not being able to handle the black metal interlude whatsoever.

People were banging their heads to “For All” and the whole crowd had their hands up and clapping for “The World is Burning.” Naturally, “Broken” was chilling, as Tuomas Välimaa sang about consciousness getting uploaded into a digital form, leading into “Absinthe Children,” which had some choice screams added into Tuomas‘ vocals; a nice addition considering the growls are usually saved for Kalle. They wrapped up the set with “Shut Down With Me,” declaring it a classic for live EMBER FALLS, and it got off to a hot start until the guitar vanished from the mix. A bummer, but the energy was still there on stage at least!

As per usual, these guys were absolutely on fire and it was great for those who didn’t have a chance to come to Tampere to still hear the album played in full. Needless to say, the stage was sufficiently warmed up and then some for ARION thanks to these guys!

Setlist

  1. Ruins
  2. Divine
  3. Heart Shaped Black Scar
  4. We Are Become Fire
  5. For All
  6. The World is Burning
  7. The Wall
  8. Broken
  9. Absinthe Children
  10. Shut Down with Me (encore)

The stage changeover began and we had a chuckle over the efforts to set up such a big backdrop on such a small stage. Surprisingly, they began to blast the fog machine quite a while before the show was set to start, so that it was more or less impossible to see anything or breathe by the time the show was supposed to start – my sympathy to the photographers in that mess. They were surprisingly close to on time (for a band who tends to have technical setbacks) when the intro began to play, starting up with “No One Stands in My Way,” which quickly drew the crowds onto the floor. Lassi Vääränen greeted the crowd as they started “Vultures Die Alone” – the almost-title-track proved to kick ass pretty well live, with special mention going to the synth sound. The stopped for a proper chat with the crowd afterwards, then went quickly into “Punish You,” throwing another song from their second album in already. That’s not a complaint though, as that song rules and works great live, especially when it shreds and the low-end gets tasty. They followed suit with their traditional songs by pulling out “Seven” from their first album… seems they played enough festivals that they weren’t too concerned with dishing out new tracks first. Personally, we’d have preferred if they had done “Last of Us” instead, but that’s just personal preferences.

The heavy intro to “I Love to Be Your Enemy” is always thrilling, and the track made room for Iivo Kaipainen to do a solo afterwards. This was maybe the most unnecessary moment of the night – the songs are proof enough that Iivo knows his way around the instrument, and the solo interrupted the general gig energy in a weird way. It was picked up by “Break My Chains” though, which followed. They rocked through a couple more new songs, then gave fans a treat in the form of “Unforgivable.” “In the Name of love” was perhaps even better live despite not having its guest vocalist or its backing track, though the extended guitar solo at the end (again) bordered on wanky. That said, if ARION‘s gonna crush the end of a show, it’s going to be with “Bloodline,” so that was worth sticking around for. They wrapped things up with “I’m Here to Save You,” then came back to do an encore with the dramatic ballad, “You’re My Melody,” and finished up with their big hit, “At the Break of Dawn.”

Overall, these guys put on a pretty sick show and the sound quality managed to be decent on the whole, making for a really solid night by two really solid bands. It was nice to have an idea what their future sets will include, though hopefully ARION won’t stay married to the same old tracks every time, and change things up once in a while. It goes without saying, but if you missed out on these gigs, for shame!

Setlist

  1. No One Stands in My Way
  2. A Vulture Dies Alone
  3. Punish You
  4. Seven
  5. I Love to Be Your Enemy
  6. guitar solo
  7. Break My Chains
  8. I Don’t Fear You
  9. Out of My Life
  10. Unforgivable
  11. In the Name of Love
  12. Bloodline
  13. I’m Here to Save You


Photos by Laureline Tilkin