Last year, GLADENFOLD, the boundary-breaking metal act from Turku, managed to surprise us with their latest album, “When Gods Descend.” When the band announced that they would be holding a special virtual concert on 21 May 2020, we made sure we were present to watch their show.
The energetic “Succubus Kiss” served as a dynamic opener for the show, which immediately showed what an incredible live band this band really is. With seemingly complex tracks, the band performed in a concentrated but relaxed manner. “Six Soldiers Stand” continued the energetic set and kept up the pace; guitar melodies are thrown around as if it’s no big deal and vocalist Esko Itälä showed his versatile skills in his delivery. Itälä greeted the virtual audience and introduced the next song, “Immortalis,” which calmed the pace significantly, but with its beautiful melody lines, it could easily enchant the viewer behind their screen. Keyboard player Paavali Pouttu pulled out a blazing keyboard solo as well. Next, the band played “Sanctuary Denied,” which offered a bit of peace of mind after the intense power metal -laden tracks.
GLADENFOLD continued with “Starforge”; with its epic riffs, the song deigns to prove itself to be an excellent live track. Up next, “Game of Shadows” continued in a similar way, with seemingly more intricate riffs and melodies, managing to keep the quality as high as possible. “Brothers” was perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the previous album and the song was definitely the highlight of the show. Starting with an incredible scream along with powerful riffs, the song launches itself forward, combining melodic death metal and power metal seamlessly. “The Forsaken” continues in a similar way. The band finished up their set with the last track, “Last Defender,” an epic way to end their performance.
All-in-all, GLADENFOLD performed an outstanding set with songs that were catchy, easy on the ear, and had a lot of great symphonic elements layered in them, which made them sound even bigger than their studio versions. It was definitely a show to watch for those who enjoy power metal and melodic death metal and are open to combining the best of both.