27.11.2020 Tuska Utopia #3: Apocalyptica @ Pälkäneen rauniokirkko, Pälkäne

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For three weeks straight, Tuska Festival has organized special evenings with streamed concerts focused on promoting Finnish music, as well as Finnish tourism. We’ve already had the pleasure of watching industrial titans TURMION KÄTILÖT in the first episode, and heavy metal act BATTLE BEAST in the second. Now, the unique cello-centric metal act APOCALYPTICA, were starring in the third episode, set to play at the Pälkäne church ruins, relatively close to Tampere.

APOCALYPTICA started their set with a song from their latest album, “Ashes of the Modern World,” a song that is quite fitting for the world’s situation right now. The church grounds provided the perfect setting for the gloomy song and served as a great beginning to their set. As was standard in the first two episodes, the performance was again interrupted by the tourist segment, hosted by LOST SOCIETY‘s own Samy Elbanna. Out of all episodes, this one made the most sense and contained some interesting facts about the church and its history, including the fact that the church was built on a pre-medieval burial ground. Facts like these are interesting for both Finns and people eager to visit the country and it’s a shame that it took them three episodes to focus on some real tourismand history, and not just fun facts about Finland. Unfortunately, like in other shows, these segments that were used as intermezzos really break the flow of the concert and it would have been so much nicer to see it as an introduction or outro to the live segment.

The next track that the three cellists and drummer played was “Hope,” although I noticed a mistake in the title, as it was written as “Hope Vol. II”; volume II was added to some of their songs when they re-released the track with a guest singer – in this case, Matthias Sayer – which may have misled the viewer into believing that there might be a guest coming to perform with them. However, this version was just the regular instrumental “Hope” without a guest. Of course, that didn’t stop us from singing along loudly to the atmospheric track.

Continuing with another song from their successful release, “Cult,” which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, the band started playing “Path.” “En Route to Mayhem” followed, representing one more track from their latest full-length, “Cell-0.” Altogether, the “Cell-0” songs had a very grim atmosphere, which was highlighted by the fantastic light show, which has been a constant winning factor in these Tuska Utopia shows. The whole show had beautiful aesthetics, with the feel of a high-end music video.

After another four tracks, the concert was once more interrupted by an interview. This time, the segment had better flow than the previous albums and included more specific questions. However, one has to wonder sometimes who had decided on which questions from the complete interview would be added to the cut, because on later watching the whole interview, it was clear that a couple of really interesting questions and answers were taken away, which maybe would have made more sense in the stream. For instance, the entire question about APOCALYPTICA playing at Tuska was omitted from the interview, as well as a question about why metalheads should visit Finland (which would have suited the touristy theme of these videos nicely).

Altogether, the setlist was pretty varied, leaning a little bit more towards “Cell-0,” but some other albums were represented as well. Normally, APOCALYPTICA plays some METALLICA covers to really get the crowd going; this time they opted for their SEPULTURA covers, “Refuse/Resist” and later “Inquisition Symphony,” the latter of which was a surprising closer for the show, especially considering that the band usually opts for the classical “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

Ultimately, out of all three episodes, this one felt like the most consistent and should be taken as an example of how to continue this series in the future. While there is still room for improvement, overall we have really enjoyed watching Tuska Utopia! We’re curious to see what the organization has in store for us next and which bands they are going to feature and more importantly, where!

Setlist

  1. Ashes of the Modern World
  2. Hope
  3. Path
  4. En Route to Mayhem
  5. Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover)
  6. Rise
  7. Burn
  8. Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura cover)