It was yet one of those ordinary grey, rainy Tuesday evenings in February. Usually nothing much happens and there’s nothing much to expect. The only difference with the ordinary, was that Crimson Sun & Epica were both scheduled for Tavastia, Helsinki. Reason the more to check both female-fronted metal bands out and hope for the night to be changed into something extraordinary.
Crimson Sun, from Kotka, has had a very good couple of months, I noticed they have been touring in the rest of Europe and now they were the support band for Epica. They released their debut album ‘Towards The Light’ back in 2015 and recently released a new EP called ‘The Spirit of Unchainable’.
Even though they were the support band, the venue was already quite packed. The gig wasn’t sold out, but there was a considerate amount of people who showed up. All band members are really active and enthusiastic on stage. This together with an excellent sound and their catchy music, made the gig a really interesting one. The audience seemed to be captivated by them and were also engaging with the band: headbanging, fists in the air etc.
I was able to catch their gig in October at Nosturi as well and I must say that even though then I was already pleasantly surprised, they manage to continue to do so. Sini Seppälä has a really amazing voice, coming from such a small girl. The combination of heavy riffs and strong, but melodic vocals, makes their music really interesting and pleasant to listen to. They are all good players and the fact that they in the first place also seem to have a lot of fun together on stage, is something really nice to see.
Their setlist consisted out of 6 songs, half an hour and it seemed as if the venue was already really packed. They started off the gig with “The Storm”, a good choice, because it already sets a promising atmosphere. Most of the songs were taken from their album Towards The Light, except the song “Forever And Away”. This song is taken from their recent EP and was a pleasant surprise. I can’t wait listening more in detail to the song. I remember the bass line was very heavy and good to the ear. Most memorable and personal highlights for me were “The Storm”, “Towards The Light” and “Forever And Away”.
Crimson Sun was well received by the crowd, but they managed to held their own and completed a solid performance. Half an hour is not a long time, but time passed away too quickly. If you haven’t checked out this band and if you are a fan of female fronted melodic metal, I definitely recommend you to check them out!
1. The Storm
2. Clockwork Heart
3. Towards The Light
4. Forever And Away
5. Memories Burning
Crimson Sun cleared the stage for Epica, the symphonic metal band from The Netherlands, to begin their set. They are definitely not new to the scene, with quite some albums on their plate already, their latest one The Holographic Principle released in 2016. In my home country Belgium, Epica is a really popular metal band and thus I have managed to see them quite some times. It was for me the first time ever to see them in Helsinki. I was wondering how big their fan base in here is, but they managed to gather quite some fans, especially because they were competing with Devin Townsend Project, playing at The Circus at the same time.
All band members seemed to be in a fantastic mood when they entered the stage. What’s great about Epica, is that they always deliver a fantastic show, while always smiling most of the times. They started off the show with one of their new songs Edge of the Blade, which immediately made the audience excited. Of course because they are promoting their newest album, they played a lot of the new songs. It was the first chance for me to hear these songs live and I must say they sound even better live than on the studio album. It came as a surprise for me though that they didn’t play the title track “The Holographic Principle” on their show. One might argue that the length of the song could have something to do with that, although that has never stopped them before.
Simone Simons was on point with her vocals and as elegant as she always is. Both the sound and performance was undeniably great. The best moment for me was the song Ascension. It’s a very dark song for Epica, but it’s very intriguing and the live version was even more mesmerizing. Even though they played a lot of their new songs, it was fun to hear older songs such as “Sensorium”, “The Obsessive Devotion” and of course “Consign To Oblivion”. During the first encore “Sancta Terra” Simone Simons suddenly couldn’t sing anymore as she was caught up in laughing – or did she forget her lyrics? I am not quite sure what happened there. But don’t worry Simone, if you don’t sing your audience will.
Generally speaking, Epica is one of the most energetic and interactive bands that I have encountered. They always seem to have a lot of fun and always make sure the fans do as well. Headbanging, moshpits, jumping, screaming, everything goes. Needless to say that the evening was great and my expectations of Epica being a rather small band in the Nordics, were proved wrong.
1. Eidola (intro)
2. Edge of the Blade
3. A Phantasmic Parade
5. Universal Death Squad
6. The Essence of Silence
7. Martyr of the Free World
8. The Obsessive Devotion
9. Ascension – Dream State Armageddon
10. Dancing in a Hurricane
11. Unchain Utopia
12. Once Upon a Nightmare
13. Santa Terra
14. Beyond the Matrix
15. Consign to Oblivion