Helsinki offers plenty of gigs for those who want to discover some new bands, On The Rocks usually has a varied schedule during the week and offers places to local bands as well as legendary bands. Tuesday 3 October it was time to get acquainted with two bands that I hadn’t heard of before, Ancara and Exlibris.
Writing reviews for bands I don’t really know is often a bit challenging, as I don’t really know any of their songs. But they do leave me with a first impression. So when the first band Ancara set the stage, I didn’t really know what to expect. I quickly listened to “Garden Of Chains”, their latest album dating from 2017 before heading to On The Rocks.
I was really surprised about Ancara. From what I could tell was that the band has a lot of variety in their songs, from hard rock tracks, to classic heavy metal songs to even poppy sounds in their music. The band played an energetic show and definitely warmed up the crowd.
Exlibris is a Polish melodic/power metal band that was formed in 2003 in Warsaw. Combining the energy of traditional heavy metal, hard rock, melodic hooks and power metal riffs, Exlibris offers us some really distinct power metal tracks. Their songs are catchy and are not shy to great solo work, powerful riffs, and epic melodies. The band released their fourth studio album “Innertia” last June.
Vocalist Riku Turunen has a great attitude on stage with a lot of energy, which makes him the perfect frontman to lead the others. His voice reminds me of a mixture of Tobias Sammett and Timo Kotipelto. A nice combination for a power metal voice. The band played more traditional power metal songs, but they were very diverse and fun to listen to and more importantly, a lot of fun to watch.
All of the band members were really active on stage, they really took over the stage, and that’s the kind of attitude and energy you generally want in a band. Therefore, even though I didn’t know much of the songs, I felt like I was included and it was easy to enjoy the evening. I’m positive that the audience shares those feelings with me and I recommend this band to anyone who likes power metal à la Avantasia or Stratovarius.
Watch here some videos of both performances!