4.3.2020 Hällas @ Tavastia, Finland

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The Swedish adventure rock act HÄLLAS took us on an adventure of our own when they announced a tour in Finland in support of their latest album “Conundrum.” The band had scheduled a show at Tavastia in Helsinki on 4 March 2020, and we just knew we had to be part of it. For more photos check out our photo gallery.

Personally, I didn’t quite know what to expect of HÄLLAS as I only got introduced to their music fairly recently. When I entered Tavastia a couple of minutes before the show, I noticed that a lot of people were gathered in front of the stage. No, the show may not have been sold out, but the ticket sale definitely must have been quite a success. “Ascension” started playing from the speakers in due time, and immediately created a mystical atmosphere that is somehow created by the almost otherworldly feeling this band transmits. Soon, the band came on stage performing “Beyond Night and Day.” Right from the start, it was clear that HÄLLAS would do anything to give their fans an immersive experience as much as possible.

While “Conundrum” is a concept album, and it’s recommendable to listen to the album as a whole, during concerts this often is not really a possibility. I had been wondering beforehand about what songs the band would pick for their show, which ones they would leave out, and in what order they would play set tracks. Having the energetic “Repentance” as a second track, was definitely a great show to boost up the energy levels of the audience. With “Shadow of the Templar” we get hypnotized by the beautiful twin-guitar harmonies. Lead single “Tear of a Traitor” soon follows and gets the crowd truly excited. So far, the band has played energetic tracks for us that allow us to transport ourselves in the universe of HÄLLAS. The story aspect of their music perhaps has a less central role, but watching the five-piece wear capes, and move energetically around on the tracks, is very entertaining to watch by itself.

The fast tempo continues with the eighties-inspired “Carry On,” but slows down significantly with the enchanting “Labyrinth Of Distant Echoes.” Going back to their debut album “Excerpts from a Future Past,” the band continues with “The Golden City of Semyra.” My personal highlight probably was “The Astral Seer,” which instantly can set you back to the seventies with its captivating and nostalgic melodies. With “Fading Hero,” the band slowly introduces the last couple of songs. With the ending near, the band had two more songs left to play, their biggest hit “Star Rider,” and the epic “Hällas,” which both ensured to end the show on a high note.

With a well-balanced setlist of both of their full-length albums, HÄLLAS managed to convince Helsinki once again of their worth with their adventurous tracks. Considering the complexity of their music, the band perhaps didn’t play all the songs as tight as they possibly could, but the ability to bewitch an entire audience and immerse them into their story, and into an otherworldly atmosphere is a really impressive thing. All-in-all it was an outstanding and intimate performance that definitely stood out to me. Let’s hope the band will return to Finland soon!

Setlist

  1. Beyond Night and Day
  2. Repentance
  3. Shadow of the Templar
  4. Tear Of A Traitor
  5. Carry On
  6. Labyrinth of Distant Echoes
  7. The Golden City of Semyra
  8. The Astral Seer
  9. Fading Hero
  10. Star Rider
  11. Hällas

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