4.3.2023 Silver Bullet & Oceanhoarse @ Kuudes Linja, Helsinki

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Perhaps you’re sick of hearing about OCEANHOARSE and SILVER BULLET from us, but what can we say? We like good music and both of these acts regularly deliver. Seeing as both of them have recently released new albums, what better way to spend one’s Saturday night than listening to new material from Heads Will Roll and Shadowfall? This album release show for the former took place at Kuudes Linja in Helsinki on March 4th, 2023, so we had to be there.

SILVER BULLET‘s latest release came out back in January already, so we’ve already had a chance to attend their local album launch show at Lepakkomies, which was good fun. Since then, they’ve toured this new album across Europe with TWILIGHT FORCE, in an impressive rescheduling of a tour that should have taken place in 2020, but was cancelled for obvious reasons.

Finding Kuudes Linja for the first time was an interesting form of nightmare, but we still managed to get in right on time for the start of SILVER BULLET‘s set. They played many of the same tunes that we heard at their album release show, with “Under Your Spell,” “The Ones to Fall,” and “The Thirteen Nails” being the biggest highlights in the set on this occasion.

What was really fun about this show was seeing it in a new setting. The sound was gritty but fairly decently mixed, and the lighting setup was rather fantastic. With a pretty enthusiastic crowd packed into the small venue, the show had a lot more energy and connection, making for a really nice set. Vocalist Bruno Proveschi did most of the talking, but let guitarist Hannes Horma get the crowd riled up to shout “the witches hammer” for the song of the same name. Their set wrapped up with their big hit, “Forever Lost” – always epic and a great closer.

The last I personally saw of OCEANHOARSE was at their mini-festival, Hoarsefest, whose last edition was in December 2022, which was an awesome time, so naturally, if there was energy to be expended on a show on this night, this was the place to be. The stage setup had some lights set up on metal supports, with the oceanhorse’s head design attached, with Oskari Niemi‘s drum set on top. There was also a wooden crate in the front, under which a hefty fog machine was hidden.

Oskari was the first to take the stage after the intro started, with the band joining shortly after for the familiar and high-energy “Death Row Center” – a great way to kick things off! Vocalist Joonas Kosonon poured all his energy into getting the crowd cheering along, going right into another great older track, “The One with the Gun.” After reminding everyone that they play HEAVY FUCKING METAL, Joonas announced the fastest track of the night: “Help Is on the Way.” The magnificent front-lighting also paired awesomely with the fog blasts that regularly engulfed Joonas. Also… please may there never be a gig in which Ben Varon (guitars) does not have a wind machine or huge fan in front of him. I have grown accustomed to this having always been the case (dating back to AMORAL‘s shows in 2009!) and at this point in time, I will now accept nothing less, forever.

Joonas got a bit of a breather as the guitars lurked around with the bass for the beginning of “Dead Zone,” while “Heads Will Roll” continued the intensity. “Adrift” picked the speed up again, while the biggest pit in the smallest venue I’ve ever seen started. All four guys in it were really having a blast, ending up with their arms around each other multiple times – I’m so unused to Finns letting go and having fun these days that the four to five guys in the pit brought me an obscene amount of joy.

Joonas then gave a round of applause to the crowd and then to SILVER BULLET for warming up the stage, and then Jyri Helko stepped onto the crate to remind everyone that the bass has more use than keeping simple rhythms, before the bass solo police showed up to approve his work. The enthusiastic pit continued into the next song, dragging in a few more participants, and then Joonas announced the heaviest song of the night: “Waves,” indeed, a good song for a slow and hefty headbang, not unlike you get from Zakk Wylde‘s bands. I really must enthusiastically reinforce how much I appreciate an awesome bassist and OCEANHOARSE surely has one.

Ben Varon then took his place on the crate and took some time to play a solo of his own; if you haven’t seen this guy shred, put it on your bucket list. He kept it pretty low-key this time, with the band coming in and transitioning to the very slick track, “Carved in Stone.” Oskari then made sure to let us know that there will be no basic disco drumming at an OCEANHOARSE show, before the pleasantly melodic “Nails.” The set wrapped up with another personal favorite from their older material, “Locks,” before they bid us goodnight.

If you’re looking for a good time and some heavy metal, SILVER BULLET and OCEANHOARSE are easy recommendations. Both acts are incredible to see on stage and are overrun with talent, so if you’re looking for some fabulous new-age power metal or some classic-styled heavy fucking metal, look no further, and if tours give you the opportunity to check them out, we surely recommend it! This was an awesome way to celebrate the release of some new material and we were delighted to see the crowd come to life and have a great time moshing around with complete courtesy and awareness of others. This cranky old journalist who has gotten exasperated by the stillness of Finnish crowds was pretty overjoyed when she headed home.

Written by Bear Wiseman
Photos by Laureline Tilkin

Setlist

  1. Death Row Center
  2. One with the Gun
  3. Help Is on the Way
  4. Dead Zone
  5. Heads Will Roll
  6. Adrift
  7. Pryopen
  8. bass solo
  9. The Intruder
  10. Waves
  11. guitar solo
  12. Carved in Stone
  13. drum solo
  14. Nails
  15. Locks