If Finland has one thing going right, it’s the metal scene, as there are a lot of fresh metal bands coming from this country. One of the top-tier metal bands of the newer generation is without a doubt BRYMIR. The melodic death metal act recently signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records, released their excelling record “Voices in the Sky,” and are set to head out on a European tour with FINNTROLL. We definitely needed to up our doses of BRYMIR, so naturally, we decided to head out to their album release show at Tavastia on October 5th, 2022.
Having no support act, BRYMIR was set to play at 20:30 after the doors opened at 19:00. It was clear that the audience still had to be warmed up slightly, as not too many people were in front of the stage by showtime. Yet, when the atmospheric intro started, it seemed like people began to gather in front of the stage. The band came on stage one-by-one and started playing the album title track, “Voices in the Sky.” Previously, BRYMIR shows always went hand-in-hand with a lot of smoke and dim lighting, but it seemed like the band really upped their game production-wise.
Since the evening mostly revolved around the new album, the band added a lot of songs to the setlist from this gem of a record. I had only heard two of these songs live before, so it was pretty exciting to hear “Landfall” at last – to no one’s surprise, it sounded amazing. In fact, the sound quality overall was quite outstanding the entire evening. As a photographer, I move around a lot during shows, and I’m happy to say that this was one of the rare occasions where the sound was perfectly balanced across the whole venue, even in front of the stage.
Next, the band went back in time by playing two songs from their previous record, “Wings of Fire.” “Ride on, Spirit” and “Starportal” provided both an atmospheric and heavy edge to the evening. The intensity rose with songs like “Forged in War” and “Seeds of Downfall.” One of my personal highlights was singer Viktor Gullichsen joking about fish while introducing the next song, “Herald of Aegir,” which explains the salmon print on one of their new shirts, if nothing else! It provided just the right amount of folkiness to go well with the intensity of the previous tracks. “Lament of the Ravenous” provided a short ballad-type of an intermezzo in the setlist, where the audience either could fill up their drinks or just enjoy the overall mood of the broody song.
One of the pearls on “Voices in the Sky” is “Borderland,” which includes a poem by the Ukrainian poet Taras Schevchenko. This seemed like a song that the band would obviously play live. The big surprise, however, is a Ukrainian guest, Andriy Shevchenko, who joined the stage and shared the poem. It was perhaps a fairly political happening for a metal concert, but somehow it made the song more powerful to have the poem quoted live too. The next song also included a guest. Guitarist Joona Björkroth often misses a lot of BRYMIR shows due to his commitment to BATTLE BEAST, but they have found an excellent live member in Antti Nieminen (IA). Apart from being an excellent guitarist, the guy also has a decent set of pipes, so the band invited him on stage to sing the melody lines in “Far From Home.” It was a rare and interesting opportunity to see them play together, as Björkroth and Nieminen don’t exactly get to share the stage a lot.
“Fly With Me” turned out to be one of the most engaging live tracks, probably due to the slight metalcore influence. There was also a beautiful section towards the end when there was a lot of ambient sounds and drummer Patrik Fält could show us his chops. The band then disappeared from the stage, but the audience demanded a return and got treated with two more songs: “For Those Who Died” and “Wings of Fire.” Sadly, this is one of the first shows of BRYMIR I’ve seen where they haven’t played their hit “Ragnarök.”
Altogether, this show was really good. There was a nice atmosphere amongst the audience and also a small circle/moshpit that went crazy with almost every song. Even though the venue was not filled to the brim, a good amount of people came out to see BRYMIR. The new songs sound amazing live and worked together well with the older material. Despite not hearing some of my favorite BRYMIR tracks – where the heck was “Chasing the Skyline?” – the general flow of the setlist was very well thought-out and nicely executed. If you have a chance to catch this band on one of many of their European tour dates, I urge you to check them out!
- Voices in the Sky
- Ride on, Spirit!
- Forged in War
- Seeds of Downfall
- Herald of Aegir
- Lament of the Ravenous
- Far From Home
- Fly With Me
- For Those Who Died (Encore)
- Wings of Fire (Encore)
Written and photos by Laureline Tilkin