One of Musicalypse’ favorite up-and-coming bands, BLIND CHANNEL, are back on the scene with their sophomore album, “Blood Brothers,” out and ready to be heard. While their album release tour has already begun, the official release party took place on May 23rd, 2018, at Tavastia in Helsinki. Having had such a great time at the “Revolutions“ release show back in 2016, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Check out the gallery here.
We arrived during the break between IKINÄ and BLIND CHANNEL, having unfortunately been running too late to catch IKINÄ. However, we heard from Essi and Lene that they were, simply, outstanding. We were likewise pleased to see that both bands had a great selection of new merch – it was a good place to spend some money, and I appreciate that both bands were willing to play around or full-on ignore the “black shirts only” rule.
BLIND CHANNEL was set to take the stage at 21:00, and they came out to an intro track before Niko “Nc Enroe” Moilanen shouted, “Dance, you rebels!” and they went straight into “Trigger,” the first track from the latest release. Right from the first notes, the energy was turned up to 11, but from the crowd, it was quite hard to find a good spot, as the mid-range of the mix was lost. We wandered around the venue a while, trying to find the optimal place, though it became difficult to navigate as the floor filled up with dancing fans.
By the second song, “Alone Against All,” the crowd had become so loud that it was getting hard to hear the band over them. It’s also become clear that the band has gotten comfortable and familiar with their material. “Deja FU” was played wonderfully, and both Nc Enroe and Joel Hokka were able to play around with the vocal lines, adding stylish embellishments here and there at their whim. It sounded great.
“Like a Brother” made for a nice live track, and the autotune in the vocals that rubbed me slightly the wrong way on the album actually sounded quite decent in a live scenario. Both vocalists seemed comfortable with the high notes, and had clear, gorgeous harmonization. Spaz Caroon, who is Enroe‘s younger brother, did a shirtless guest appearance in “Elephant in the Room” – a song on which he had also made an appearance on the album.
By the time we hit the not-so-new-anymore single, “Sharks Love Blood,” the mix had finally balanced out. It took some time, but from here on our we could comfortably stand more or less anywhere and enjoy ourselves. The song was introduced with red lights and had some of the only fog pyros of the night. After that, it seemed prudent to slow down for a bit, so the band played their live debut of “Scream,” the song they wrote in honor of the late Chester Bennington [LINKIN PARK].
After a few more songs, there was another guest appearance: Johnny Parkkonen [ex-SANTA CRUZ], who came on stage to do some pretty nice guitar solos in “Giants.” This was by far the best song on the new album, and probably the best live song as well – it was very fun and dramatic, in a good and not overstated sort of way.
The first three quarters of the set was basically perfect and I was pleased to see that now that they have some more material, they’ve figured out how to put a good setlist together. However, I have to admit that I’m a bit tired of “Don’t” and would’ve liked to hear something else, such as “My Revolution” – possibly the best song on their first album that was sadly left out. Fortunately they only played the first verse/chorus or so before moving on. I don’t think I’ve heard their version of “Can’t Hold Us” live yet (or if I have, it was only once), so that was a nice addition. The latter had perhaps the cutest “circle pit” of young girls. The metalhead in me was tempted to show them how it’s done, but in the end, I didn’t really want to be responsible for trampling anyone to death.
They followed this with “Out of Town” – it’s a nice song but proved to be rather drawn-out and repetitive, so it was good that they finished the main set with “Darker than Black.” Okay, maybe they haven’t mastered the art of perfecting setlists just yet, but they’ll get there. The encore began with a rather impressive drum solo by Tommi Lalli and then they played “IDFU”; Spaz Caroon also returned for this song. Again, this was disappointing, as “I.D.F.U.,” which while admirable in spirit, isn’t their best new song and I would’ve again liked to hear something else. However, they did end with “Wolfpack,” which is the best single from the new album, so at least they still closed things out on a high note.
It’s been an absolute ton of fun watching this band go from having no albums, learning the ropes of live shows, touring with many bands, and finally releasing two of their own albums. Though this release tour is short and sweet around Finland, these guys will be at a ton of festivals this year, including RockFest and Tuska, so rest assured, this will not be the last you hear about BLIND CHANNEL from us. They’ve really stepped up their game and all I really see is vast improvement in their already excellent live presence. I see these guys going nowhere but to the top, and we don’t want to miss any of the journey!
3. Jalat kantaa
6. Et Pelkää
8. Kylmääkin kylmempää
9. Vaatteet päältä
10. Magic Mike
Blind Channel Setlist
2. Alone Against All
3. Deja FU
4. Like a Brother
5. Elephant in the Room (ft. Spaz Caroon)
6. Sharks Love Blood
8. Enemy for Me
9. My Heart is a Hurricane
10. Giants (ft. Johnny Parkkonen)
11. Bullet (With Your Name on It)
12. Don’t [Ed Sheeran cover]
13. Can’t Hold Us [Mackelmore cover]
14. Darker than Black
15. I.D.F.U. (encore)
16. Wolfpack (encore)
Written by Bear Wiseman
Photos by Miia Collander