GALLERY: 14.1.2023 Arktau Eos, Lantern, Bythos, & Horna @ Olympia Kortteli, Tampere


This year started with an abundance of live shows like we have not seen in years, with many days featuring multiple shows in different venues. For once, we opted instead for a different city, so we travelled a bit north to Tampere for a quartet of bands comprised of ARKTAU EOS, LANTERN, BYTHOS, and Finnish black metal favorite HORNA, courtesy of The Devil Intimate. The chosen location for the live rituals was once again Olympia-kortteli, which was filled for the occasion by more than three hundred souls, yet not fully sold-out, so that it was still possible to move around relatively easily and there were no big queues.

In front of a sizable audience, ARKTAU EOS walked on the stage in their signature robes with bags covering their faces. The esoteric dark ambient duo – who just released their eighth full-length, “Dormiveglia” – offered a splendid performance akin to that witnessed a few years earlier at Blow Up Festival, if not even more intimate thanks to the theater setting, rather than a more traditional festival/concert stage. During the 1 hour at their disposal, they truly enchanted their fans, almost throwing the audience into a sort of meditative trance, from which they awoke shortly after when Kuopio-based LANTERN took over, with a tight show spanning through their discography, from the initial “Strange Nebula” (“Dimensions”) to the final “From The Ruins” (from “Below,” like the titular track that preceded it). The 5-piece gave an honest, in-your-face performance, which soon drifted into the next act of the night, BYTHOS. One of the many projects involving L.R. and M.L. from HORNA – just to underline their double-duties tonight – and fronted by BEHEXEN‘s vocalist, the band came to light back in 2020 with their debut record, “The Womb of Zero,” followed by live shows in Finland and abroad, and this night also offered one excerpt from their upcoming sophomore album. Their no-nonsense Finnish black metal fit well with the kind of audience present and certainly this was a good occasion to further spread the music from this project in a time when (most of) the members’ other bands are not currently as active, or at least not on the surface. Lastly came HORNA, and as noticed a few times lately, the front rows of the audience hosted some of its youngest members, banging their heads in excitement. The band doesn’t really require any introduction, as they have consolidated their line-up a while ago now, since VnoM took bass duty back in 2018, and they are a really solid and strong line-up. The hour-long set began with “Sinulle, mätänevä Jehova,” included “Kärsimysten katedraali” from their latest “Kuoleman Kirjo,” and spanned throughout their set without missing the usual fan favorites, “Kuoleva Lupaus” and the conclusive “Örkkivuorilta.” All of this, of course, was provided with the intensity of a well-trained live creature, capable of delivering exactly what one would expect time-after-time.

After the gig, we quickly went out into the night in Tampere, which seemingly has quite a lot to offer on a weekend, or at least has nothing to envy from the capital. To this end, on the same weekend, the new Tavara-Asema venue made its debut not far away in the heart of the city. We look forward to exploring this new venue in the future and welcome the increased opportunities for live music in Tampere.