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Barren Earth Checks In From The Band's North American Tour

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Band Photo: Barren Earth (?)

Finland's Barren Earth is currently on tour in North America. The band has now checked in with the following report from the road:

"And so we have arrived in the New World. Our venture started on Sunday morning. Meeting fellow countrymen, Rotten Sound, at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, we embarked on our flight. In the plane I was sat next to an elderly lady, who as it transpired was suffering from a severe allergy of wheat, known as the celiac disease.

"During the flight I was incessantly provided with information on her allergy to the very minutest detail, including diarrhoeatic symptoms and whatnot. I found out more than would’ve been necessary. On the other hand, I am now rather well educated on the subject of wheat allergy…

"Despite assurances from Mikko that the flight would have no limitations as regarding the serving of free alcohol, this proved not to be the case. Having been served free beer with the on-flight lunch, Mikko was dismayed to have his further requests of free-of-charge booze turned down. Now the steward demanded payment! But Mikko was not taken aback by this. Ever the resourceful chap that he is, he quickly produced a bottle of tax-free Finlandia of his own, which he had stashed away.

"By this time the seemingly endless lecture on the celiac disease was taking its toll on me. What the situation clearly demanded was a drink of vodka and coke. I handed a paper cup over to Mikko and requested for a helping of Finlandia. Mikko generously filled over half of the cup. Though I appreciated the gesture as such, it quickly proved to be hazardous for the paper cup, which obviously was not designed to withhold liquids of this type. As the cup was literally falling apart in front of my very eyes, and as the vodka was visibly trickling down from the bottom of the cup , there was no choice but to down the drink in one gulp. So, what was originally intended to be a relaxing, savory drinking moment, turned out to be a quick and heady shot instead. But it did make the ongoing wheat allergy-lecture a notch or two less unbearable.

"At JFK, another type of vodka-and-coke-dilemma presented itself to the lads of Rotten Sound. Before checking in for our connecting flight to Orlando, they realized they had virtually a whole bottle of Finlandia to dispose of. Unallowed to bring the bottle on board (Bring-Your-Own-Bottle not being a policy recognized by the Airline Regulations Commission), it had to either be consumed on the spot, or thrown away. Time was running. Decisions were having to be made. The choice was clear: n for monthsot a single drop of Finlandia was to be wasted. Mixing the vodka with modest amounts of Coke Zero, Rotten Sound provided our traveling party welcoming/farewell drinks to JFK. Given that the amount of Coke was significantly smaller than that of the booze itself, the drink was almost transparent, with only the tiniest hint of brown. This gave a whole new meaning to ’Coke Zero’, as in proportion to the vodka, the amount of Coke was indeed quite close to zero.

"It was pleasant to arrive in Florida, where the weather was most welcoming. Having been accustomed to Finland’s freezing temperatures and snow for months, the 23 degrees Celsius was really quite heartwarming, as well as obviously skin-warming.

"We had not enjoyed the weather for long, when we happened to catch a TV News report talking about an ’arctic blast’ hitting the States soon. This was juxtaposed with a picture of a map of some states into which the blast was soon to be heading. Curiously, the states in question were exactly those, where our tour was to be heading. As it turned out, however, ’Arctic blast’ was not a reference to the Finnish Metal Tour 2, but a serious warning for extremely cold and wintry weathers in the near-future, exactly on our route. A classic case, then, of ’out of the frying pan, into the fire’. Or perhaps more like ’out of the freeze box, into the arctic.’

"We are traveling by bus. Two buses, in fact. One is occupied by Finntroll and us, whilst the other accommodates Ensiferum and Rotten Sound. Both vehicles are pleasant and comfortable enough. Well, they might as well be, since they are to provide us accommodation for the next 5 weeks. The buses are fitted with bunks, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

"In both buses there is a sign above the toilet bowl which prohibits three P’s: No paper, no puke, no poop. But already on the very first night, this rule was ignored. I will not go into detail, nor will I point fingers. Suffice to say, there was an incident where one of the P’s was involved, and the bus manager was not a happy man…

"The first gig took place at Club Firestone, Orlando. The day was long, as bands and crew were still getting to know the equipment specifically rented for this tour. No time for a soundcheck for us, just a quick line check. After a local support act, it was time for the Special Guests, that’s us, to hit the stage. Despite the hurried and somewhat chaotic nature of the proceedings, the sound was quite good on stage, and the crowd seemed supportive enough. Floridans young and old gave us a warm reception, and made us feel welcome, so our debut gig can be said to have been a success!

"Now we have left the warm and sunny Florida behind, and are moving into a cold, rainy and foggy Georgia…"

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