Barren Earth kicks off Finnish tour at Tavastia, Helsinki
Band Photo: Barren Earth (?)
It was a gorgeous sunny spring day in Helsinki last Thursday, perhaps unfitting for the precursor to a metal show, and yet it only heightened my appreciation for the happenings of the evening. Following the release of the latest album “The Devil’s Resolve” Barren Earth kicked off another Finnish tour last Thursday. The first show of the tour had the supergroup playing at the legendary Tavastia, in Helsinki Finland.
The first song of the night was “Passing of the Crimson Shadows” off of “The Devil’s Resolve” ( Read the review here!) This immediately set the feeling for the rest of the gig, and those audience members who were still mingling throughout the room started to crowd at the foot of the stage; hooked on every note and thickly filling the air with anticipation.
Following up a strong start was another track off of the group's latest release: “The Rains Begin.” This is a song that was made for the stage! On the album it's flowing guitar and keyboard lines translate into pure prog musically, while live it is transformed into an epic journey between both the progressive and the more melodic metal aspects of the songs.
This is a band that has become beautifully diverse in its writing and performance. Barren Earth doesn’t stick with one genre, instead melding many genres into a lovely melting pot of creativity.
Midway through the set, the audience appeared to have slightly lost control, as drinks were finding themselves bought and offered to the amused musicians onstage by enthusiastic and intoxicated fans. Even after shooting all that I needed I found myself having a hard time giving up my spot at the front of the stage.
I had finally made it to the bar, and then the bagpipe intro from “As it is Written” came through and I found myself being called by it back into the crowded audience. This was one of the highlights of the set, featuring some beautiful keyboard interludes by Kasper Martenson and virtuosic guitar solos courtesy of Sami Yli-Sirniö. The middle of the set got noticeably heavier, with an energetic performance of “Flicker” that showcases Mikko’s vocal range. Mikko Kotamäki is always a rather shocking vocalist to witness perform, as it seems rather impossible that such vicious growls and such beautiful ethereal cleans could be feasible in one man. After having seen numerous performances of his, I suppose sooner or later I’ll have to start believing my ears.
The closing of the set featured mainly material from “Curse of the Red River.” The last song of the night was a flawlessly epic performance of “Floodred” which in many ways left those of us in the audience wanting more, and not quite ready to call the evening a night.
This first show on the Finnish tour circuit was perfect, and everything I expected from such talented and diverse musicians! It’s easy to see that these guys will only climb higher, and I for one am waiting with bated breath. Find the tour dates here and check back for photos soon!
Rachel Roth has studied classical music and folk music at the University level, and enjoys studying Folklore in her spare time. She is an avid metal fan lucky enough to be living in Helsinki, Finland, where she now studies social work. Currently, she has expanded her love of music to include photography and freelance writing. You can see more of her photography here.
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