Ensiferum, Metsatöll - Nottingham, England, 7th October 2009
|Event:||Ensiferum: European Tour|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Ensiferum, Metsatöll - Nottingham, England, 7th October 2009 by Baz Anderson (38)
A small venue for a big band. Ensiferum have proved dynamite in intimate environments in the past, would tonight be the same?
Tracedawn were the first band of the evening playing only to a handful of people watching. The Finnish guys seemed happy to be on stage and getting their music out, and the ten or so people that were watching gave their appreciation. The band crossed metalcore with melodic death metal and played their instruments well. They were a good quality opening band, but apart from the last couple of songs they did not inspire anything worth remembering. In different circumstances this band could be great.
Metsatöll aren't known in this country. It therefore took people by surprise when one of the guys kept switching between all kinds of crazy instruments including some bagpipes. This gave the band's show a feeling of being genuine and earthly honesty, which more bands really could take note of and do. Metsatöll are obviously an experienced band and seemed extremely solid and confident in their performance. They played a heavy kind of folk metal that had the off progressive flair too. The audience had grown and had clearly been won over by the band, who also seemed extremely happy to be on stage. The band finished with a long, slow, droning song which although quite nicely hypnotic may not have ended the show on an energetic bang it perhaps should have.
Ensiferum, the band we were all there to see. Well apparently they didn't want to see us, or that is how it felt. The band launched into "From Afar" and then "Twilight Tavern" to huge crowd reaction and enjoyment, and continued to play a set that included every single song on the new album From Afar apart from "Stone Cold Metal" - of which they may have played, but instead it lost out when the audience was given the choice of it or "LAI LAI HEI". Just two songs from "Victory Songs", none from "Dragonheads" and the little rest was made up of songs from the first two albums, which inevitably were the songs that created the most energy and enjoyment of the night.
New album From Afar is a great album, but it contains much longer songs that are not as initially catchy as the rest of the Ensiferum catalogue. This therefore makes it not the best kind of music to air in the live environment. Of course some songs sounded fantastic, but playing both the 10+ minute songs was a little overkill and slightly dampened the energy. Ensiferum played in London the previous night, and apparently this was a great show. It therefore seemed that the band just were not interested in playing this tiny room after that. It has never seemed more like a band were on stage as part of a job than actually enjoying being there. Is this a product of a band that tours too much? Or a band that have just lost enthusiasm in general?
Of course songs like "Windrider" and the closing song "Iron" were little glimpses of the band's greatness and reminders of their 2007 tour, where even in the tiniest venue they had the enthusiasm, energy and will to try and make some new fans. Tonight it just felt like the band were in the office one more time and made no striking effort to connect with the audience or even try and make it a memorable night. The setlist wasn't just weighted towards the new album as you would expect, it was absolutely dominated by it which meant that real favourites such as "Into Battle" and "Treacherous Gods" were omitted. It can never not be an enjoyable experience to see Ensiferum live, let's not detract away from the band's greatness, but I'm sorry, tonight the band disappointed in a big way.
By The Dividing Stream
Guardians Of Fate
Tale Of Revenge
Slayer Of Light
One More Magic Potion
The Longest Journey
LAI LAI HEI
For an interview conducted with Petri Lindroos of the band before the show, visit this location.
Many thanks to Dante of Spinefarm for the accreditation and interview.
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson
||Written on 08.10.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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