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The Finnish Metal Tour II: Finntroll, Ensiferum, Rotten Sound, Barren Earth


Date: 2/26/11
Venue: Gramercy Theater, NYC
Reviewed By: The Goat
 

 

Considered a supergroup of sorts, Barren Earth features members (both current and former) from Amorphis, Swallow The Sun, Moonsorrow, and Kreator, and as you might expect delivered some high quality death/doom metal. While I am familiar with them, I wasn’t 100% familiar with every song – since they have only released one full length (which I have) and one EP (which I don’t). This really didn’t matter because they put on a fine job and fit nicely with their fellow tourmates. Bottomline, Barren Earth are the Finns answer to Opeth, with just a little more melancholy in their sound.

Rotten Sound, a well respected grind/crust band, whose most recent release was a tribute EP to Napalm Death called "Napalm". Unfortunately, Rotten Sound are a harder commodity to track releases from and I only have three of their albums. I can tell you that they can sound like Entombed at their grooviest and maintain some measure of melody in their grind. It has been my (limited) experience with grind bands that they tend to get very repetitive and somewhat boring. This was not the case with Rotten Sound. They announced that several of their songs were going to be on their up and coming release from Relapse.

Next to the headliners, Ensiferum was definitely the fan favorite that most of the audience came to see and they delivered the goods to their fans. What they lacked in clothing (they all walked out on stage all wearing just kilts, except the keyboardist, she was appropriately attired), they made up for in sound. Imagine if Children of Bodom decided to become a Viking metal band, it was just a galloping shredfest of the highest order. The best songs were "Into Battle" and "Death Bringer From the Skies". These guys and gal are ones to see next time they come around. Seeing as I am due to see Turisas in less than a week, I am eager to see how they compare.

Finally, Finntroll marched their way into the theater. I had caught Finntroll last year at the same venue just after the release of "Nifelvind". Now, I am a HUGE Finntroll fan so my expectations and subsequent review are biased. Comparing their performance nearly a year ago to their most recent performance, I felt that they seemed more at ease with performing the songs from "Nifelvind" and truly tight with the back catalogue. The main difficulty for me was trying to identify the names of the songs (which, heck, are all in old Norse so you’ll forgive my memory lapse). However, I can safely report that they played songs spanning all their releases and tossed a few from "Rivfader" during their set.

The highlight of the show, and incidentally the final part of their encore, was during one of the ‘Jaktens Tid’ songs that featured joik singing (a vocal style of Lapland, the original recorded voice on the song was none other than Korpiklaani’s Jonne). This part was sung by one of the other band members (possibly a dude from Rotten Sound) wearing a sunglasses, a pig’s snout, and a police hat. It was a rowdy version of the song. All in all, Finntroll truly made it seem like a Carnival from Helvetti had come to town.

 

 

Setlists:
Ensiferum:
By The Dividing Stream
From Afar
Token of Time
Into Battle
Smoking Ruins
Deathbringer From the Sky
Stone Cold Metal
The New Dawn
Lai Lai Hei
Twilight Tavern
Victory Song
Iron

Finntroll:
Blodmarsch
Solsagan
Den Frusna Munnen/Boingo
Slaget vid blodsälv
Skogens Hämnd
Nedgång
Ett norrskensdåd
Nattfödd
Midnattens widunder
Eliytres
Grottans Barn
Trollhammaren
Under bergets rot/Kummitus
Mot skuggornas värld
Maktens spira
Dråp
Jaktens tid

 
 
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