Barren Earth, Eluveitie, Turisas
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
A stormy winter’s night in Tampere. It had been raining all day and there was some strong wind blowing as I headed down to the venue. I haven’t been to Pakkahuone for years… Last night was good occasion to venture out into the stormy weather for a chance to see some folk metal.
Ok… So the first band on wasn’t actually folk metal. The Icelanders Skálmöld had their show cancelled for some reason. This meant that the first act was the Finnish progressive melodeath band Barren Earth. These guys reminded me of Opeth and just as with Opeth I couldn’t really get into their music. There was just too much of the experimental, progressive elements and not enough melodic death metal for my liking. 2/5
I’ve been meaning to check out Eluveitie for a long time. Turisas may have been the headliner but this was actually the show that I was looking forward to the most. Luckily for me, they didn’t disappoint. There’s something about folk metal that makes it sound great live. The combination of folk instruments such as flutes, hurdy gurdy, bag-pipes and fiddles with metal is so incredibly catchy that I reckon that even fans of mainstream music styles would enjoy it. Eluveitie also have a good stage presence and they really know how to agitate a crowd. The highlights for me were ‘Call of The Mountains’ and my personal favourite ‘Inis Mona’. 5/5
Folk metal, “battle metal” and even “party metal” or whatever you wish to call them, Turisas are a bit of a gimmick these days. I’ve seen them live once before, many years ago when they toured with Alestorm. Back then they were all about the warrior costumes, war-paint and they had an accordion player. Fast forward a few years and they still wear their war-paint; only now their singer has swapped his armour for a leather jacket and the accordion player is gone. Apart from that not much else has changed, their music is just as catchy and cheesy as it was the first time that I saw them. It’s the kind of stuff that sounds best once you’ve had a few drinks. Then you can truly start to enjoy their hit tracks such as ‘To Holmgard and Beyond’, ‘Battle Metal’ and the cover of ‘Rasputin’. 4/5
Overall it was a really enjoyable evening. I’m so glad that I finally got to see Eluveitie. Turisas were everything that I expected them to be. I’ve never been a massive fan but they always put on a great show. As for Skálmöld, hopefully I will get another opportunity to see them live at some point.