January 20th 2019 – the first cold day in Kraków since very long time. But the coldnes does not scared fans of good metal sounds. One hour before the door of Klub Kwadrat should be open – there was a quite long line already. People from near and far cities and even foreign countries gathered together to see four great bands during only one night! The show was sold out for some time already – so no surprise there were these unlucky ones who were able to pay much more to get in – but of course nobody who bought the ticket was willing to sell it.
The evening started smoothly and German Nailed To Obscurity entered the stage as planned at 18:10. Currently the band is promoting its new album Black Frost which has its premiere on January 11th 2019. The venue was quite packed already and gathered many fans of the opening act as well. For sure the band started from very hard position as opening the event for such bands as Amorphis and Soilwork can’t be easy. It was the first time for me to hear and see the band and I must confess that 5 songs which band presented was way to little to present the band’s potential. During 35 minutes show Nailed To Obscurity presented great growl of Raimund Ennenga – even Tomi Joutsen – who has the best growl on the metal scene – could be affraid of having such strong competitor this evening.
The whole gig was enveloped in a mystical and dark atmosphere with deep guitar riffs and strong drumm. The stand-in bass player for this show – V. Santura who is a producer of band’s albums and is most known as the guitar player for Swiss black metal band – Triptykon, was a great replacement for Carsten Schorn – who due to personal reasons needed to step out for next few shows. Germans did a great work and the audience was warmed up quite well as there was a moshpit few meters from the stage almost from the beggning of the show and even some crowd-diving happened.
Fifteen minutes break and at 19:00 sharp Ukrainian metalcore Jinjer hited the stage. The band visited Kraków just few months ago, when they played as a support for Swedish Arch Enemy. It was very hard to walk through the club after leaving the photo pit as Jinjer gathered a big number of devoted fans. The moshpit was going with the full speed almost from the very beginning. Metalcore is not really my cup of tea but band’s performance was really good. The energetic singer Tatiana Shmailyuk for sure knows how to warm up the audience. Is hard to belive that from this filigran body can come out such atrong and great growl. The band during its 45 minutes on stage presented new songs from Micro album: “Ape”, “Perennial” and “Dreadful Moments” but also well-known ones: “Words Of Wisdom”, “I Speak Astronomy”, “Pisces” and “Sit Stay Roll Over”. No doubts, everyone was ready for the first headliner of this tour. But of course, bigger bands needs a bit more time to set up its equipment, so this time we had 30 minutes break before Swedes came up on stage.
The club was fully packed and many people were still on its way. While walking to the photo pit I saw many people wearing Soilwork’s shirts and the first lines started to be very busy as almost everyone wanted to find its way nearer the stage. No surprise as Swedes are not visiting Poland so often and Kraków was the only one on the list for Poland during this tour – that was a great opportunity for the Soilwork’s fans to see the band live and listen to old and new songs.
Right after the “Verkligheten” intro Swedes started with full-speed presenting “Arival” – track number 2 from the latest album. As usual for Soilwork dark-blue lights made the atmospher of the show but again – were not the best friend of photographers. Photo pit was almost as full as the club and it was very difficult to move and take any shots. Also – every photographer needed to watch his back as the crowd-diving started with the very first riffs.
As a co-headliner Soilwork got 1 hour to present their material and I must to confes I was waiting to hear live their new songs as: “The Nurturing Glance” and “Stålfågel”. We had the chance to listen to Björn’s beautiful clean vocals during: “Full Moon Shoals” and “Witan”. Of ocurse, the band couldn’t leave the stage without playing their best-known songs as: “The Crestfallen”, “Nerve” and “Stubbing the Drama”.
This time David Andersson couldn’t join the band but Simon Johansson (from heavy metal band from Örebro – Wolf) did a great job and was the one who had the biggest interaction with the audience. Same we can say about Rasmus Ehrnborn who took the place behind the bass during this tour.
Björn didn’t really need to warm up the audience as the moshpit was going on during the whole set and each song – no matter new or old – was welcomed in Kraków with a big enthusiasm.
After such a great performance many needed to go for a drink or two with no chance to get back their front-line spots. Everyone was very excited to see their favorite band who is visiting Poland from time to time. Still, the last time when Amorphis visited Kraków was in 2011, since that they managed to release three great albums. The reason to visit Poland this time was the promotion of the band’s thirteenth studio album – Queen of Time.
For many people Kraków’s show was not the first and not the last one during the tour. The most devoted fans saw them at least on 2 concerts already and still were planning few more. For me it was the first Amorphis show outside of Finland and I was very excited to see them finally after long break.
With 10 minutes delay Finns started their set with “The Bee” – the first single of Queen of Time album. The audience was singing along with Tomi Joutsen from the first nutes which pleasured enough to make Tomi Koivusaari smile almost during the whole show.
With the big applous Kwadrat’s audience wellcomed long-time no heard “Sky is Mine” from one of the Amorphis best albums – Skyforger. Soon we got back to the new tracks and many fans from old times were very pleased hearing former band’s singer – Tomi Koivusaari on vocals during “Message in the Amber”. Of course, old good “Silver Bride” couldn’t be excluded from the setlist and we had a chance to hear Olli-Pekka Laine on backing vocals. Right after Amorphis took us back to previous album Under the Red Cloud with song “Bad Blood”. The song presents the great and unique variation of Tomi Joutsen’s voice. Great and deep growl together with beautiful clear vocals make him – with no doubts – the best singer of the metal scene.
After short trip to the past we were back again to the Queen of Time repertoire with “Wrong Direction” – which for me sounds very much like “Reformation” from The Beginning of Times. Well, both songs were written by band’s guitarist and founder – Esa Holopainen.
Then we had “Daughter of Hate” where in Tomi’s vocal we can hear some influances from Hallatar project – where he do more screaming. The song is full of instrumental parts and beautiful talk in Finnish by Pekka Kainulainen – the author of Amorphis lyrics.
“Heart of Giant” was the last song from the newest album and right after it we could hear the only one song from released in 2013 Circle album – “Hopeless Days”. The last song on the setlist was great “Black Winter Day” from remarkable Tales from the Thousand Lakes album. Not only me was waiting for Tomi Koivussari’s participation in this song but unfortunately – we couldn’t hear him singing in one of the Amorphis greatest songs of all times.
As everything good takes its end way to fast also Amorphis show was almost over. After guys disappeared from the stage, over 700 people tried to get them back on stage by the loud ovation and screaming band’s name. They didn’t let us wait long and gladly came back to play last two songs – the first single from Under the Red Cloud album – “Death of the King” and almighty “Hous of Sleep”. The song is well-known by each Amorphis fan and when Tomi asked to sing for Esa the club was filled by “You don’t know, you don’t know nothing yet” sung by seven hundred throats.
The show was over, and everyone was leaving the club with the hope that the band will be back soon, as they promised. Many on their way have stopped by the merch-stand where Nailed To Obscurity was happy to talk to everyone who would like to chat with them. I’m sure they received much praise for their performance. They also admitted that the Kraków’s show was the best so far during this tour.