BARREN EARTH & OCEANHOARSE – Kuudes Linja, Helsinki, March 30, 2018
Helsinki based progressive death metal band BARREN EARTH finally plays a headline show in their hometown and the opening act, OCEANHOARSE, can be surely considered one of the latest sensations of the very productive Finnish metal scene.
The evening at Kuudes Linja was filled with lots of expectations and I personally can´t think of a better way to kick off the long Easter weekend.
Despite the early showtime, a long queue at the entrance´s venue testified the popularity of both bands and it was amazing to spot a Finnish metal veteran such as Ville Sorvali of Moonsorrow waiting to get in.
OCEANHOARSE does not require lots of introduction: a heavy metal quartet composed by well known Finnish artists such as vocalist Tommy Tuovinen (ex My-Grain), guitar virtuoso Ben Varon (ex Amoral), bassist Jyri Helko (ex For The Imperium) and drummer Oskari Niemi, a newcomer who is already being considered the best-kept secret of Finnish metal.
Their energetic set was cheered by an enthusiastic audience. The powerful vocals combined with heavy sophisticated guitar riffs struck my attention and I was personally delighted to witness Mr. Varon´s renewed and refreshing energy on stage. “The Oceanhoarse” and “Fading Neons”, respectively their first and second single from their upcoming first record were particularly tight performances. The live chemistry of the band members is clearly growing, a bright future can be expected.
Their live performances resulted focusing on previous releases though, but despite that, the audience was not left disappointed.
Their music has often been described as “a combination of modern and traditional death metal, with 70’s prog rock and folk”, strongly influenced by bands such as Paradise Lost or Pink Floyd. But there is definitely more to it.
The vocals of Jón Aldará, both growls or clean, are extremely intense and echoed in the whole venue and I´m sure, in the audience´s soul as well. I particularly enjoyed the hypnotic performance of “Withdrawal” which has the power to emotionally transport the listener.